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Under various circumstances, it may be necessary to change the duration of a restraining order or even cancel it completely. However, doing so in a way that complies with legal doctrine and continues to ensure protection for all parties involved can be tricky without professional legal assistance. If you want to pursue changing a restraining order in Oakland, qualified restraining order attorneys could help.

How to Change or Vacate a Restraining Order

There are a couple of different ways a restraining order could be vacated, changed, or expanded in Oakland. Either party could file to make some sort of modification to the order whether that’s an addition or subtraction—for example, to include additional prohibited behavior or to allow certain types of contact with a minor or pet. This could be by agreement, or petition from either party.

At a certain point, a restrained party could argue that there has been such a significant change in the circumstances that now the order is no longer useful, and that it is hurting them in some way. For instance, a restrained party could ask a court to terminate a five-year restraining order because they have moved across the country after no prior violations of the order and having a restraining order against them impacts their ability to find employment. In this case, they might argue there was still adequate protection since they are no longer a threat to the protected party under these circumstances.

Alternatively, a restrained person—by agreement of both involved parties—could file for a modification so they may speak with their children. For example, they may want to ask the court to allow them to text each other or use an app for communication. This kind of contact would still offer the protected party safety while still being able to communicate necessary information as needed.

Extending an Ex Parte Restraining Order

A short-term ex parte order can be extended if the hearing for a full restraining order does not happen, an issue that can come up for many reasons. For instance, if the person seeking protection has not been able to serve notice to the restrained party, or the restrained party did not get a copy of the restraining order. If someone does not know they are a restrained party, they would not know to show up to court or that they need to abide by the restraining order.

In other cases, the hearing could be delayed because the restrained party moved or switched jobs, the protected party does not know where they are, or they are intentionally avoiding being served. If that restrained party does not know that the proceeding is happening and misses the first hearing, a judge would likely reissue or extend the order until the next court date to give the person seeking protection more time to try to locate the restrained party.

Additionally, the restrained party could attend the hearing and request more time to prepare a written response. In that case, an Oakland judge would likely extend the ex parte order until that first restraining order hearing happens.

Finally, it could be delayed because both parties are waiting for police reports, witnesses, or other evidence to become available. Perhaps the parties are aware of the hearing but have not been able to get ready for it, so they asked for a continuance. In this situation, the judge would again be likely to extend the ex parte order until the next court date.

An Attorney Could Help with Changing an Oakland Restraining Order

Whether you are dealing with a short-term or long-term restraining order, shifting circumstances and personal needs may mean that the original terms of your order no longer reasonably fit your needs. Legal counsel could help with changing an Oakland restraining order under a variety of circumstances. If you are looking to adjust the terms of your restraining order, call today to start discussing your options.

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