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Decades Of Litigation Experience

The Family Court and Orders of Protection

| Feb 9, 2021 | Family Law |

By Jennifer L. Garber, Esq.

Many people are confused about the process surrounding a Family Court action seeking an Order of Protection. An Order of protection, if granted, may be issued upon a litigant’s filing of a Family Offense Petition against a person with a familial connection (i.e., a parent, sibling, husband, etc.). A Family Offense Petition is based upon certain acts or conduct by the person against whom the Order of Protection is sought (called the “Respondent”). These enumerated acts, which are based upon the New York State penal code, are as follows:

  • Disorderly conduct
  • Menacing in the second or third degree
  • Harassment in the first or second degree
  • Reckless endangerment
  • Aggravated harassment in the second degree
  • Stalking
  • Assault in the second or third degree
  • Attempted assault
  • Criminal mischief
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Sexual abuse in the second or third degree
  • Forcible touching
  • Strangulation
  • Criminal obstruction of breathing or circulation
  • Identity theft in 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree
  • Grand larceny in 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th degree
  • Coercion in 2nd degree [Penal Law §135.60 (1),(2),or (3)]
  • Unlawful dissemination or publication of intimate image(s) [Penal Law §245.15]

Based upon the nature and severity of the acts or conduct alleged by the person filing the Family Offense Petition (called the “Petitioner”), the Court has discretion to issue a temporary Order of Protection until a hearing/trial on the Family Offense Petition is held. A temporary Order of Protection can be either a “Do Not Harass” or a “Stay Away”. A “Do Not Harass” Order of protection is the less restrictive of the two types, and permits contact between the Petitioner and Respondent with certain conditions to be observed. A “Stay Away” requires the Respondent to do exactly that – stay away from the Petitioner on the consequence of arrest.