Order of Protection

Order of Protection

Filing for an Order of Protection is based on a two fold test. The first is your relationship with the defendant and the second is whether or not a domestic violence crime has been committed; if both do not apply, then you would file an Injunction Against Harassment.

Relationship includes:

  • Your current or former spouse,
  • Someone with whom you live or have lived,
  • One party pregnant by the other party or someone with whom you have a child in common,
  • Your relative, or your current spouse’s relative,

Domestic Violence includes:

  • Assault
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Child or Vulnerable adult abuse
  • Criminal Damage
  • Criminal Trespass – first, second or third degree
  • Crimes Against Children
  • Custodial Interference
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Endangerment
  • Kidnapping
  • Threatening or Intimidating
  • Unlawful Imprisonment

You must tell the Court if there are any other Court proceedings regarding the defendant’s conduct toward you or any other Court orders in effect. It does not matter if the Court proceedings are going on now, or if they happened in the past. Tell this Court about all of them.

 

Injunction Against Harassment

If you are asking the Court to issue the Injunction Against Harassment without giving the defendant a chance to be heard first, you must show that great or irreparable harm will result if the Injunction Against Harassment is not issued until after the defendant has been given notice and a chance to be heard. If the Court does not find that great and irreparable harm will result unless the Injunction Against Harassment is issued immediately, a hearing may be set and the defendant will have a chance to be heard before an Injunction Against Harassment may be issued.

Harassment is a series of acts which:

  • Can be spread over a long or short period of time.
  • Must show a continuity of purpose.
  • Must be directed at a specific person.
  • Must seriously alarm, annoy, or harass the victim without serving a legitimate purpose.
  • Must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress.
  • Must actually cause the victim to suffer substantial emotional stress.

You must be specific about how the defendant has harassed you. Just because the defendant annoyed or alarmed you does not mean you have been harassed in the legal sense. According to the law, harassment must involve a series of acts. A single incident, no matter how much it may bother you, does not constitute legal harassment. People cannot be prevented from taking legal action against you and Injunctions cannot resolve landlord-tenant disputes.

You must tell the Court if there are any other Court proceedings regarding the defendant’s conduct toward you or any other injunctions in effect. It does not matter if the Court proceedings are going on now, or if they happened in the past. Tell this Court about all of them.