Family Offense Petitions

A party can seek an Order of Protection by filing a Family Offense Petition in Family Court, or, if they have a divorce proceeding pending, in Supreme Court. A Family Offense Petition must allege that a party committed a criminal offense against the petitioner, as that term is defined by statute. It does not necessarily have to be a physical offense, such as assault and battery, but the more serious the offense, the more strict the order of protection will be written.

There are typically two types of Orders of Protection. One type is known as a “stay away” where the offending party is required to stay away from the home of the petitioner, as well as their work place, school, etc. Sometimes this Restraining Order will cover the party’s children as well, again, depending on the nature of the offense. The other type of Restraining Order issued is known as a “refrain from”.

This means that the offending party is ordered to refrain from harassing, disturbing, and various degrees of contacting the Petitioner. Again, where there are children involved and a visitation schedule is in place, curbside pick up and drop off and limited contact regarding the children may be permitted by the Order. For more info visit :


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