If you feel you need an order of protection, you can file for one in Family Court if the person you are seeking protection from is a current or former spouse, someone who you have a child with, a family member related by marriage or blood, or someone who you have or had an intimate relationship with. To obtain an order of protection from Family Court, you need to file a form called a Family Offense Petition. Contact an attorney for help completing and filing this petition.
You can also obtain an order of protection from criminal court, but only if the order will be issued against someone who has been charged with a crime. In a criminal case, the district attorney would request the order of protection for the victim or complaining witness, and the judge would then decide whether or not to issue the order.
If you are seeking an order of protection as a part of an ongoing divorce proceeding, you can obtain the order from Supreme Court. An experienced attorney from our firm can make a written or oral request for you to obtain this order of protection.
In Kings County Family Court, temporary orders of protection are issued the day you file for an order of protection before the respondent, or person the order is against, is served with the papers. After the clerk drafts the Family Offense Petition, a Judge will determine whether or not there is cause to issue you the order based on the petition and your answers to questions he or she may ask you. The Judge will then order a summons to serve on, or hand-deliver to, the respondent and a date to return to court. Even if the Judge does not issue you the order, you might still get an order of protection later.
After speaking to the Judge, if a temporary order has been issued, you will receive copies of the order, a summons, and a copy of the petition for the respondent. The respondent must receive notice of the order of protection in order for you to get a final protection order. These papers can be served on the respondent by anyone, other than the petitioner, over 18-years-old. This may be a friend, a police officer, or a process server, who you can hire to serve the papers for you. You do not need to know where the respondent lives, as long as you are able to have someone else deliver the papers to him or her.
If you decide you no longer want the order of protection, you can ask the court to withdraw your petition “without prejudice,” which will enable you to re-file for an order of protection at a later date if you choose to do so.
If you are afraid to see the respondent in court, you should notify a court officer in the room where you case is being heard and he or she will arrange for you to stay somewhere away from the respondent until your case is called. The officer can escort you from room to room. You also have the option of bringing a friend, relative, or advocate to court with you who can remain with you in the courtroom.
If you need an attorney for assistance with a domestic violence case, contact an attorney from Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. for help.
If you are in an urgent domestic violence situation and need immediate assistance, call the 24-Hour Emergency Hotline at Safe Horizon: 1-800-621-HOPE.