Under Iowa law, a Final Domestic Abuse protective order is entered by the court for a term of up to one year. It is possible for such an order (often called a protective order, or a restraining order) to be extended by the Iowa District Court that granted the original order.
Iowa Code section 236.5(2) provides that a protective order may be extended beyond one year if the court after a hearing “finds that the defendant continues to pose a threat to the safety of the victim, persons residing with the victim, or members of the victim’s immediate family” at any time upon “a petition filed by either party and after notice and hearing.”
At such a hearing, the burden is on the protected party (the Petitioner/Plaintiff) to show that the person who was found to have committed an act of domestic abuse (the Defendant) continues to pose a threat. The circumstances of each case determine what the court will find constitute a continuing threat. Violations of the protective order as it is in effect are often seen as good evidence that there is a continued threat. However, it is possible to obtain extensions of a protective order even in cases where there have been no violations of the protective order. The Iowa District Court judge will weigh the various circumstances and facts to reach a decision as to whether the protective order should be extended. Generally, extensions are granted for one additional year, and it is possible for the court to issue an unlimited number of extensions upon further hearings.
The extension of a domestic abuse protective order can have significant implications for both parties to a protective order case. That is especially true when children are involved.
A person who is seeking an extension of a protective order in Iowa, or a person who is the Defendant in a protective order case where an extension is being sought, is wise to seek an attorney at once.