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Court Order of Protection

An Order of Protection is a legal document meant to protect an individual from an abuser or someone who has been harassing them. It has also been called a “restraining order”. The order of protection can be obtained from a New York State Family Court, Criminal Court or both. An order of protection, from any court, can limit the abusive person’s contact with the protected individual.
Examples of the limitations set forth in the Order of Protection include, but not limited to the following:

  • To stop harassing, menacing, assaulting, threatening, intimidating, stalking or committing any criminal offense against you
  • To stay away from you and your child(ren), home, school or workplace
  • To not contact you by phone, email, IM or through another person
  • To leave your home if the person lives with you
  • To pay you for any property damaged or lost
  • To comply with other conditions to ensure your safety

Examples of the limitations and allowances if the victim has a child with the abuser include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The abusive person must stay away from the child, except for court-ordered visitation
  • Visits with the child must be supervised
  • Family Court Orders of Protection may grant temporary custody and child support

How to get an Order of Protection

Family Court

Go to Family Court and file a “Family Offense Petition”. A temporary order of protection may be provided that same day, however it is only enforceable after it is served on the abusive person. The police are legally obligated to help you to serve the order, but anyone other than the victim who is 18 or older can serve. It is the victim’s responsibility to have the order protection served. In the event that the case goes to trial, a judge may issue a final order of protection after several court appearances.

Criminal Court

File a complaint at a police precinct, and ask to speak with the Domestic Violence Prevention Officer (DVPO).

Once an Arrest is Made…
  • The Assistant District Attorney (ADA) may bring charges. The ADA represents New York State and is not the victim’s lawyer.
  • A temporary order of protection will be provided once the abusive person is charges with a crime. A judge will grant a final order of protection if the person pleads guilty or is found guilty.
  • The victim/reporter will be asked to sign a statement, or “corroborating affidavit,” describing what happened.
  • The victim may be asked to testify in court


Visit our Resources page for more information and resolutions.

▶ See the CUNY Policy on Sexual Misconduct.

▶ View and Download a PDF version of the CUNY Policy on Sexual Misconduct.

Women's Resource Center

199 Chambers Street, Room S340
New York, NY 10007
Phone: (212) 220-8165

Debbie O. Parker Director
(212) 220-8165

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.