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New York Restraining Order Frequently Asked Questions

What is a restraining order in New York?

A restraining order is a court order that tells one person what her or she can or cannot do with respect to another person, or what contact is allowed. In New York a restraining order is called an order of protection. An order of protection can be issued by the Family Court or the Criminal Court.

What is included in a restraining order or order of protection in New York?

New York orders of protection can contain a variety of provisions depending on the type of order and specific details of the case. Examples of common provisions in orders of protection include:

  • Stay away: A stay away order requires the respondent to stay away from the petitioner, the petitioner’s home, workplace, and school.
  • No contact: A not contact order prohibits the respondent from contacting the petitioner. This means no contact by phone, mail, fax, text, social media, or notes. It also prohibits the respondent from sending the petitioner gifts.
  • Cease abuse: With a cease abuse order the respondent is prohibited from abusing the petitioner.
  • Support: The order may require the respondent to make payments to the petitioner such as child support or payment of household bills.
  • Restitution: The order may require the respondent to pay for damages to petitioner for losses suffered due to the actions of the respondent.
  • Exclusive use: The order may have a provision that requires only one person to use property such as the marital home or family vehicle.
  • Other provisions: The order may include other requirements base on the specific situation such as a requirement that the respondent seek drug counseling, therapy, or the surrender of firearms.
How long do restraining orders last in New York?

The length of an order of protection depends on the type of order. There are two types of orders of protection: temporary and permanent. A temporary order states the expiration date. Oftentimes they are issued based on the allegations of the petitioner. Thus, the order may last only until the next court date. At that time the court may renew it. In other instances a temporary restraining order may last for 6 months, or until the case is resolved. A permanent order of protection is not actually permanent. The New York Family Court Act allows for permanent orders of protection for up to 2 years. However, if there are aggravating circumstances, the order may have a longer duration. A permanent or can be renewed.

What will happen if I violate a restraining order?

If a respondent violates the terms of a restraining order or an order of protection, the court could find the person to be in contempt of court. This may mean that the violator will be arrested and face criminal charges. Breaking any term of the order is enough to be arrested.

Still have questions? Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates for help

While in many instances restraining are warranted, there are many instances in which they are not. An unjustified restraining order can be disruptive and cause hardship for the respondent. If you feel that a restraining order against you was unjustified, do not take matters into your own hands by violating the order. Instead contact an experienced attorney. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have decades of experience representing clients in criminal matters and have the knowledge and resources to help you fight the order of protection. Contact us at 800.NY.NY.LAW (800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of crimes in the following locations: Nassau County, Queens, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Staten Island, Suffolk County, Bronx, and Westchester County.

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