For victims of domestic violence, harassment or abuse, the prospect of obtaining an order of protection may provide a crucial lifeline. An order of protection, a legal document issued by a judge, acts as a shield against individuals engaging in abusive, threatening or harassing behavior. Beyond restraint, it can encompass relief in various forms, such as Long Island custody arrangements, child support or exclusive residence rights.
Types of orders of protection
In Long Island, individuals can seek orders of protection from three distinct courts: Family Court, Criminal Court and Supreme Court. Each court operates with its unique procedures and requisites:
Family Court Order of Protection
The Family Court Order of Protection pertains to violence within familial or intimate relationships. This order stems from a civil proceeding initiated by filing a Family Offense Petition. It addresses situations involving current or former spouses, individuals with a child in common, blood or marriage relations or those in an intimate relationship.
Family Courts can issue temporary or final orders lasting up to 5 years. They can encompass directives for the abuser to stay away, mandate abusers vacate the shared residence, mandate they adhere to custody arrangements, provide financial support to victims, make abusers attend counseling and force abusers to relinquish firearms.
Criminal Court Order of Protection
The Criminal Court Order of Protection emanates from criminal cases. This order does not require a separate filing and is typically requested by the prosecutor on behalf of the victim.
This type is applicable to any crime committed against the victim that lacks the relationship constraints present in Family Court Orders. Terms may include staying away from the victim, vacating the residence, following custody arrangements, paying restitution, attending counseling and surrendering firearms. A Criminal Court order of protection extends until the conclusion of the criminal case or, in some instances, the duration of probation or imprisonment.
Supreme Court Order of Protection
The Supreme Court Order of Protection is embedded within divorce or criminal proceedings. A Supreme Court Order can be obtained by filing a motion or order to show cause. It encompasses directives similar to those in Family and Criminal Court orders and remains effective until the culmination of the legal proceedings.