What is a Temporary Order of Protection?

*This article contains mentions of domestic violence. If you or someone you love is suffering from domestic abuse, remember that you’re not alone. You can reach New York State’s domestic violence hotline at +1 800.942.6906. You can reach the national domestic violence hotline at +1 800.799.7233

What is a Family Offense?

Family offenses have two defining factors involved in New York State. Firstly, the offense must be made between two individuals that are related by blood or marriage, individuals who were formerly married, or individuals who are unrelated but have a child together; and individuals who are unrelated who are or have been in an intimate relationship. New York State defines a family offense as any of the following behaviors:


  • Harassment
  • Aggravated harassment
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Forcible touching
  • Sexual abuse
  • Menacing
  • Reckless endangerment
  • Criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation
  • Strangulation
  • Assault or attempted assault
  • Stalking
  • Criminal mischief
  • Identity theft
  • Grand larceny
  • Coercion
  • Unlawful dissemination of an intimate image
  • Disorderly conduct.

Orders of Protection

When there is a threat of violence, the process requires a certain level of security and urgency to protect yourself from harm. The States of New York and Connecticut offer temporary orders of protection. A temporary order of protection is a document issued by a court of law to protect an individual from being harmed by another’s violence, abuse, harassment, or verbal threats. 


New York State and Connecticut courts offer orders of protection in domestic violence situations and can keep children, spouses, significant others, cohabitating partners, and family members safe while preventing future harm. There are two types of orders.


Type 1: Stay Away Order

A stay away order requires that the alleged abuser has no contact with the party filing the order, or the party the order was filed on behalf of. The alleged abuser cannot use a third party to contact the other party. There can be serious legal repercussions if the  stay-away order is not followed.


Type 2: Refrain From Order

A refrain-from order makes it unlawful for the abuser to harass, threaten, or abuse you. They may still have contact with you, but they must refrain from committing criminal offenses like stalking or intimidating you.


How to Get an Order of Protection

To get a temporary order of protection, you can file a petition with the Supreme Court, Family Court, or Criminal Court. In Family Court, you must claim and prove that the other party committed a family offense against you. When getting a temporary order of protection, it is vital to have an experienced attorney on your side. Experiencing domestic abuse is traumatizing, but it is nothing to be ashamed of. A good attorney will be there to support you every step of the way. If you need help filing for a temporary order or protection, contact us today, or call the Domestic Violence Hotline.

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