New York Orders Of Protection
In New York, Orders of Protection are judicial orders which establish certain behavioral restrictions against the offending party in favor of the party seeking protection or, in certain instances, for third-parties, such as children of the parties’ relationship, significant others, etc. The type of conduct generally addressed by New York Orders of Protection are:
- Disorderly conduct
- Reckless endangerment
- Assault or attempted assault
In New York, Orders of Protection may be obtained by an individual subjected to any of the conduct referenced above. The individual applying for an Order of Protection is designated the “Petitioner” and the individual against whom the Order of Protection is sought is the “Respondent.” Of particular note is that a Temporary Order of Protection can be obtained absent input from the accused party, although a final Order of Protection may only be granted after a fact-finding hearing, consent of the parties and the Court, or the Respondent’s default.
Orders of Protection may be granted by several different courts on Long Island: District Courts, within the context of a criminal complaint and prosecution; Supreme Court, within the context of a divorce action; or, most commonly, in the Family Court.
In Family Court, those who may obtain an Order of Protection are:
- Persons related by consanguinity or affinity (blood relation or marriage)
- Persons legally married to one another
- Persons formerly married to one another
- Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether such persons have been married or have lived together at any time
- Persons involved in an intimate relationship
Although, in New York, Orders of Protection vary, there are two basic types of orders: “Refrain From” and “Stay Away.” “Refrain From” Orders of Protection direct a Respondent to desist from engaging in a particular type of conduct, such as verbal harassment or threats, against the Petitioner. “Stay Away” Orders of Protection direct the Respondent to avoid being near or in the presence of the Petitioner. Such “Stay Away” orders may additionally direct a Respondent’s removal from his/her home, that Respondent stay away from the residence or place of employment of the Petitioner, and that The Respondent stay away from other specified locations.
Violation of an existing Order of Protection, whether temporary or final, carries with it severe legal consequences, which include being held in contempt of court and possible incarceration.
The practical impact of an Order of Protection in New York cannot be underestimated. Its primary purpose is to shield an endangered individual, or individuals, from harm. Sometimes that protection is critical to the well-being and survival of a victim. However, sometimes an Order of Protection is used as a “sword” in a contested divorce or custody situation and is improperly sought without justification. These issues should be discussed with an experienced family law attorney.
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