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What Specific Courts Handle Orders of Protection in New York State?

Orders of protection a very serious matters. During a divorce or other family situation, problems can arise when someone becomes very abusive. Abuse has the potential to rise beyond your threats. The mental anguish the threats cause or nothing to take lightly. People suffer great anxiety when stress over the potential harm someone can cause.

Besides “potential” harm, there exists the real threat of actual physical violence. Unfortunately, family member terrified for his or her life for the well-being of young children may not be in a situation where they can effectively protect themselves. Therefore, they must turn to the courts for a protective order. The first question to ask involved determining what particular court must be partitioned in order to acquire a valid and legitimate protective ruling.

The Courts for Orders of Protection

What exactly is an order of protection? A common name for an order of protection is a “restraining order.” With such an order, the court tells another person how he or she must limit his/her contact or behavior when dealing with another person. In addition to telling someone what not to do, the order could be affirmative. That means the order may dictate what to person must do. The petitioner can seek an extension when an order of protection is set to expire.

Anyone who is the subject of an order of protection must accept the consequences of violating the judge’s stated conditions. To do so could lead to a contempt of court citation. That means jail time and/or a fine may be imposed.

Three courts can provide an order of protection: The Supreme Court, Family Court, and Criminal Court. Depending on the situation, all three courts could issue an order of protection in family-related. The Supreme Court and Family Court would more commonly issue the protective orders than the criminal court.

With the Supreme Court, orders of protection may be issued during divorce or marriage-related proceedings. With a Family Offense, the Family Court may issue the order of protection. A Family Offense refers to a crime someone commits against a relative or person in which he/she maintains an intimate relationship. Family Offenses do not need to be limited to Family Court. A petition for the order of protection may be filed in family court, but the incident could be carried over into the Criminal Court as well.

Retaining the Necessary Representation for a Petition

Anyone who believes it’s possible to go into court and petition the judge for a positive ruling without possessing any experience might be in for a very terrible outcome. Yes, it’s possible to represent yourself in court and to fill out and submit necessary paperwork. However, the other side will have a say in the matter. Many resist the issuance of a restraining order that determines their behavior. Arguing issues related to the approval of the protective order is a job best left to a qualified council.

Experienced attorneys can point towards the many approved orders of protection they acquired on behalf of their clients. With experience comes knowledge and understanding of how the courts work. No attorney can answer for a judge, which is understood. However, a committed attorney can dedicate passionate effort towards arguing the merits and necessities of a protective order.

When an agreement deriving from a divorce case of family offense does not exist, an order of protection requires a preponderance of the evidence to be in effect. Without a preponderance of the evidence, a petition for an order of protection would be dismissed. An attorney knows how to present evidence so that it rises to a level of preponderance.

Long before venturing into court, the attorney can provide an opinion on the merits of a particular order of protection. Upon walking into the quart room, the lawyer brings forth the necessary evidence to prove to the court the dangers the plaintiff being faces. For example, the attorney may submit into evidence several threatening text messages. Steps such as these can sway the court towards making a decision in the best interest of the person being victimized.

Understanding Domestic Violence and Criminal Matters

What happens when things move to the criminal courts though? Domestic violence cases are tried in criminal court. During criminal proceedings, preponderance of the evidence no longer applies. The bar raises to beyond a reasonable doubt. Also, victims do not handle requests for an order of protection. The prosecutor takes over the responsibility.

Domestic violence cases don’t necessarily stay in the criminal courts. A case could be referred to the Integrated Domestic Violence Court or IDV courts, which is a subset of the Supreme Court. In order to move to IDV, criminal proceedings related to domestic violence must take place at the same time family court case and/or a matrimonial or divorce case. In a way, the IDV system is devised to consolidate the proceedings from the various other courts. Doing so benefits the petitioner/victim as well as the courts. Reducing the confusing of addressing multiple different court cases can be overwhelming. So, the Integrated Domestic Violence serves a practical function.

A Qualified Attorney

For those who never navigated the New York Court System, all this can be overwhelming. Speaking with an attorney known for handling cases related to orders of protection and Family Offenses helps. Dealing with the different courts and matters involved with the adjudication of an order of protection can be overwhelming. Why not work with the right attorney capable of relieving the burden?