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In order for the judge to issue a Preliminary Protective Order, you will need to appear before the judge to state the basis for your Petition for the Preliminary Protective Order or a Protective Order. It is your choice to bring witnesses at this time. However, you should bring the names and complete street addresses for any witnesses (people who actually saw the event take place) with you. You are discouraged from bringing young children with you to court. If you must bring them, bring an adult to supervise the children.
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Protective Orders are legal documents issued by a judge or a magistrate with the intent to protect the health and safety of someone who has been injured or threatened by another person. In Virginia, there are three kinds of protective orders that are intended to protect you and others:
If you are under 18 years of age, this filing information does not apply to you. Go to Virginia’s Judicial System website for assistance with Protective Orders. You can also call the Juvenile Domestic and Relations Court at 434-979-7165 with questions.
If you are in immediate danger, please call 911. If this is a non-emergency question please call the Police Department at 434-970-3280 or the Magistrate’s Office at 434-977-0220.
The Magistrate’s Office is located in the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail at:160 Peregory LaneCharlottesville, VA 22901
You may go to the Magistrate’s Office to obtain an Emergency Protective Order. This order will last only 72 hours or until the next day court is in session. If you need longer protection, you must ask the court for a Preliminary Protective Order. The Magistrate’s Office is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may call the Magistrate’s Office at 434-977-0220.
The Charlottesville General District Court is located at:606 E Market StreetCharlottesville, VA 22902
You may call the Charlottesville General District Court at 434-970-3366 or 434-970-3386.
The Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office has a Victim/Witness Division with advocates who can assist you. The Court Clerk can call an advocate to assist you when you arrive. Victim/Witness can also be reached by calling 434-970-3176.
Anonymous, confidential, 24/7, V/TTY available, sexual assault/domestic violence resources:
The court will need a full description of events that led you to seek a protective order. If you used the I-CAN! Virginia online system, bring the affidavit (a written statement describing the events) with you. You will need this same information for the full hearing (where both parties are before the judge) that will be scheduled if a Preliminary Order is issued. At the full hearing (where both parties are before the judge) the judge will inquire about the events that led you to seek a Protective Order.
The court will also need the name and full address of the person from whom you are seeking protection. A full and complete address of the person is required, including an apartment number or unit number. This information is also needed to send to the Virginia State Police if the orders are issued.
Law enforcement will need as much identifying and contact information as possible about the person from whom you are seeking protection. This information is essential as law enforcement must be able to find this person for the Protective Order to take effect.
Please provide as much information as possible:
Can you supply the items and/or have answers to these questions:
All persons entering the courthouse will be searched by passing through a metal detector. This search will include any bags you are carrying and anything in your pockets.
Advise the Clerk’s Office if any of the listed items are needed as evidence in your case. If you have any additional questions you may call the Clerk’s Office at 434-970-3388.
If you feel you are in immediate danger call 911 for law enforcement assistance.
The court cannot guarantee an interpreter will be present to assist you. We can utilize Interpretalk, which is a telephone interpreting service. You are welcome to bring a family member or friend to accompany you that speaks English to assist you in the process. For other languages the court will have to make arrangements or use Interpretalk. I-CAN! Virginia is also available in Spanish. Just follow the prompts when you begin the program.
The courtroom is ground level and the parking garage is located next door to the courtroom which has handicap spaces. Please call the Clerk’s Office at 434-970-3388 if additional assistance is needed. For a hearing impaired or sign language interpreter, please call ahead at 434-970-3366 so we can make special arrangements.
Parking is available in the parking garage located next door to the Clerk’s Office and Courtroom; handicap spaces are available on the first level. There is also 2-hour street parking.
If you need continued protection due to any act involving violence, force or threat that results in bodily injury or places you in fear of death, sexual assault or bodily injury, you may petition the court for a Preliminary Protective Order. A Preliminary Protective Order is temporary protection which lasts 15 days or until a full hearing and requires that you file a petition with the court. Preliminary Protection Orders may be extended for up to 6 months.
You must fill out the forms necessary to petition the court for a Preliminary Protective Order. Upon request, the clerk’s office for the Charlottesville General District Court, located at 606 East Market Street in Charlottesville, will provide you with the correct forms to complete.
Additionally, the Supreme Court of Virginia has an online program, I-CAN! Virginia. This program can help you prepare the paperwork required to file for a Preliminary Protective Order. I-CAN! Virginia is a free internet-based service that provides assistance with preparing a Petition for a Preliminary Protective Order forms. This service is provided to the public as a convenience. You are not required to visit the site prior to coming to the Clerk’s Office to request a Preliminary Protective Order.
To complete your petition for a Preliminary Protection Order through the Supreme Court of Virginia’s online forms program, I-CAN! Virginia, access Virginia’s Judicial System website. I-CAN! Virginia can be accessed from any computer that has internet access and functions best with Internet Explorer. Please bring the completed forms or the passcode to the Clerk’s Office to complete this process.
If you are unable to use the I-CAN! Virginia program or do not understand how to fill out a Petition for a Preliminary Protective Order; go to the Charlottesville General District Court Clerk’s Office and ask for help. The court personnel will provide you with the necessary forms and information sheets to assist you; we are not able to give legal advice.
Once you have a copy of the order, keep the order in a safe place. You should carry a copy of the order with you at all times. You will have to show it to the police or the court if there is a violation. Also, give a copy to anyone else who is protected by the order, and leave copies anywhere that the other person is not allowed to go (your work, school, daycare, etc.).