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New Hampshire Protective Orders Laws

Note: If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or your local police department, or the New Hampshire Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-866-644-3574.

Restraining orders, or orders of protection, are ordered by courts upon the request of an individual who feels legitimately threatened by the actions of another person. Protective orders are often used to protect the victims of domestic violence or stalking. The person named in the protective order is required to avoid contact and stay a certain distance away from the person seeking the order for a specified amount of time, sometimes lasting up to a year or more. "Contact" includes telephone calls, email, or any other forms of unsolicited communication. While restraining orders also may be used to protect celebrities from overly-obsessive fans, these instances are much less common.

New Hampshire Protective Order Laws at a Glance

The maximum duration of a protective order in New Hampshire is one year, but it may be extended in some circumstances. Violation of a restraining order is charged as Class A misdemeanor, while subsequent violations typically are treated as felonies.

Additional provisions of New Hampshire's protective orders statute are listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Domestic Violence section for additional articles and resources.

Code Section 173B, et seq.
Activity Addressed by Order Enjoin contact; exclude from dwelling, school, employment; regarding minors: temporary custody, visitations, support; counseling; court costs and attorney fees, relinquishment of weapons and firearms
Duration of Order Maximum: 1 year, may be extended
Penalty for a Violation of Order Willful violation: contempt of court; knowingly violation: Class A misdemeanor; subsequent violations will result in enhanced penalties
Who May Apply for Order Any person; a minor petitioner need not be accompanied by a parent or guardian
Can Fees Be Waived? Yes
Order Transmission to Law Enforcement Copy to department of safety and local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction to enforce the order
Civil Liability for Violation of Order Yes, contempt of court

Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time, usually through the enactment of newly signed legislation but sometimes through higher court decisions and other means. You may want to contact a New Hampshire domestic violence attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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