Although it seems that nearly everyone has heard of an order of protection, most people know very little about the process of obtaining one. This document can only be procured through the court system and therefore has a legal process connected with it.
How to File for It
In the state of New York, both the Criminal Court and the Family Court can issue orders of protection. The Criminal Court can only give an order of protection against someone who has been arrested for abusing you. In all other instances, you must file a petition with the Family Court. In order to qualify for an order of protection, the abuser must be someone close to you. This qualification includes a present or former spouse, a relative, someone with whom you have had a child, or someone with whom you have had an intimate relationship. You must also describe what the abuser did that caused you to seek the order of protection.
Appearing in Court
Once you have filed the petition, you will be assigned a date to appear in court. If the judge agrees with your request, you will be granted a temporary order of protection. The individual in question must then be served with a notice that the order of protection has been requested. Another court date will be set where both you and the other party must appear. At this point, he may simply agree to the order of protection without admitting guilt, or he may refuse it. If he refuses it, the case will go to trial, and each side will have the opportunity to present evidence. The order of protection will not be permanent until the trial is concluded, but the judge will likely grant an extension on each court date.
What It Provides
An order of protection can ask for a number of different provisions. The individual may be restricted from contact with you or your children or even barred from certain buildings such as your home or workplace. He may be ordered to stop contacting you in writing or by phone. There may also be provisions regarding payment of damages or return of belongings.
If It Is Violated
Once you have obtained an order of protection, you should keep a copy with you at all times. If the individual violates the order, you should immediately call the police and show them the document. He should then be arrested for the violation.
Anyone in need of protection from someone else is already in a difficult and scary situation. An attorney experienced in family law is essential for assistance and guidance through the sometimes-intimidating process of obtaining an order of protection. Don’t try to struggle through alone. Contact the law offices of David Witkon today for a free consultation.