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Order of Protection

An Order of Protection (sometimes referred to as a “restraining order”) can be a necessary measure when you are a victim of domestic violence. Orders of protection can be dependent upon one’s relationship to the assailant, and are specially constructed to address your specific situation. Domestic violence can include many different aggressive and manipulative behaviors, including assault, threats, intimidation, crimes against children, illegal restraint, or custodial interference of a child. 

Situations and relationships wherein an order of protection may be appropriate include the following: 


  • The victim and defendant are married, formerly married, or have cohabitated. 
  • The victim and the defendant have a child in common, or are expecting a child.
  • The victim is related to the defendant or the defendant’s spouse by blood or court order as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister, or by marriage as a parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, stepparent, step-grandparent, stepchild, step-grandchild, brother-in-law or sister-in-law.
  • The victim is a child who resides or has resided in the same household as the defendant and is related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or to a person who resides or who has resided in the same household as the defendant.
  • The relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship.

If you are found to be eligible and in need of an Order of Protection, there are two options available. An Emergency Order of Protection helps to protect someone in immediate danger. However, it is only valid for two days, and so it’s advised to seek a more permanent solution concurrently. A Permanent Order of Protection requires a formal hearing in which both parties are given the opportunity to present their case. 

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