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Legal Information: New Hampshire

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of
August 10, 2023

Can I get my protective order enforced in New Hampshire? What are the requirements?

Yes.  Your protective order can be enforced in New Hampshire as long as:

  • It was issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, harassing behavior, sexual violence, or it was issued to prevent another person from coming near you or contacting you.1
  • The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case. (In other words, the court had the authority to hear the case.)
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
    • In the case of ex parte temporary and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled before the temporary order expires.2

If you have any questions about whether or not your protective order can be enforced in NH, bring your order to a lawyer or domestic violence program in your area.  They can take a look at your order and help you figure it out.  To find an advocate or organization in your area please visit the NH Places that Help page.

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
2 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b)

Can I have my out-of-state protective order changed, extended, or canceled in NH?

No.  Only the state that originally gave you your protective order can change, extend, or cancel the order.  You cannot have this done by a court in New Hampshire.   

To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will have to ask the court where the order was issued.  You may be able to request that you attend the court hearing by telephone rather than in person, so that you do not need to return to the state where the abuser is living.  To find out more information about how to change, extend, or cancel a protective order, see the Restraining Orders page on this website for the state where your order was issued. (Select the tab on the top fo this page that says State Laws and scroll to Restraining Orders.  Then chose the state where your order was initially issued from the drop down menu on that page).

If your order does expire while you are living in New Hampshire, you may be able to get a new one issued in New Hampshire but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred since you got your original protective order and/or if no abuse has occurred in New Hampshire.  To find out more information on how to get a protective order in New Hampshire, visit our NH Protective Orders page. 

I was granted temporary custody with my out-of-state protective order.  Will I still have temporary custody of my children in NH?

Yes. As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,1 New Hampshire can enforce a temporary custody order that is a part of a protection order.

To have someone read over your order and tell you if it meets these standards, contact a lawyer in your area. To find a lawyer in your area click here NH Finding a Lawyer.

1 The federal laws are the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980.