What is an order of protection?

It is an order issued by a court to limit the behavior of someone who harms or threatens to harm another person. You do not need a police report in order to file for an order of protection.

What does an order do?

The order may direct the offending person not to injure, threaten or harass you or any other person(s) listed in the order. It may include, but not be limited to, directing the named individual to:

  • stay away from you
  • stay away from your children
  • stay away from your home, place of employment, school, etc.
  • not communicate with you by any means, including a third person
  • refrain from abusive or threatening behavior
  • move out of your home
  • grant temporary physical residency of minor children
  • not have a gun

What NY courts can issue an order of protection?


Family Courts

An order can be obtained to address violence within a family or within an intimate relationship, and provide protection. You can file against someone who is abusive in this court if:

  • you are related by blood or marriage;
  • you are or were legally married;
  • you have a child in common; or
  • you are or were in an intimate relationship (not casual, social, or business acquaintances).

Criminal Courts

An order may be a condition of a criminal defendant’s release and/or bail. You can start criminal proceedings and a criminal order by contacting the police.