How to Terminate a Restraining Order

Generally people request a restraining order against someone because there is a threat or fear of physical or emotional harm. However, there are also legitimate reasons for terminating a restraining order. Knowing how to terminate a restraining order may be useful.

Step 1

Acquire an “Order to Terminate” form or its equivalent from the court of jurisdiction in which you live. Generally you can access this and all other necessary forms online or by requesting them directly from the court that originally issued the restraining order. In any case this request will need to be in writing.

Step 2

Complete the “Order to Terminate” forms. Include the case number and case title of the original restraining order. Also provide current information such as updated addresses of the individuals involved.

Step 3

Make three copies of your completed “Order to Terminate” forms. One you will keep for yourself, another will be filed with the court, and the final copy will be for the person against whom you have the restraining order or his/her attorney.

Step 4

Bring the three copies of the completed forms to the clerk’s office of the court from which you obtained the order. Have the forms filed appropriately by the clerk. At this same time you will be given a court date for when the “Order to Terminate” will be decided. You will be required to pay filing fees that will vary by jurisdiction. Call the court in advance to obtain this information before you arrive. In some cases you may have the option of requesting a fee waiver form. In this case you may be required to verify your income by producing a pay stub or W-2. This waiver will have to be approved or denied by the judge.

Step 5

Deliver a copy of the “Order to Terminate” to the restrained party by employing the services of either your attorney or a process server (you will not be able to do this legally on your own). Be sure the person serving these forms signs a “proof of service” form, verifying that the papers were served. This will have to be completed a certain number of days prior to the court date. Be sure to verify with the court the number of days in advance these forms must be delivered.

Step 6

Bring all necessary paperwork and those who will be witnessing in your behalf to the court hearing on the specified date. Once the hearing is complete, file a “Findings and Order After Hearing” form (or similar type form for your jurisdiction) with the court clerk. This will legally enter the judge’s verdict and officially terminate the restraining order.


  • A person who requests a restraining order is generally in a difficult psychological state. Before requesting a termination, consult with an attorney or someone you trust to give you counsel. Often someone on the outside can more clearly see the danger you may be in, even if you think you are beyond it.


  • In most cases restraining orders terminate on their own after a certain period of time. Be sure that terminating a restraining order is really something you want to do, because they cost a lot of time and money, and are not always appreciated by the courts, since they issued the initial restraining order in an effort to keep you safe from potential harm.

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