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What is an Order of Protection?
In New York, an Order of Protection is obtained with a court order that explains what one individual can and can’t do to another individual. There are times when an Order of Protection doesn’t allow an individual to have contact with another individual. In New York, an Order of Protection is also known as a restraining order.

What Does an Order of Protection Entail?
With an Order of Protection, one individual may be required to stay away from an individual including staying away from the individual’s home, school, and place of employment. Although most individuals are not allowed to have any relations with the individual who filed the order, there are certain exceptions that can be made such as child visitation arrangements. In instances where an Order of Protection allows some contact with the individual who filed the order, the order will not allow any crimes or offensive acts be committed to the individual who filed the order.

What Court Will Issue an Order of Protection?
There are two courts that issue Orders of Protection, which are the Criminal Court and Family Court. The individual who is asking for the Order of Protection could use either court to complete the request.

What Does it Take to Receive an Order of Protection in Criminal Court?
When an individual is threatened or injured by another individual, the victim can call law enforcement or go directly to the law enforcement agency to report the incident. Law enforcement will charge the accused with a crime, and at the accused’s appearance in Criminal Court, he or she may be issued an Order of Protection.

What Does it Take to Receive an Order of Protection in Family Court?
An individual can go to Family Court and request a family offense petition to receive an Order of Protection. However, to file a petition in Family Court, there needs to be a relationship between the two individuals. The relationship does not have to be current or intimate, so an individual can go to Family Court and request an Order of Protection against co-workers, casual acquaintances, or third party relationships.

To file or an Order of Protection in Family Court, an individual will need to prove the other individual committed crimes against the individual filing for the order. During appearances in Family Court, there may be a Temporary Order of Protection issued, which may even occur when there is no proof the respondent violated the law.

How Long Will an Order of Protection be Valid?
While the case is pending, the court may issue a Temporary Order of Protection. A Temporary Order of Protection will have an expiration date and is able to be renewed if the case is ongoing. When the case is finalized, the court may issue a permanent Order of Protection. In most cases, an Order of Protection will last from one to five years.

Can a Grandparent Amended an Order of Protection?
Either party is allowed to ask for an Order of Protection to be changed. The court may alter an Order of Protection to allow visitation. If the situation becomes worse, the court may issue a “refrain from” Order of Protection to what is called a “stay away” Order of Protection. In addition, if the situation improves, the court may change a “stay away” Order of Protection to what is called “refrain from” Order of Protection.

The legal process for filing an Order of Protection can be difficult, which is why it is beneficial to obtain guidance from an attorney who has experience handling Order of Protection cases.

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