Discovery Protective Motions and Orders Law and Legal Definition

In litigation, a protective order is an order that prevents the disclosure of sensitive information except to certain individuals under certain conditions. A protective order is commonly used after a motion (written request) is made to the court to protect a party or witness from unreasonable or invasive discovery requests (for example, harassing questions in a deposition, or an unnecessary medical examination). A protective order is meant to protect a person from harm or harassment, such as protecting a manufacturer from revealing a trade secret to the public.

In a domestic dispute, a protective order is an order that prevents one party from approaching another, often within a specified distance. A temporary restraining order issued to prohibit domestic violence is referred to as a protective order.