Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

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What is an Order of Protection?

It is a legal document in which a Judge orders someone to follow specific conditions of behavior--that is, tells someone things that they must or must not do.

Police can make immediate arrests if they have good reason to believe those conditions have been violated. The point of a Temporary Order of Protection is to maintain peace and provide protection until all the facts have been gathered and the case is heard in Court. After the Judge hears the case and decides that the defendant/respondent has committed an offense or endangered the person protected by the Order, a final order is issued.

In New York, every Order has a specific expiration date. Under certain circumstances, Orders may be extended or renewed.

If you are the defendant/respondent:
If you are the victim/petitioner:

This paper gives you basic information about Orders of Protection. It is not intended as legal advice. To find out more, call the Court or consult with a lawyer. Or, contact the New York State Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-942-6906, English & español/Multi-language Accessibility. Deaf or Hard of Hearing: 711 or the New York City Domestic Violence Hotline (English: 1-800-621-HOPE; En español: 1-800-621-4673).

Adapted with permission of the Clinton County Domestic Violence Task Force, NYSOPDV 8/98