How to Get a Restraining Order in New York: A Comprehensive Guide

In New York, obtaining a restraining order, also known as an order of protection, is a legal process designed to protect individuals from harassment, abuse, or threats by another person.

How to Get a Restraining Order in New York
How to Get a Restraining Order in New York

This guide provides a step-by-step approach to obtaining a restraining order in New York, along with answers to frequently asked questions.

READ ALSO: How to Obtain a Restraining Order in California? A Step-By-Step Legal Guide

Understanding Restraining Orders

A restraining order is a court-issued document that primarily restricts the behavior of an individual who poses a threat to another.

Moreover, it can mandate the restrained person to avoid contact with the protected individual and furthermore, may include other conditions such as moving out of a shared residence or surrendering firearms.

This ensures a comprehensive approach to safety and protection.

Types of Restraining Orders

New York offers several types of restraining orders, which can be issued through Family Court, Criminal Court, or Supreme Court, depending on the circumstances.

Types of Restraining Orders

Family Court Orders of Protection

Firstly, these are civil orders primarily used to prevent violence within a family or intimate relationship.

They require a specific familial or intimate relationship between the petitioner and the respondent.

Criminal Court Orders of Protection

Issued as part of a criminal case, these orders are typically a condition of the defendant’s release or bail.

Supreme Court Orders of Protection

These are generally associated with ongoing divorce proceedings and can be requested through a Motion or Order to Show Cause.

Step-by-Step Process to Obtain a Restraining Order

Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining a Restraining Order

Step 1: Determine the Appropriate Court

Choose the court based on your relationship with the other person and the nature of the offense.

Step 2: File a Petition

Go to the chosen court and file a petition for an order of protection. In Family Court, this is known as a Family Offense petition.

Step 3: Complete the Necessary Forms

Fill out all required forms accurately, providing details of the incidents and the protection needed.

Step 4: Judge’s Review

A judge will review your petition and may issue a temporary order of protection pending a full court hearing.

Step 5: Service of Process

The respondent must be officially served with the order for it to be enforceable.

Step 6: The Hearing

Attend the court hearing where both parties can present their case. The judge will decide whether to grant a final order of protection.

What can I do if someone violates an order of protection?

If someone violates an order of protection in New York, you should take the following steps:

1.Contact the Police

Firstly, Immediately report the violation to the local police department. Provide them with a copy of the order of protection and any evidence of the violation.

2.Document the Incident

Keep a detailed record of the violation, including dates, times, and descriptions of what occurred.

3.Safety Measures

Consider your immediate safety. If necessary, go to a safe place, such as a friend’s house or a domestic violence shelter.

4.Legal Action

The violator may be arrested and charged with a crime. You may also have the option to file a contempt petition in court if the order was issued in a civil case.

5.Seek Support

Finally, contact a domestic violence hotline or seek assistance from a legal aid organization for guidance and support.

Remember, a violation of an order of protection is taken seriously and can result in criminal charges. It’s important to act promptly and utilize the legal protections available to you.

Can I obtain a restraining order without a lawyer?

Yes, you can file a petition on your own, but consulting with an attorney or a domestic violence advocate is advisable⁵.

How long does a restraining order last?

In New York, the duration of a restraining order, known as an Order of Protection, can vary:

Temporary Orders

These are typically issued when you first file for an order of protection and last until the full court hearing.

The hearing is usually scheduled within a few weeks to a month.

Final Orders

After the court hearing, if the judge grants a final order of protection, it can last for any period of time up to 5 years.

However, in cases with “aggravating circumstances,” the order can last for up to 8 years.

Extended Orders

In certain situations, a final order of protection may be extended beyond its original expiration date. This usually requires a new petition to be filed before the current order expires.

It’s important to note that the specific duration of an order of protection will be determined by the judge based on the circumstances of the case.

Is there any cost associated with obtaining a restraining order?

There is no fee for filing a petition for an order of protection in New York.


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Obtaining a restraining order in New York involves a clear legal process aimed at protecting individuals from harm.

Firstly, it’s important to understand the types of restraining orders available and the steps required to acquire one.

Additionally, if you’re in a situation that necessitates a restraining order, then seek legal advice.

Finally, take action to ensure your safety and well-being.



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