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New York Protective Orders Laws

Protective orders (also called "restraining orders") are official court documents that require an individual to stay away from, and/or cease communication with, the person that requested the order. They may be sought in instances where the petitioner (the person seeking protection) genuinely fears for his or her safety. While occasionally they're used by celebrities to keep obsessive fans at arm's length, the most common use of protective orders is in relation to acts of domestic violence or stalking.

New York Protective Order Laws at a Glance

New York, as in most states, has protective order laws that can get triggered in domestic violence cases. These court orders often state, for instance, that an abusive spouse may not come within a certain distance of the protected person for a period of time. Protective orders can also require the abuser to:

  • Stop all contact and communication with the victim;
  • Move out of a home shared with the victim;
  • Stay away from the victim’s home, school, or place of employment;
  • Submit to counseling; and
  • Reimburse the victim’s reasonable expenses (such as attorney’s fees).

In New York, protective orders are not restricted to cases of domestic violence within a family. They can also come into play with issues of stalking. Some famous stalking cases involving celebrities in New York City have resulted in protective orders.

The basic provisions of New York protective order laws are listed in the table below. See Domestic Violence: Orders of Protection and Restraining Orders for more information.

Code Section

New York Family Court Act § 154-d

Activity Addressed by Order

  • Enjoin contact;
  • exclude from dwelling, school, employment;
  • regarding minors: visitation;
  • counseling;
  • reimburse reasonable expenses.

Duration of Order

Temporary order: 4 calendar days

Penalty for a Violation of Order


Who May Apply for Order

Any person

Can Fees Be Waived?


Order Transmission to Law Enforcement

Copy to sheriff's office or police department in county or city in which petitioner resides

Civil Liability for Violation of Order

Yes, contempt of court

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

More Information

If you would like to do additional research on New York's laws relating to protective orders, you can find links to helpful resources listed below. You can also learn more about domestic violence and restraining orders, in general, by browsing FindLaw's section on domestic violence.

Research the Law

New York Protective Order Laws: Related Resources

Get Legal Help to Better Understand New York Protective Orders Laws

It's not easy knowing where to turn if you have been a victim of domestic violence or otherwise need protection from an abusive or harassing individual. It can also be stressful to find out that you're the subject of a protective order. If you have questions about how New York protective orders laws will affect your life, it's in your best interest to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer near you today.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

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