Early Law Group P.C.

Orders of Protection

What is an Order of Protection in New York?

Orders of protection are issued by either FamilyCourt, Criminal Court, or Supreme Courtto protect you from another person who is abusing, harassing, threatening, or intimidating you. Orders of protection are commonly issued during a domestic violencesituation but may also be issued under other circumstances.


An order of protection essentially directs the offending person not to injure, threaten or harass you, your family, or any other person(s) listed in the order. Additionally, it may direct the offending person to:

  • Stay away from you and your children
  • Move out of your home
  • Follow custody orders
  • Pay child support


To obtain an order of protection in the Family Court, your relationship to the other person must fall into one of the following categories:

  • Current or former spouse
  • Someone with whom you have a child with
  • A family member to whom you are related by blood or marriage
  • Someone with whom you have or have had an “intimate relationship.” Regardless of whether the relationship is sexual or not, the court may consider it to be an “intimate relationship”based on factors such as how often the two people see each other, or how long they have known each other.


How to File an Order of Protection

To start an order of protection proceeding in Family Court, you need to file a form called a Family Offense petition.The person filing the petition is called the “petitioner,” and the person the petition is filed against is called the “respondent.”


The New York City Family Court website has specific information on filing an order of protection in New York City.




To obtain an order of protection you must state that a “family offense” occurred – whether it be that you were verbally, physically, emotionally, or sexually abused, or the person threatened to hurt you. When filling in the petition, it is important to write down as many details as possible and describe when each incident occurred, where it occurred, what happened, whether you were injured, and whether any kind of weapon was used. The petition must be accurate and fully state what you want to tell the Judge.You must tell the petition clerk specifically what you would like the Judge to order, such as:


  • Stay away order: The court can order the respondent to stay away from you, your home, your job, your children, your children’s school, or any other place the court findsnecessary.


  • Refrain from certain acts: The court can order the respondent to stop threatening and harassing you or your children. The order can be specific – for example – ordering the respondent to stop calling you at work.


  • Exclude the respondent from the home: You can ask the court to order the respondent out of the home (“excluded”) while the order of protection is in effect. It does not matter who’s name the home is in.


  • Revoke firearms: The court can revoke a respondent’s license to carry firearms or order surrender of any firearms owned by the respondent.


The petition for an order of protection and temporary order of protection must be personally served (handed to) the respondent for it to go into effect. The New York City Sheriff’s Office may serve the order of protection, or you can hire a process server to serve the papers. You can also ask any person over eighteen years old to serve the order of protection to the respondent as long as this person is not a party to the case. However, you as the petitioner may never serve the papers yourself. The person who serves the papers must complete an “Affidavit of Service,” have it notarized and filed with the court as soon as possible.

Orders of Protection May Be Full or Limited

A full order of protection means that the subject of the order of protection (the respondent) must stay completely away from you, your home, job, and school, and must not do anything to threaten or harass you.A limited order of protection allows the respondent to maintain contact with you as long as they do not threaten, harass, or abuse you.


What is the Difference Between a Temporary and a Final Order of Protection?

A temporary order of protection is issued on the day that the order of protection is filedand lasts only until the next court date, at which point it may be extended. A final order of protection is issued at the end of the casewhenthe Judge finds that a family offense was committed. A final order of protection usually lasts for two or five years and can also include:


1) Restitution: If the respondent damaged any of the petitioner’s property (car, windows, furniture, etc.), the court can order the respondent to pay damages (“restitution”) up to $10,000. However, the value of what was damaged must be proved to the Judge.


2) Medical Expenses: The court can order the respondent to pay for any medical expenses that occurred from the abuse.


3) Participation in a Program: The court can order the respondent to participate in services, such as drug and alcohol counseling.

Violating an Order of Protection

Keep in mind that an order of protection does not guarantee your safety. However, it is a crime to violate an order of protection. If the respondent violates the order of protection, you should report it to the police and they could be arrested, depending on the circumstances. 


Get Your Free Consultation with an Experienced Family Law Attorney

Because of the very sensitive nature of abusive situations, it is critical that a person who is being abused, threatened, or harassed by their partner seek the counsel of a New York family law attorney who has experience representing families in domestic violence cases. Latonia Early-Hubelbank, Esq. at Early Family Law is skilled in representing clients during order of protection cases. If you are involved in a domestic violence situation, please call (516) 992-3440 . Latonia is here to listen and help with your domestic violence case in any way that she can.