Manhattan Order of Protection
As part of the process of divorce, family court case, or as part of a criminal case, the courts in New York can issue orders of protection. Your Manhattan Family Lawyer, and/or Manhattan Divorce Lawyer will tell you that an Order of Protection is a court order that is issued to help prevent continued harassment, abuse, stalking, assault or violence from occurring (or if you’re a defendant a Manhattan Criminal Lawyer). Your Family Attorney will also explain to you that if an Order of Protection is part of your Family Law or Criminal Law case—whether you’re in Manhattan or Queens, and whether you seek one for your own protection or have been subjected to one—you need a Manhattan Order of Protection Lawyer to aid you in negotiating this emotional and occasionally confusing situation. A Family Lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC will provide you free advice, whether your case is in New York City or on Long Island. As a start, an experienced Manhattan Order of Protection Lawyer on our team has outlined the basics for you below.
Key Terms and Concepts
- In Family Court, in the Nassau County and Brooklyn just as in Manhattan, an individual who seeks the Order of Protection is known as the petitioner. The respondent is the individual against whom an Order of Protection is sought.
- A stay away order of protection prohibits the respondent from any contact with the petitioner, including phone calls, in person meetings, email, third party communication and letters.
- A limited order of protection or
- a do not harass order of protection does not prohibit contact or communication from the respondent to the petitioner. However, it requires the respondent not to yell at, intimidate, threaten or harass the petitioner.
- An exclusion order is a stay away order granted to parties who are residing in the same home (the order will exclude the respondent from that household). When deciding to grant an exclusion order, the Court often finds it irrelevant which party owns the home or which name is on the lease, as well as who pays rent or the mortgage. It also doesn’t matter if you live in a Nassau County split level house or a Manhattan penthouse.
- The final Order of Protection will be granted after a hearing or—if both parties consent to it—without a hearing. A temporary Order of Protection may be issued in an effort to protect a petitioner until the Court issues the final Order of Protection, or until the case gets dismissed or withdrawn. The temporary order can be issued on the day when you file for your order of protection, even before the respondent in the case is served with papers. A final order of protection typically stands for at least one year and can extend to two or more years; when the Court finds that there are “aggravating circumstances” (such as the involvement of a weapon), an Order of Protection may be issued that’s good for as many as 5 years.
- Violation of an order of protection, either a final order or a temporary one, whether in Manhattan or Westchester County, can be punished by jail time either by order of the Family Court Judge or if Criminal Charges are brought and the defendant is found guilty of criminal contempt .
Family Court Order or Criminal Court Order ?
A victim of domestic violence has the option of whether to proceed in Family Court or whether to have the District Attorney prosecute in criminal court. Or if the victim prefers, they can have cases in both Courts at the same time. You can file for your Order of Protection in Manhattan Family Court if you and the respondent are related (either by marriage or by blood), are currently married or formerly were, have a child together, were together in an intimate relationship. (Neither casual acquaintances nor ordinary socializing will constitute an intimate relationship.) An Order of Protection against anyone else can only be obtained through Criminal Court. If you are facing criminal charges contact a Manhattan Criminal Lawyer
Your Manhattan Family Lawyer will also advise you that some cases that involve an allegation of domestic violence are sometimes referred to special courts—courts in which one judge will hear all cases that involve one family. These special courts have been set up in each New York City County—from Richmond County (Staten Island) to Kings County (Brooklyn)—and they are known as “Integrated Domestic Violence (or IDV) parts (further info, Manhattan Domestic Violence Lawyer)
At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC, we’re aware that an Order of Protection can be key to protecting a victim. We also have experience with handling a situation in which you are the respondent and have been served with an Order of Protection. Each Manhattan Order of Protection Lawyer on our team is familiar with the many factors that may be involved in these orders, from payment of the other party’s legal fees to gaining access to belongings without violating the order. We have valuable experience with these as well as other Family Law matters, from Divorce to Child Custody, throughout the New York area, including Suffolk County and Nassau County on Long Island. Call our offices today at 800.696.9529. We can meet with you in a free initial consultation in any of our convenient NYC-area offices.