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Legal Information: New York

Restraining Orders

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April 12, 2019

What protections can I get in an order of protection?

An order of protection can:

  • order the abuser to stop abusing you and your children;
  • tell the abuser to leave and stay away from you, your home, your workplace, and your family; (Note: the abuser can be removed from the home or ordered to stay away from the home that you were both living even if his/her name is on the lease or deed);
  • direct the abuser to have no contact with you including no phone calls, letters, or messages through other people (called “third party contact”);
  • order the abuser to pay your attorney’s fees that you paid to get (or later enforce) the order;
  • order the abuser to give up his/her guns (including rifles and shotguns) and gun license (as part of a temporary order or as part of a final order);
  • 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;
  • order the abuser to pay for expenses related to the abuse such as medical care and property damage;
  • 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 participate in a batterer’s educational program and to pay for it if s/he has the means to do so;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

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)