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New York State Restraining Order Rules

New York State Restraining Order Rules

Whether you’re looking into filing one or whether you are on the receiving end, it is important that you know the rules regarding restraining orders in New York State. Also known as orders of protection, restraining orders may be filed with the Family Court or Criminal Court of the state of New York. They are used to limit the behavior of someone deemed threatening in any way. Situations that legally prompt filing a restraining order include but are not limited to threats of harm to someone or their children and verbal or written harassment.

Types of Restraining Order

There are two main types of restraining order:

  1. Family
  2. Criminal

In all cases, a restraining order can be used to compel someone to stay away from certain people, certain locations, and it can be used to force someone to get rid of their gun(s).

Restraining Order Rules

About Family Restraining Orders

Family restraining orders are also known as civil restraining orders. They may only be filed against related individuals, current or former spouses, common parents of a child, or anyone with whom you have had an “intimate relationship.” Intimacy is determined by a number of things including the length of time you’ve known each other, how often you see each other and whether or not you are physically intimate. Family restraining orders are most commonly used in cases where domestic violence is present and are sometimes attached to divorce agreements, custody agreements, or other affairs that go through Family Court.

How to Get a Family Restraining Order

To file a Family Court Order of Protection, it is best to go through a lawyer or domestic violence agency. They can help you file the necessary forms to prove that you are in need. Many DV agencies offer battered women’s shelters for women suffering from domestic violence; this may be an important first step for your or your children.

About Criminal Restraining Orders

Criminal restraining orders are similar to family restraining orders, but they are filed against individuals who have been arrested or who have a warrant out for their arrest. If you have been abused, assaulted, or otherwise harmed, you may file for a restraining order through the New York Criminal Court.

New York Criminal Law

Other Restraining Order Rules

If somebody violates their restraining order, you should contact the police immediately. It is a crime to violate an order of protection, and this will result in the violator’s arrest.

A New York Order of Protection is enforceable outside of the state of New York thanks to the Violence Against Women Act. Simply contact the police in whichever state you are currently. The same goes if you to have an out-of-state restraining order in New York State.


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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