Restraining Orders & Orders of Protection

Frequently, parties to marital litigation need to be reminded to be civil to one another. It is very common to find certain restraining orders in both temporary and final family court orders and in visitation schedules concerning behavior guidelines and prohibitions. Most common are restraining orders requiring the parties to not harass, annoy, or bother the other at work, home, or elsewhere. This is not the kind of restraining order which is issued by a magistrate. A magistrate’s restraining order is enforceable by the police, and possible arrest of the offending individual. A family court restraining order can only be enforced by a Family Court judge after a contempt hearing wherein the judge finds that the offending individual violated the court order.

In cases involving actual physical abuse, an individual certainly may also go to a magistrate to seek a restraining order or to put someone on trespass notice. Godfrey Law Firm can advise you as to how to place an offending party on trespass notice also.

In cases involving immediate danger and physical harm, an individual may file a petition for an Order of Protection. This is often done in addition to reporting a criminal domestic violence event to law enforcement since the police cannot make rulings regarding custody, visitation, use and possession of the marital residence, etc., like an Order of Protection can. An Order of Protection is also enforceable by the police so if there is a violation it can be reported instantaneously through a 911 call without the need to wait.

Orders of Protection expire, however, and so anyone who obtains an Order of Protection should also retain Godfrey Law Firm to file a case to extend the protections obtained.