WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. See our FAQ on Courts and COVID-19.

Legal Information: New Hampshire

Restraining Orders

View all
February 10, 2020

What can I do if the abuser violates the order?

Call the police, even if you think it is a minor violation. It is a crime and contempt of court if the abuser knowingly violates the order in any way. Contempt of court is when someone breaks a court order. A judge can punish someone for being in contempt of court.

If the police have good cause to believe that you have been assaulted within the past 12 hours by the abuser, they may immediately arrest the abuser.

If the abuser violates a protective order by committing criminal trespass, stalking or another criminal act, the police must arrest and prosecute him. In addition, you may take the abuser back to court on a charge of contempt.

It is a good idea to write down the name of the responding officer(s) and their badge number in case you want to follow up on your case.

If the police do not arrest your abuser, you may file a criminal complaint yourself or a petition for contempt. You can call your local police department or district court to obtain a complaint or petition for contempt form.

Because most people are released from custody soon after their arrest, do not expect the abuser to be confined to jail until the trial. You may request as a bail condition that the abuser stay away from you. 1

1 173-B:9 Violation of Protective Order; Penalty