Can You Drop a Restraining Order? Everything You Need To Know

A restraining order is a legal order that prevents a person from contacting, approaching, or harming another person.

Restraining orders are often issued in cases of domestic violence, harassment, stalking, or assault.

restraining order
How to get a restraining order | Shouse Law

However, sometimes a person may want to drop a restraining order for various reasons, such as reconciliation, forgiveness, or lack of evidence.

In this article, we will explain the process and factors involved in dropping a restraining order.

What is a restraining order?

A restraining order, also known as a protective order, is a court order that restricts the behavior of a person who poses a threat or danger to another person.

The person who requests the restraining order is called the petitioner, and the person who is subject to the restraining order is called the respondent.

A restraining order can have different terms and conditions, depending on the type and severity of the case. Some common terms and conditions are:

Different terms and conditions FOR RESTRAINING ORDERS
Different terms and conditions for restraining orders

1.No contact:

The respondent cannot communicate with the petitioner in any way, including phone calls, texts, emails, letters, or social media messages.

2. Stay away:

The respondent must stay a certain distance away from the petitioner, their home, their workplace, their school, or any other place they frequent.

3. Move out:

The respondent must move out of the shared residence with the petitioner, if any.

4.No weapons:

The respondent must surrender any firearms or other weapons they own or possess.

5.No abuse:

The respondent must not harm, threaten, or harass the petitioner or anyone else protected by the restraining order

6. Counseling:

The respondent must attend counseling or treatment programs for anger management, substance abuse, or mental health issues.

It can be temporary or permanent.

A temporary restraining order is issued without a hearing and lasts for a short period of time, usually 10 to 20 days.

A permanent restraining order is issued after a hearing and lasts for a longer period of time, usually 6 months to 5 years.

A permanent restraining order can be extended, modified, or terminated by the court.

Why drop a restraining order?

There are various reasons why a person may want to drop a restraining order. Some of the common reasons are:

Reasons to Drop a Restraining Order
Reasons to Drop a Restraining Order

1. The petitioner and the respondent have reconciled and want to resume their relationship.

2. The petitioner has forgiven the respondent and no longer feels afraid or threatened by them.

3. The petitioner has realized that the restraining order was based on false or exaggerated allegations and wants to clear the respondent’s name and record.

4. The petitioner and the respondent have children together and want to co-parent them peacefully and cooperatively.

5. The petitioner and the respondent have mutual friends, family members, or interests and want to interact with them normally and civilly.

However, dropping a restraining order is not always easy or advisable. There are also some risks and challenges involved, such as:

1.The respondent may still pose a danger or harm to the petitioner or others, despite their promises or apologies.

2.Respondent may use the removal of the restraining order as a manipulation tactic to regain control or influence over the petitioner.

3.The respondent may violate the terms and conditions of the restraining order again, requiring the petitioner to seek a new restraining order.

4.The court may not grant the request to drop the restraining order.

5.The court may impose certain requirements or restrictions on the petitioner and the respondent.

How to Drop a Restraining Order

How to drop a restraining order
How to drop a restraining order

The process of dropping a restraining order may vary depending on the state and the court where the restraining order was issued. However, the general steps are:

1. File a motion

The person who wants to drop the restraining order must file a motion with the court that issued the order.

The motion should identify the parties involved and the reasons why the order should be lifted.

It can be filed by either the petitioner or the respondent, or by both jointly.

However, the petitioner must freely and voluntarily agree to the modification or termination of the order.

The motion must also be served on the other party and the prosecutor, if any.

2. Attend a hearing

The court will set a date and time for a hearing to hear the testimony of both parties and any witnesses or evidence they may have.

The judge will then make the final decision to grant or deny the motion.

3. Follow the court order

If the motion is granted, the court will issue an order to dissolve the restraining order.

The parties must follow the terms and conditions of the new order, if any.

They must also notify any relevant agencies or authorities.

If the motion is denied, the court will keep the restraining order in effect.

The parties must continue to abide by the terms and conditions of the existing order.


Dropping a restraining order is a serious and complex decision that requires careful thought and preparation.

A person who wants to drop a restraining order should weigh the pros and cons, seek legal counsel and support, and follow the proper procedure.

The person who is subject to a restraining order should respect the wishes and rights of the other party and comply with the court order.

A person who is protected by a restraining order should prioritize their safety and well-being and seek help if they are in danger or distress.

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