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New York Protective Orders Laws

Protective orders (also called "restraining orders") are official court documents that require an individual to stay away from, and/or cease communication with, the person that requested the order.

New York, as in most states, has protective order laws that can get triggered in domestic violence cases. These court orders often state, for instance, that an abusive spouse may not come within a certain distance of the protected person for a period of time. Protective orders can also require the abuser to:

  • Stop all contact and communication with the victim;
  • Move out of a home shared with the victim;
  • Stay away from the victim’s home, school, or place of employment;
  • Submit to counseling; and
  • Reimburse the victim’s reasonable expenses (such as attorney’s fees).

In New York, protective orders are not restricted to cases of domestic violence within a family. They can also come into play with issues of stalking. Some famous stalking cases involving celebrities in New York City have resulted in protective orders.

The basic provisions of New York protective order laws are listed in the table below. See Domestic Violence: Orders of Protection and Restraining Orders for more information.

Code Section

Jud. Ct. Acts §§655, 656

Activity Addressed by Order

Enjoin contact; exclude from dwelling, school, employment; regarding minors: visitation; counseling; reimburse reasonable expenses

Duration of Order

Temporary order: 4 calendar days

Penalty for a Violation of Order

Contempt

Who May Apply for Order

Any person

Can Fees Be Waived?

-

Order Transmission to Law Enforcement

Copy to sheriff's office or police department in county or city in which petitioner resides

Civil Liability for Violation of Order

Yes, contempt of court

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a New York attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

More Information

If you would like to do additional research on New York’s laws relating to protective orders, you can find links to helpful resources listed below. You can also learn more about domestic violence and restraining orders, in general, by browsing FindLaw’s section on domestic violence. Finally, depending on the circumstances of your case, you may want to consider retaining a family law or criminal defense lawyer.

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