Orders of Protection

An Order of Protection is a court order or document directing a person to refrain from having contact with you.


  • A temporary order can be issued by either criminal or family court.
  • You should go to the court clerk and request an order. A judge may be able to make a decision within a few hours if it is an emergency.
  • The judge decides whether or not to give you an order of protection.
  • A permanent order of protection can be issued at criminal sentencing. Permanent orders last between one and five years. You can ask for a permanent order of protection through the District Attorney's office.
  • An order of protection from criminal court can tell the abuser to do things like stay away from you, your children, your home and your workplace.
  • An order of Protection from family court can do the same thing as one from criminal court.


You have some responsibilities if you have an Order of Protection:

  • Always keep the order with you.
  • If your children are in it, give copies to them, their school, and babysitters.
  • Always follow the order.
  • Orders of Protection expire, so check them. It may be extended.