DIFFICULTY: Legal assistance is recommended
Initial Filing Fee: $0
In New York, a restraining order can be obtained for a variety of reasons and from a variety of courts, including the following: Family Court, New York Supreme Court, or New York Criminal Court. A restraining order from Family Court is intended to prevent family violence, or violence within an intimate relationship, as well as to afford protection to any individuals who might be affected. A restraining order from criminal court is typically granted as a condition of a defendant’s release, or of setting bail, and may only be issued against a person charged with a crime. Restraining Orders for Criminal Court are handled by the district attorney, rather than private parties. A restraining order obtained from the New York Supreme Court can be issued as part of an ongoing divorce proceeding, against a stalker, or against anyone engaging in conduct which is sufficiently threatening to the victim.
Step 1: Determine what Type of Restraining Order Meets Your Needs
Determine what Restraining Order you need. As mentioned above, different courts have the power to grant different kinds of Restraining Orders intended to protect against different types of harms and abuses. In order to obtain the Restraining Order you need, you must determine which court is best situated to address your circumstances. Consult an attorney if you are unsure which applies to your situation.
Step 2: Fill Out the Appropriate Form
Complete the necessary Restraining Order form from the appropriate court, either Supreme, Family, or Criminal, and consider the type of protection you are requesting. Restraining Orders can be issued to prevent a variety of actions on the part of the person against whom the Order is sought. This includes an Order requiring the subject to stay away from you and your children, to move out of your home, to follow custody orders, to pay child support, or to prevent gun ownership. Below are the forms for Supreme and Family Court. Criminal court forms are not provided because criminal Orders are processed by the State of New York and the district attorney.
Step 3: Obtain the Restraining Order
File the Form requesting a Restraining Order. Depending upon the court from which the Restraining Order is obtained, the commencement procedure will be different. In Family Court, a confidential proceeding can commence with no filing fee. In Criminal Court, the district attorney will request the order of protection as part of an ongoing criminal proceeding, and no filing fee is required. In New York Supreme Court, an index number will have to be purchased from the Clerk of the Court for the cost of $210 in order to file your claim. Index numbers are used to hold your spot and begin proceedings for your case. Keep in mind, you are only requesting that the Court enter a Restraining Order; this does not guarantee that you will get what you want. The Court might decide to hold a hearing or require additional evidence, and you should be prepared for this possibility.