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An Order of Protection is a court order designed to prevent someone from engaging in threatening acts of violent behavior against another. Harassment, contact, communication or close physical proximity are also prohibited by the order, also known as a PO. In addition to being issued by the court, that same court is the only entity that can modify or terminate the order. If not that court, then another court of competent jurisdiction can make the changes.
Understanding the Purpose of the Order of Protection
Simply wanting a protection order against a former spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend with whom you had an intimate relationship, or a family member is not enough for the court to grant it. An offense that violates the Family Court Act must have occurred where you were harassed or threatened in a way that violates the act. Your choice is to either get a full or limited order of protection.
Similar to a formal complaint filed with at a police department, you must draft and submit a petition to a family court. The difference is you must personally go before the judge after filing the PO. Discussing the basis for the order of protection with an attorney is recommended.
He or she can help you draft a petition that clearly and concisely outlines your situation. This will help to maximize the chances that a judge will grant your petition and issue the order of protection. Failing to include all prior acts of abuse may preclude you from asserting the claims later.
Common Types of Orders of Protection
Some Orders of Protection are:
• Family Offense
• PO issued as temporary or final divorce orders
Family Offense Orders of Protection
Family Offense Orders of Protection are considered criminal in nature. These orders remain in effect for the entire time set forth in the order. An extension can be granted beyond the end date when:
• The protected person files and receives an extension by the original issuing court or one of competent jurisdiction
• The extension was automatic the reopening of a court case between the same individuals.
• Another order was entered in a separate court case between the same individuals
In each of these instances, the extension will receive a new expiration date.
When an order does not remain in effect throughout the stated period of time, it is due to the court dismissing the PO. Another reason is when the case extended the PO by law, or another final or temporary PO was entered without extending the original order of protection.
Issuing an Order of Protection
The issuing of a family court order of protection is part of a civil proceeding. The purpose is to stop the violence that is occurring within a family or intimate relationship. Family court proceedings are confidential and meant to provide protected for the individuals affected by the violence.
With a criminal court order of protection, this is typically issued as a condition of bail. This type of order can only be issued against the person who is charged with committing a crime.
The Supreme Court PO is issued as part of an ongoing divorce proceeding. If this is your situation, you can make a written request by motion or order to show cause. You can also make an oral request during a court appearance. The judge will decide whether the order should be issued. In addition, the judge will determine the terms and conditions.
What to Do if an Order of Protection is Violated
Violating a temporary or final order of protection is a criminal act. If the person you filed the order against violates the conditions, you can call the police. Most likely, the police will arrest the person for the violation.
Keep in mind that the person does not have to hit you for a violation to occur. Coming near your home when the order states that he or she cannot is enough cause for you to call the police. It is also your right to file a violation of the order.
Begin this process as soon as possible. Protect yourself and do not wait until you are in court to defend your position. Hiring an experienced attorney who understands NYC protection orders can potentially expedite your desired resolution.