New York Order of Protection
During your divorce, family court proceeding as well as during a criminal case in New York, the courts have authority to issue an order of protection. Any New York Family Lawyer, New York Criminal Lawyer or any New York Divorce Lawyer is going to explain to you that Orders of Protection are court orders issued in an effort to stop abuse, harassment, stalking, or other types of violence. Your New York Family Attorney can also explain that when your Family Law or Criminal Law case involves an Order of Protection—regardless if it’s in New York City or anywhere else in New York State including Westchester County, and regardless whether you’re seeking the order for your protection or are the subject of one—you’ll need the help of a New York Order of Protection Lawyer in navigating this often very emotional and complex time. A New York Family Lawyer in the offices at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has free advice for you, whether your Family Law case happens in Suffolk County or within New York City.
First, you should start by being familiar with some basics concepts and terms, which have been listed below by a skilled New York Order of Protection Lawyer in our Brooklyn office:
- If you are the person who is seeking to get an Order of Protection in Family Courts in any part of New York City area such as Long Island or Queens, you are the petitioner.
- You are the respondent if you’re the person against whom the Order of Protection is being sought.
- The type of order of protection which will prohibit a respondent from any type of contact at all with a petitioner—from a phone call to a letter, an email, or any third-party communication—is known as a stay away order or full order of protection.
- A limited or do not harass order of protection or won’t prohibit having contact or any communication between a respondent and a petitioner. It does, however, require the respondent not to yell at, to intimidate, to threaten, or to harass the petitioner.
- A stay away order that is granted to any parties residing within the same house (or apartment) is an exclusion order (because it is going to exclude a respondent from this home). The Family Court generally does not consider it relevant which of the parties owns this home, which of their names is on a lease, who has been paying the rent or mortgage. Also irrelevant is whether you live in a New York townhouse or a Staten Island rental.
- Your final Order of Protection gets granted after the hearing. With the consent of both parties, it may also be granted without a hearing. The court may grant a temporary Order of Protection to protect the petitioner until a final order has been granted. This temporary order of protection may be granted the day an order of protection is filed—even if it is before a respondent has been served. The final order typically will be valid for at least 1 year. It can also be extended to 2 years or longer. Further, a Court finding that “aggravating circumstances” exist—possibly that a weapon was involved, for example—the Order of Protection might be good for up to five years.
- When a temporary or final order of protection is violated, in New York or in Nassau County just like elsewhere, the punishment can include jail time, by order of a Family Court Judge or if any Criminal Charges have been brought and a defendant is found guilty of criminal contempt .
Filing in Family Court vs. Prosecuting in Criminal Court
New York Domestic violence victims were are not forced to choose between proceeding in New York Family Court or prosecuting in the criminal court system. A victim can proceed simultaneously in both Criminal Court and in Family Court. Your Order of Protection may be filed in New York Family Court when you and the case’s respondent are related (by marriage as well as by blood), if you are married currently or were formerly married, when you have had any children together, and when you are or were in a relationship considered to be an intimate one. (Neither a casual acquaintance nor ordinary social contact counts as intimate relationship.) Orders of Protection brought against anyone not related (anyone else) are only able to be obtained in Criminal Court. If you face criminal charges, you should contact a New York Criminal Lawyer right away.
Your New York Family Lawyer will explain that certain cases which involve allegations of domestic violence will sometimes be sent to a special court—a court in which a single judge hears all of the cases involving the one family. Such courts exist in each New York County—including Bronx County. These courts are called IDV parts (for “Integrated Domestic Violence”). For more information click on New York Domestic Violence Lawyer
In Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC offices, we realize that securing an Order of Protection helps protect victims. Further, we are experienced in handling situations where you’re the respondent to an Order of Protection. Any New York Order of Protection Lawyer in our office recognizes that there may be many aspects to your Order of Protection case, to retrieving your belongings from a house you’ve been excluded from to paying the other party’s attorney’s fees. Call 800.696.9529 to meet us for free initial advice at any of our offices in the New York City area. We will share with you our knowledge of all types of Family Law cases, from Abuse & Neglect to Divorce.