Potential Duration and Length of NY Family Court Orders of Protection

Not all New York Family Court orders of protection are the same. Some are limited and some are complete “stay away” orders. Some last for months before there is a resolution while others have time specific end dates after a quick resolution. Whatever the duration is, the law provides the parameters and your New York City Family Court lawyer or New York order of protection attorney can explain the potential time frame.

Generally, the Family Court will grant an order of protection after trial for up to two years. This two year duration does not include the length of time that you had a temporary order of protection. What that means is if you file a petition in Family Court, the judge issues you a temporary restraining order and you go back to court two or three times over the course of a few months, the two years starts only after there is a final resolution. The months where you had a temporary order of protection do not count towards this two years.

In some circumstances, an order of protection from a New York Family Court can last as long as five years. To get such and order, your lawyer needs to establish certain aggravating circumstances. These include:

  • Did the petitioner / complainant suffer a physical injury or serious physical injury as defined in the New York Penal Law
  • Did the respondent / defendant use a dangerous instrument whether or not the instrument is a per se weapon
  • Are there prior restraining orders and have they been violated by the respondent / defendant
  • Even where there are no prior violations, has the respondent / defendant committed other acts allowing the court to conclude there is both an immediate and continuing danger to the petitioner / complainant or people who reside with him or her or are family members. Although not necessary, Prior Domestic Incident reports (DIRs) would be helpful in this analysis.

Ultimately, if an agreement between the parties is made, an order of protection can last anywhere along this time frame whether it is for eight months, eighteen months or much more. Further, because the Family Court and Criminal Court can have parallel cases involving both parties, petitions for restraining orders and order of protection can be litigated in the Integrated Domestic Violence Court (IDV Court). This can potentially have an impact on your order of protection as well.

Because there are many moving pieces and logistics in a petition for an order of protection and in defense against the same, handling cases such as these should not be done alone. Be prepared. Do not make mistakes because you are unfamiliar with the law. Protect yourself and take the proper steps to best protect your future. Let experience and advocacy be your guide.

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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