Author’s note:**COVID-19 ALERT: NEW YORK FAMILY COURTS ARE STILL OPEN FOR HEARING MATTERS RELATED TO ORDERS OF PROTECTION**
If you are being abused, harassed, stalked, or otherwise seriously and repeatedly annoyed by someone whom you are related to, married to, or have or have had an intimate partner relationship with, you can apply for an order of protection against that person in the family courts.
In legal terms, an order of protection in family court is a civil order, and it can protect you from someone you are currently married to, separated from, divorced from, have a child in common with, are or were in an intimate or dating relationship with, or are related by blood or marriage.
Types of orders of protection
Generally, there are two types of orders of protection. The first type is a Full Stay-Away order of Protection, and it prohibits your abuser from going anywhere near you, your home, your place of work/study, etc., and from contacting you in any way either themselves or through third parties.
The second type is a Limited Order of Protection, and it is less restrictive in the sense that it only prohibits your abuser from harassing you. However, each individual order of protection may have more detailed or limiting terms. Many orders of protection require alleged abusers to surrender their firearms to the local precinct during the pendency of the case and/or the final order of protection.
Orders of protection can last anywhere from a few months to the more common one-year or two-year terms. Some extenuating circumstances, such as the use of a deadly weapon against a petitioner, may justify a five-year order of protection.
If a court grants you an order of protection and your abuser does anything to violate it (e.g. contacts you or goes near your home), you have the right to call the police and/or file a violation petition in the family court. Violating an order of protection is a crime.
How to report a violation of an order of protection
The first step is filing a petition in the family court in which you or your abuser resides. In the petition, you will include a detailed account of the abuse that occurred, with specific dates and allegations. The day you file your petition requesting an order of protection, a judge will see you that same day to do two things:
- Give you a court appearance date to return to court.
- Analyze whether your case justifies placing a temporary order of protection to keep you safe in the period before the court appearance, just in case.
Once you get a court date assigned, you will have to arrange for law enforcement to personally serve your abuser with the summons, petition, and Temporary Order of Protection if one was issued. The Sheriff’s Department can help serve papers for you.
When you return to court, the Judge will inquire as to whether the abuser agrees to an order of protection against him or her or whether he or she denies the allegations and wishes to proceed to trial. Keep in mind an accused person can consent to an order of protection without admitting to the allegations. This happens very frequently.
Contact Our New York Divorce Lawyers Today
If you are considering obtaining an order of protection in family court, our New York Divorce Lawyers want to help. At the Cedeno Law Group, P.L.L.C., our dedicated and experienced legal team will provide you with the legal counsel, care, and representation you need. We feel a sincere sense of duty in protecting victims from any form of domestic abuse, which is why you will be our priority no matter the complications or challenges of your case.
To speak to a representative today, don’t hesitate to contact us by calling (212) 235-1382