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Legal Information: New Hampshire

Restraining Orders

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August 10, 2023

I have an emergency protective order.  Can it be enforced in another state?

No.  Because your abuser doesn’t have the opportunity to respond to an emergency order you get when the court is closed, New Hampshire emergency protective orders are not good under federal law.  While an emergency order can be enforced anywhere inside New Hampshire, other states would not be required to enforce it.1

Emergency protective orders are only good for one business day. Once you get an emergency protective order, you can go to court the next day that it’s open to ask for a temporary protective order.  Other states are required to enforce valid temporary protective orders from New Hampshire.

 1 Chapter 15 of the New Hampshire Judiciary Domestic Violence Protocol. www.nh.gov/judiciary/district/protocols/dv/c15.pdf

I have a temporary ex parte order.  Can it be enforced in another state?

Yes.  An ex parte temporary order can be enforced in other states as long as it meets the requirements listed in How do I know if my protective order is good under federal law?1

Note: The state where you are going generally cannot extend your ex parte temporary order or issue you a permanent order when the temporary one expires. If you need to extend your temporary order, you will have to contact the state that issued the order and arrange to be at the hearing in person or by telephone (if that is an option offered by the court). However, you may be able to reapply for one in the new state that you are moving to if you meet the requirements for getting a protective order in that state – but, if you apply for one in a new state, the abuser would know what state you are living in, which may put you in danger.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2265(b)(2)


I have a final protective order from New Hampshire. Can I get it enforced in another state?

Yes.  If you have a valid New Hampshire protective order or stalking protective order that meets federal standards, it can be enforced in another state.  The Violence Against Women Act, which is a federal law, states that all valid protective orders granted in the United States receive “full faith and credit” in all state and tribal courts within the US, including US territories.  See How do I know if my protective order is good under federal law? to find out if your protective order qualifies.

Each state must enforce protective orders from other states in the same way it enforces its own orders.  Meaning, if your abuser violates your New Hampshire protective order in another state, your abuser will be punished according to the laws of that state.  This is what is meant by “full faith and credit.”

How do I know if my protective order is good under federal law?

Most New Hampshire protective orders are written so that they are valid under federal law.  A New Hampshire protective order, stalking protective order, or no contact order is good anywhere in the United States 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 is good under federal law, you can 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 a lawyer in your area please visit the NH Finding a Lawyer 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)