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Understanding Orders of Protection in New York Family Law


Understanding Orders of Protection in New York Family Law

What is an Order of Protection?

An Order of Protection is a legal instrument issued by the court to limit the behavior of someone who may pose a threat or has harmed another person. It is primarily used to address safety issues, including domestic violence, but it's applicable in various relationships—not just between spouses or ex-spouses. This includes family members, intimate partners, or even acquaintances in some cases​​.

Types of Orders of Protection

In New York, there are mainly three types of Orders of Protection that can be issued:

  • Family Court Orders of Protection: Often part of civil cases, these are issued against a current or former spouse, a relative, or someone with whom the petitioner has an intimate relationship. It can include various stipulations, such as barring contact, granting custody of children, or removing one party from a shared residence​.
  • Criminal Court Orders of Protection: These are typically issued when charges of a crime are involved. A judge might issue this during arraignment or as part of sentencing, and it remains in effect as long as the criminal case is active​.
  • Supreme Court Orders of Protection: These are generally issued during divorce proceedings and can be permanent, offering a broad range of protections similar to those granted in family and criminal courts​.

Temporary vs. Final Orders

  • Temporary Orders of Protection: Often issued ex parte (without the respondent present), these can be granted quickly if the judge believes there is an immediate risk. These orders typically last until the court can conduct a full hearing​.
  • Final Orders of Protection: Issued after a full court hearing where both parties can present their arguments. Depending on the circumstances, these orders can last two to five years and be extended under certain conditions​.

Consequences of Violating an Order of Protection

Violating an Order of Protection is a serious offense and can lead to criminal charges, including criminal contempt. If a respondent violates the conditions set by the order, they can be arrested and face penalties, which may include jail time. The enforcement of these orders is strict, and the courts take any breach seriously to protect the safety of the individuals involved.

How to Manage an Order of Protection

If you need an Order of Protection, it is advisable to consult with a legal professional who can guide you through the process, help you understand your rights, and represent you in court if necessary. Managing the implications of an order—whether you are the petitioner or the respondent—requires careful handling to ensure compliance and respect for legal obligations.

For more detailed guidance or if you are considering filing for an Order of Protection, you can reach out to our office for a consultation at 516-252-0223 or visit our contact page for more information. Protecting your safety and legal rights is our priority, and we are here to help you navigate these complex situations.