How to Lift a Protective Order in Texas

By Rebecca Rogge
Restraining orders can only be lifted by a judge.

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Protective orders are issued by a judge to protect victims of abuse or harassment from further violence at the hands of their abusers. In Texas, once a protective order is issued, it becomes legally binding, on both plaintiff and respondent, and only a court order or expiration can cause it to be lifted. It is important to make sure a protective order has been legally rescinded before any part of it is violated as serious consequences can result.

Wait for the temporary protective order to expire. In Texas, these orders, given by judges to protect the plaintiff until the full hearing, are only effective for a maximum of 20 days. It can be simplest sometimes for the plaintiff to not appear in court for the full hearing and just let the temporary order expire if she no longer desires protection. Once the order expires, it is no longer legally binding.

Appeal the protective order by testifying at the full hearing. In Texas, this is the respondent's only recourse if she wishes to have the protective order lifted. Appearing in court and presenting evidence--such as police or medical records, written communication or witness testimony--will indicate to the judge that the protective order is no longer necessary and should be lifted. Legal assistance can be very helpful to the respondent in this regard.

File a motion with the court to have the protective order dropped. This action can be taken in Texas by the plaintiff after a protective order is issued if she decides she is no longer in need of protection. The plaintiff should go to the court where the protective order was filed and file a motion to dismiss with the court clerk. The plaintiff may then have to appear before a judge and make a statement so the judge can ensure the plaintiff is not being coerced or threatened in any way into dropping the order. In Texas, filing to dismiss does not ensure the protective order will be dropped; the decision is up to the judge.

About the Author

Based in northern Virginia, Rebecca Rogge has been writing since 2005. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Patrick Henry College and has experience in teaching, cleaning and home decor. Her articles reflect expertise in legal topics and a focus on education and home management.

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