NY Family Court Order of Protection: Who Can Get One

After you understand the crimes or family offenses that can give rise to a violation of the Family Court Act as set forth in section 812, you must still have a certain relationship with the party you are asking the court to grant you protection from. Merely because someone assaulted you, slapped you, menaced you with a knife or repeatedly harassed you on your phone or email does not give you the grounds for an order of protection or restraining order in a New York City Family Court (or anywhere in the State of New York for that matter). In fact, if you want a Family Court judge presiding to grant your petition in Manhattan, Brooklyn or elsewhere, you or your attorney need to draft the legal document so that it establishes you (the petitioner) and the other party (the respondent) as “family.”

Petitioner and Respondent Relationship

Your brother is threatening you? A former fiancé keeps texting you? The mother of your child slashed the tires of your car? A roommate punched you in the jaw? Only one of these people do not fall under the domestic violence umbrella for the purpose of the Family Court Act and restraining orders. Barring your roommate also being your intimate partner or family member, should you want an order of protection against him or her you would need to file a complaint with the police.

So who can you seek an order of protection against in Family Court? The list is short, but in application it is quite long:

  • Anyone related to you through marriage
  • Anyone related to you through blood
  • Anyone with whom you have a child
  • Anyone you had an “intimate relationship” with regardless if you have since terminated that relationship. Although this area is not as clear and something you can discuss with your lawyer, it is important to understand that the relationship must be more than casual, but need not reach the level of sexual intimacy. Your lawyer can review your relationship with the other party and properly describe it on your petition for the judge.

In the event that the other party is not part of your family as defined by the Family Court Act, then any crime or offense that he or she committed should be reported to the police and ultimately prosecuted by a District Attorney’s Office. Keep in mind that these courts are not mutually exclusive and a case can be “prosecuted” in both. In these situations, the Integrated Domestic Violence Court has jurisdiction over both matters.

Don’t leave yourself vulnerable. Take the steps to properly file for an order of protection in a New York Family Court. Speak to and retain an attorney who can help make the process efficient and avoid any missteps. Similarly, if you are on the receiving end of a Family Court Order of protection protect your career and livelihood to limit or prevent long term or significant damage to your career or future.

Call the New York order of protection lawyers and former New York City prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online to aid you in securing a restraining order or to defend you against a wrongful granting of an order of protection.

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