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Orders of protection do help victims, law enforcement in domestic violence cases

— There are several cases in which an order of protection, known more colloquially as a restraining order, can be issued. A Supreme Court order of protection can be issued as part of an ongoing divorce proceeding. The judge adjudicating the divorce proceeding will rule on a motion filed by either the plaintiff, defendant or the attorney representing either side as to whether the order should be issued and what terms and conditions should be included.

A Family Court order of protection is issued as part of a civil proceeding to stop violence within a family or an intimate relationship, as well as to provide protection for those individuals affected. In order to obtain such an order, the applicant’s, also known as the petitioner’s, relationship to the other person (also known as the respondent) must fall into one of the following categories:

Current or former spouse

Someone with whom you have a child in common

A family member to whom you are related by blood or marriage

Someone with whom you have or have had an “intimate relationship.” An intimate relationship does not have to be a sexual relationship. A relationship may be considered intimate depending on factors such as how often you see each other or how long you have known each other. Ultimately, the court will determine whether the relationship qualifies.

Finally, as in the Dallas case, a criminal court order of protection is issued as a condition of a defendant’s release and/or bail. A criminal court order of protection may only be issued against a person who has been charged with a crime.

“An order of protection is issued any time there’s an assault, a domestic violence case. We ask for it and it’s issued at arraignment,” Cali said. “In a criminal case, an order of protection issued between the judge and the defendant. In family court, it’s between the plaintiff and the defendant, so it’s Mr. Smith versus Mrs. Smith, but in criminal court, it’s the People of the State of New York vs. the defendant. So we ask for it and the judge issues it, sometimes even when the victim doesn’t want it.”

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