Orders of protection issued by the New York Family Court are not all the same. Some are blanket “stay away” orders, while others are more restrictive. Some have time-specific termination dates following a speedy settlement while some endure for months before a conclusion. Your New York City Family Court attorney or New York order of protection counsel may clarify the prospective time range. The law sets the parameters, no matter how long the length may be.
Typically, the Family Court will issue a protection order following a trial that lasts up to two years. This two-year period does not take into account the time you were under a temporary order of protection. That means that even if you file a petition in Family Court, the judge awards you a temporary restraining order, and you return to court twice or three times over a few months, the two-year period only begins after there has been a final conclusion. The two years do not include the months you had a temporary order of protection.
An order of protection issued by a New York Family Court may be valid for up to five years in certain situations. Your attorney needs to prove specific aggravating factors in order to obtain such an injunction. They consist of:
- Did the petitioner/complainant suffer a physical injury or serious physical injury as defined in the New York Penal Law?
- Did the respondent/defendant use a dangerous instrument whether or not the instrument is a per se weapon?
- Are there prior restraining orders and have they been violated by the respondent/defendant?
- Has the responder or defendant undertaken additional conduct that, even in the absence of prior violations, would lead a court to believe that the complainant or those who live with him or her or are family members are in immediate danger? Previous Domestic Incident Reports (DIRs), though not required, would be useful in this research.
In the end, if an agreement is reached between the parties, an order of protection may be issued for any period of time, be it eight months, eighteen months, or much more. The Integrated Domestic Violence Court can also hear requests for restraining orders and orders of protection because the Family Court and Criminal Court can have concurrent cases involving both parties (IDV Court). Your order of protection might be affected by this as well.
Handling situations like this should not be done alone because there are several moving parts and logistics involved in both a petition for an order of protection and a defense against one. Get ready. Because you are not familiar with the law, do not commit mistakes. To effectively secure your future, take the necessary precautions and look after yourself.