Family Offenses / Orders of Protection (Restraining Orders)

An order of protection, sometimes referred to as an OP, is a court order from a judge that restricts the relationship and contact between two or more people. It is commonly known as a restraining order. It can be used to prevent domestic violence.

How to obtain an order of protection in Family Court

To obtain an order of protection in family court, the petitioner must allege that the respondent has committed a Family Offense.

What is a Family Offense?

Family Offenses are defined in § 812 of New York’s Family Court Act.

  • disorderly conduct
  • harassment in the first or second degree
  • aggravated harassment in the second degree
  • sexual misconduct
  • forcible touching
  • sexual abuse in the second or third degree
  • stalking in the first, second, third or fourth degree
  • criminal mischief
  • menacing in the second or third degree
  • reckless endangerment
  • criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation
  • strangulation in the first or second degree
  • assault in the second or third degree or an attempted assault
  • criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation or strangulation

Who is eligible to petition for an order of protection in Family Court?

The petitioner and respondent must:

  • A married couple
  • A divorced couple
  • Have a child in common
  • Be parent and child
  • Be related by blood or marriage
  • Currently in or previously in an “intimate relationship

Varieties of orders of protection

  • A “stay away” order of protection. This requires the Respondent to stay away from the Petitioner’s home, place of business and any other location or restriction the court may include. This can exclude the Respondent from the marital residence.
  • A “refrain from” order of protection. This prohibits the Respondent from abusing, harassing or threatening the Petitioner.