Orders of Protection may be obtained as a result of a pending criminal matter at the arraignment stage, or in Family Court as a civil matter. In criminal court, an Order of Protection will only be issued on behalf of the victim, and the case is prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office.
However, an individual may file a Family Offense petition to obtain an Order of Protection the same day if there has been an incident or incidents of domestic violence. The Petitioner and Respondent must be current or former spouses; have a child in common; family members related by blood or marriage; or previously had an intimate relationship.
A judge will determine whether an Order of Protection is warranted, and whether the Order of Protection will be a full stay away preventing all contact, or a “refrain from” in which the Respondent must refrain from committing certain acts toward the Petitioner.
Violating an Order of Protection is a crime. Contact the police if you believe there has been a violation. You may also file a violation of an Order of Protection in Family Court.