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Modifying, Dissolving, Or Appealing A Protection Order

CAUTION! If a protection order has been entered against you, DO NOT VIOLATE IT! Violation of a protection order is a crime punishable by fines and imprisonment. It is also a civil contempt of court. For more information about the penalties for violating a protection order, click to visit Overview of Protection Orders.

 
Overview

If someone is trying to obtain or has already obtained a protection order against you, you have a couple of options. You can file an opposition to the application or a motion asking the court to dissolve or modify the order, or you can appeal from the court’s grant of an extended protection order.


Q&A – Protection Order Motions And Appeals


How do I oppose an application for protection against me?

If you disagree with the the applicant's request for a protection order against you, and the court has not granted it yet, you can file an opposition. After you file the opposition, the court will review it and consider the arguments. If the court has already scheduled a hearing, then you can also appear at the hearing and present your opposition argument there.

  • If the applicant has filed an application for protection against you, and the court has not granted it yet, and you disagree with the application, click underneath the form's title below to download the opposition.

    OPPOSITION TO APPLICATION FOR PROTECTION ORDER 
    Pdf Fillable

What is a “motion to dissolve,” and what happens if I file one?

If you believe the protection order was granted improperly or that it is no longer needed, you can file a motion asking the court to “dissolve” (terminate or cancel) the protection order. After you file the motion, the court will decide whether or not to schedule a hearing. If the court schedules a hearing and grants the motion, the protection order will become immediately void and unenforceable. A protection order can only be dissolved by the court.

What is a “motion to modify,” and what happens if I file one?

A motion to “modify” (change) the protection order is typically filed when the adverse party believes that the protection order is too broad or that the protection order is too burdensome. After you file the motion, the court will decide whether to schedule a hearing. A protection order can only be modified by the court.

What form do I use to file a motion to dissolve or modify the protection order?

  • If the applicant obtained a protection order against you, click underneath the form’s title below to download the motion to modify or dissolve:

MOTION TO MODIFY OR DISSOLVE ORDER FOR PROTECTION 
Pdf Fillable

For general tips and instructions on how to fill out and file your documents, click to re-read Protection from Harm to Children; Protection from Sexual Assault; Protection from Stalking, Aggravated Stalking, or Harassment; or Protection from Workplace Harassment.

What is an “appeal,” and how would I file one?

If the court issues an extended order for protection, the adverse party can file an appeal to the district court. (There is no appeal allowed if the court denies an application to extend a protection order, only if the court grants the extension.) The district court will typically not hear new evidence on an appeal. The court will review the documentation and other information that was presented to the justice court in order to decide whether the justice of the peace made any error of law in granting the extended protection order. The district court can affirm, modify, or vacate the justice court’s order. (In other words, the district court can keep the order in place, change it in some way, or do away with it completely.) 

There is a $97 filing fee to file an appeal, but there is no requirement that a bond be posted. Filing the appeal paperwork does not change the validity or enforceability of the extended order.

To appeal the grant of an extended protection order, the adverse party must complete and file the forms below with the justice court where the case is pending. Each of the forms is available, free of charge, and the Self-Help Center, or you can download the form by clicking one of the formats underneath the form’s title:

NOTICE OF APPEAL TO DISTRICT COURT  
PDF Fillable | PDF Nonfillable  

STATEMENT OF POINTS ON APPEAL  
Pdf Fillable | Pdf Nonfillable  

TIP!  If the hearing on the extended protection order you're appealing was recorded, you must order a copy of the hearing transcript from the court reporter and deposit $100 with the court (unless some greater amount was ordered).  (JCRCP 74(b).)  If the hearing wasn't recorded, you must fill out and file the Statement of Evidence or Proceedings form below.

STATEMENT OF EVIDENCE OR PROCEEDINGS  
Pdf Fillable | Pdf Nonfillable  

The district court may issue an order setting the case for oral argument and may require the parties to submit written briefs. A form Appellate Brief is available, free of charge, at the Civil Law Self-Help Center or can be downloaded by clicking one of the listed formats underneath the form's title below:

APPELLATE BRIEF  
Pdf Fillable | Pdf Nonfillable  

Click to visit our Basics of Court Forms and Filing for tips on how to fill out legal forms and file in the justice court, or click to visit Justice Courts for court location and contact information.