New York City Police Department311Search all websites

Resources & Services

Orders of Protection

Orders of protection are issued by a judge to protect you from another person who is abusing, harassing, threatening, and/or intimidating you, or has committed a crime against you. Orders of protection are commonly issued in cases involving domestic violence, but may also be issued under other circumstances.

Types of Orders of Protection

  1. Family Court Order of Protection: A Family Court Order of Protection is issued as part of a civil proceeding to stop violence that is occurring within the family or within an intimate relationship. You may begin the process of obtaining a Family Court order of protection by filling out the Family Offense Petition.

    In order to obtain an order of protection in Family Court, your relationship to the other person involved must fall in at least 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 necessarily mean a sexual relationship. Family Court will consider several factors such as, but not limited to: "how often you see each other or how long you have known each other.")

  2. Criminal Court Order of Protection: An Assistant District Attorney may request a criminal court order of protection on your behalf. You do not need to have an intimate or personal relationship with the person charged with the offense. The judge decides whether to issue an order of protection, as well as the terms and conditions.
  3. Supreme Court Order of Protection: A Supreme Court order of protection can be issued as part of ongoing divorce or criminal proceeding. If you are involved in an ongoing divorce case and wish to request an order of protection, you must make a written request by Motion or Order to Show Cause, or an oral request at a court appearance. If an attorney is representing you in the case, the attorney can make the written or oral request on your behalf. The judge decides whether to issue an order of protection, as well as the terms and conditions.

Orders of protection may be full or limited.

  • Temporary Order of Protection: Issued the same day that a complainant files for an order of protection and lasts only until the next court date, at which point it may be extended.
  • Final Order of Protection: A final order of protection is issued when the case results in a conviction (whether by plea or after a trial) in criminal court or in family court after a judge finds that a family offense was committed.

Orders of protection may be full or limited.

  • Full Order of Protection: A full order of protection means that the subject of the order of protection must stay completely away from you, your home, job and school, and must not abuse, harass, or threaten you.
  • Limited Order of Protection: A limited order of protection allows the subject of the order of protection to maintain contact with you. However, the subject cannot abuse, harass, or threaten you.

Serving Family or Supreme Court Orders of Protection

For legal reasons, you may not serve your own order of protection. Orders of protection will be served in court by the judge if the defendant/respondent is present.

The New York City Sheriff's Office may serve your Family or Supreme Court order of protection Monday through Thursday, between the hours of 3:00 AM and 11:00 PM, and Friday, between the hours of 5:00 AM and 11:00 PM This service is free of charge. Once the Sherriff's Office has served the respondent, they will provide you with a signed statement that says the service has been completed. If the Sheriff's office is unable to deliver the order of protection after several attempts, they must provide you with a signed statement that includes the dates and times of each attempt.

When the Sheriff's office is not in operation, the NYPD can assist you in serving your Order of Protection. You should go to the precinct where the respondent lives and make the request.

You may also arrange for any person, including a family member or friend, over 18 years old, to serve the order of protection, as long as this person is not a party to the case. The order of protection must be served as soon as possible, and the person who serves the papers must complete an "Affidavit of Service" have it notarized and filed with the court as soon as possible. You need to bring the Affidavit Service when you return to court; otherwise, the case may be delayed or dismissed. A temporary order of protection may not go into effect until it is served.

An order of protection does not guarantee your safety. It is important that you have a safety plan should the person violate the order of protection. View general crime prevention tips or detailed personalized safety planning.

Violating an Order of Protection

It is a crime to violate a temporary or final order of protection. If an individual violates the order of protection, you should report it to the police. In an emergency call 911 and the individual will be arrested. In a non-emergency, you may file a violation of the order of protection by going to a police precinct. If you have a Family Court order of protection, you may go to Family Court and file the violation, you may report the violation to the police or choose to do both. If you file a violation of the order of protection only in Family Court, the subject who violated the order might not be arrested. Learn more about an order of protection.