October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is a serious issue
that affects millions of individuals across the United States. One of
the tools that a person can use to fight back against domestic violence
is a restraining order.
What is a Restraining Order?
A restraining order is an order of protection that is issued by the court
with the purpose of protecting a person against another when the court
deems them dangerous. If a person violates the order of protection, they
are open to arrest regardless of whether or not they caused actual harm.
New York State allows for those that have a familial or intimate relationship
with a person to be issued a restraining order, even if there is not a
criminal case against that person. This is meant to stop violence from
occurring. Violence is not limited to physical assault, but can also consist
of stalking, emotional and verbal abuse, and more.
Steps to Get a Restraining Order
If a person seeks to get a restraining order against a person due to domestic
violence, they should follow these steps:
- Go to the local courthouse and speak with a clerk to obtain an order of
- Get the free paperwork necessary to file for protection
- Completely fill out the form, including personal information and details
of the abuse
- Speak with a judge about the abuse, and an order will be granted at this point
- Take copies of the restraining order to the police station that has jurisdiction
where the person lives (they will serve the papers to the offender)
- Attend court dates to ensure the restraining order does not expire
Filing for protection against a loved one can be stressful, but in a domestic
violence situation, may also be the best thing that a person can do for
themselves and their family. If unsure what constitutes domestic violence
and if a restraining order can be granted, consult authorities. Law enforcement
can help to distinguish what actions constitute a danger to a person's
health and wellbeing.
For any person that is seeking to obtain a restraining order but does not
know where to start, checking with a trusted family law attorney at the
Meyers Law Firm is the first step. Our firm can guide you through the
process and help ensure the best possible outcome for your order of protection.