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Domestic Violence FAQs

Q: What is an Order of Protection?

A: An Order of Protection is a temporary restraining order. A party that has a familial relationship with another party who feels threatened or has been the subject of physical violence can make an application to the Family Court, for an order of protection. In addition, if the parties are getting divorced an application can be made to the Supreme Court judge handling the divorce for an order of protection if one spouse feels threatened or is the subject of domestic violence from the other spouse.

There are basically two types of orders of protection. The first one is a stay away order. This orders the person who had the order of protection taken out against them to stay away and have no contact with the person who received the order of protection.

The second type of order of protection is a do not harass order of protection. This type of order of protection allows the individual who has the order of protection against him or her to return to the residence where the other party lives. However, the party who has the order of protection against them can take no action to harass or threaten the other party. A party who has an order of protection protecting them can call the police at any time and have the other individual arrested for violation of the order of protection.

Orders of protection can be issued ex parte. This means they can be issued without the person the order of protection is taken out against being in court to assert their rights, tell their side of the story and defend themselves. The person who is thrown out of their residence can bring an application within a short period of time to have a hearing to determine the validity of the order of protection. Unfortunately, in the State of New York, orders of protection in the Family Court tend to linger longer than they should. Should you be the subject of an order of protection it is important that you obtain a qualified, proactive, aggressive lawyer immediately to protect your rights.

Q: What action should you take if you are accused of domestic violence?

A: If you are accused of domestic violence and you seek to contest the allegations against you, you should immediately hire a dedicated, experienced father’s rights lawyer to represent you. Domestic violence complaints can either be adjudicated in the Family Courts or in the Criminal Courts. There are very severe sanctions that can be taken against an individual accused of domestic violence. Among those sanctions are jail time, being removed from the marital residence, and prevented from having any contact with the other party and/or the children. Individuals accused of domestic violence can be forced to attend anger management programs and also pay fines. Individuals charged with domestic violence can have their visitation rights with their children eliminated and may be forced to make applications to the Family Court for supervised visitation.

Although an allegation of domestic violence doesn’t mean an individual is guilty of domestic violence, unfortunately in this area of the law a person is considered guilty until proven innocent. A hearing or trial can be demanded with regard to the issue of domestic violence wherein witnesses will be called and evidence presented with regard to this issue.

If an order of protection has been issued by a Court against you, you must comply with the order of protection until such time as it is modified and/or set aside. This is true even if the allegations in the order of protection are false!

Q: What do you do if you are the victim of domestic violence?

A: If you believe you are the victim of domestic violence, you have two routes you can take. The first route is to contact the police and report the domestic violence abuse and/or harassment to the police. In this situation you can demand the individual committing these violent acts be arrested. When this case goes to court, the judge in the Criminal Court will usually grant an order of protection to the individual who is the victim of domestic violence. The second route you can take with regard to issues of domestic violence is to bring an application to the Family Court against someone you have a personal relationship with related to his or her improper behavior. The Family Court can issue an order of protection to protect you from this individual and remove him or her from your residence.

Domestic violence can involve physical violence, telephone calls, harassment, stalking, improper behavior and other types of improper behavior.