PROTECTIVE ORDER FAQ
MY BOYFRIEND HAS THREATENED ME WITH PHYSICAL VIOLENCE. SHOULD I FILE FOR A HARASSMENT RESTRAINING ORDER OR AN ORDER FOR PROTECTION?
The difference is the relationship between the petitioner and respondent.
An Order for Protection is applied for when domestic abuse has occurred and the petitioner (the person applying for the OFP) and the respondent (alleged abuser) are family or household members.
If a person is being harassed by another person, the person being harassed may file for a Harassment Restraining Order.
MY GIRLFRIEND VERBALLY ABUSES ME; CAN I OBTAIN AN ORDER FOR PROTECTION?
In some cases verbal abuse alone is enough to obtain an Order for Protection.
Fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, such as verbal threats, and terroristic threats (such as a threat to kill, break bones, or threatening someone with a knife or gun) are grounds for an Order for Protection.
MY FORMER GIRLFRIEND FILED FOR AN ORDER FOR PROTECTION AGAINST ME; CAN YOU HELP ME?
Yes, we assist both Petitioners and Respondents.
Both the Respondent and Petitioner may desire representation during the OFP/Harassment Restraining Order Process, especially at the hearing. We have represented both Petitioners and Respondents in these types of cases.
I’D LIKE TO GET AN ORDER FOR PROTECTION AGAINST MY BOYFRIEND DISMISSED. IS THAT POSSIBLE?
Yes, orders for protection and harassment restraining orders can be dismissed.
If you would like to get an order for protection or harassment restraining order dismissed, you must fill out an Affidavit and Order for Dismissal form (found on court website) and file it with the court. You may have to attend a court hearing to explain to a magistrate or judge why you want the action dismissed. The judge or magistrate has the discretion to either deny or grant your request.
I’D LIKE TO GET A HRO AGAINST MY EX-BOYFRIEND; HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?
Harassment restraining orders typically last for 1-2 years.
A HRO typically lasts for 1-2 years. However, a HRO can last longer if certain conditions are met. An OFP usually lasts for 2 years. If the Respondent violates the OFP or more abuse occurs, the Petitioner can get it extended. In addition, if there have been 2 or more OFPs or restraining orders against the Respondent or if the Respondent has violated the order more than twice, the court can
make an order last for up to 50 years.
MY NEIGHBOR IS HARASSING ME; IS A HARASSMENT RESTRAINING ORDER THE CORRECT LEGAL METHOD?
There does not have to be a romantic relationship to file a HRO.
Our firm handles a wide variety of HRO cases, from neighbor disputes to online and electronic bullying/harassment (including the defense of such cases). We are seeing more cases involving situations like this with the rise of electronic communications. We also litigate a large number of neighbor disputes.