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Renewing Your Restraining Order in Rhode Island


You and your children’s safety are of the utmost importance, especially if you have an abusive ex. Restraining orders can help keep these abusers away from you and your children. However, they can come with an expiration date.

In such instances, renewing your restraining order may be necessary.

How long are restraining orders usually in effect?

Rhode Island has temporary restraining orders that can last up to 21 days during hearings. If the order gets granted, protections can last for three years. During that time, the abuser must keep their distance from the victims and avoid contact. When it expires, however, courts may lift restrictions if victims don’t apply for renewal.

What do I need to prove to get the restraining order renewed?

Depending on the circumstances, a renewal expiration may be risky. If your ex still poses a clear and present danger, you’ll want to:

  • Refile the paperwork, including an affidavit.
  • Write a new statement that revalidates your concerns.
  • Use necessary evidence to back up your statement.
  • Answer the judge’s questions regarding your request for a renewal.

If the judge signs off on the documentation, you can have your restraining order renewed. It’s also essential to show up for this hearing on time. Unfortunately, if you don’t arrive or are late, you could miss your chances of renewal.

What happens if the abuser disregards the extension?

This violation is a criminal offense. If the abuser contacts, hurts, or stalks you, they could face up to a year in prison or a $1000 fine. Even if they try contacting you through a third party, that’s considered a violation. However, the penalties are not as clear because there are some exceptions to the rule.

Victims of abuse deserve to live in peace

Those who suffer from abuse often endure long and hard-fought legal battles. The last thing they want is to live in fear. An experienced attorney can help you and your loved ones get the protection you need.