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Legal Information: New York

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
November 9, 2020

What protections can I get in an order of protection?

As part of a temporary ex parte order or a final order, the judge can do any of the following:

  • order the abuser to stop abusing you and your children;
  • tell the abuser to leave the home and stay away from you, your home, your workplace, and your family even if his/her name is on the lease or deed;
  • order the abuser to not come near your children, their school, daycare, etc.;
  • direct the abuser to have no direct contact with you, including phone calls, texts, letters, or messages;
  • direct the abuser to have to contact with you through other people, which is known as “third party contact;”
  • order the abuser to give up his/her guns and gun license;
  • order the abuser to not intentionally injure or kill, without justification, any pet that belongs to you or a minor child residing in the household;
  • give you temporary custody and arrange for visitation for the duration of the order of protection;
  • make an order for temporary child support in an amount that is “sufficient to meet the needs of the child” even if the details about the income and assets of the abuser are unavailable. You do not have to show an immediate or emergency need for the support; Note: If the abuser has employer-provided insurance, the judge can make an order that directs the employer to provide such insurance to your child;
  • order the abuser to not do anything that creates an unreasonable risk to the health, safety, or welfare of your child;
  • authorize the person leaving the home, whether it is you or the abuser, to retrieve his/her undisputed personal belongings from the home with a police escort;
  • order the abuser to refrain from remotely controlling any connected devices affecting the home, vehicle or property of the person protected by the order;
  • require that the parties return within seven business days with information about their income and assets and based on that information, the judge can award temporary spousal support if necessary;1
  • order the abuser to promptly return your and/or your minor child’s “identification documents,” including passports, birth certificates, immigration documents, bank cards, etc.;2 and
  • do anything else that is necessary for your protection.1

According to the law, a judge can also order the following in a temporary or final order, but this relief is usually only granted in a final order of protection:

  • order the abuser to pay your attorney’s fees that you paid to get, or enforce, the order;
  • order the abuser to pay for expenses related to the abuse, such as medical care and property damage; and
  • order the abuser to participate in a batterer’s educational program and to pay for it if s/he has the means to do so.1

Whether or not a judge orders any or all of these things depends on the facts of your case.

1 NY Fam Ct Act §§ 842; 842-a
2 NY Fam Ct Act § 842(j); NY Dom Rel §§ 240(3)(a)(8), 252(1)(h)