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An order of protection prohibits an individual from engaging in certain behavior. For example, a court can order a person to “stay away” from another person, or to refrain from contacting another person in whatever method. Any violation of the order could result in arrest, criminal contempt, and incarceration.

A person seeking an order of protection against an individual based on domestic violence may first obtain a temporary restraining order in family court by filling out the required forms and offering a sworn statement detailing facts regarding the domestic violence. The judge may grant the temporary restraining order, without the individual it is ordered against appearing in court, after reviewing the facts of the alleged domestic violence. The person must then serve the individual with the temporary restraining order and a notice to appear in court for a hearing for a permanent order of protection. An order of protection must be based on an enumerated, or recognized, family offense.  

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