Adult Protective Order Petitions
A person who believes that he/she is being stalked or has been a victim of domestic violence or family abuse (he/she is called a Petitioner) can seek a Civil Adult Protective Order against the person whom he/she believes is stalking him/her or has committed the family abuse (as defined by the Virginia Code). If he/she is able to prove the case, the Court may, but is not required to, enter an Adult Protective Order. This Protective Order can last for up to two years.
These cases are brought to the Court through a Petition filed with the Court Service Unit. At a hearing before one of the judges of the Juvenile Court, an Adult Preliminary Protective Order can be entered. Once that order is personally served on the person who is alleged to be the stalker or to have committed the family abuse (he or she is called the respondent), the order remains in effect until a final hearing on the Petition. That hearing shall be held no later than 15 days from the date that the Preliminary Protective Order was entered by the judge.
As a result of recent legislation that went into effect July 1, 2001, upon motion of the respondent and for good cause shown, the court may continue the final hearing past the fifteen days. However, the Preliminary Protective Order will remain in effect until the final hearing is held. For more information regarding this, please go to Frequently Asked Questions - My First Court Appearance - What Happens
The Alexandria Office on Women assists persons seeking these types of orders and can be contacted at 703.838.4911, and additional information is available by clicking on the following link for the Office on Women.
In addition to the above, information on Protective Orders is available on the Virginia Supreme Court's Website and through the Virginia Supreme Court and I-CAN:
Virginia Supreme Court - Protective Order Assistance - Information