24 Hour Hotline: 1-845-471-3033

Grace Smith House


An Open Door for Victims of Domestic Violence

Say No to
Domestic Violence
Saying No
Shouldn't Hurt
We are an Open
Door for Domestic
Violence Survivors

Order of Protection in Family Court

This is a general description of the process in Dutchess County, New York.

  1. Arrange an appointment for an interview with a Family Court Advocate. The Family Court Advocate will help you complete and file the petition for a Temporary Order of Protection (TOP). The Family Court Advocate is bilingual (Spanish/English) and can be reached directly at 845-431-1858.
  2. At interview: Relate reasons for needing an Order of Protection. There should be a fairly recent incident (in the last month or so) to report, although the history of abuse is also important to state to the interviewer. It is usually included in the petition if the batterer has kicked, punched, threatened, slapped, etc. in the past. A respondent's drug and/or alcohol involvement could also be included. The petition should also include what you are requesting from the court, i.e., temporary custody of children, order for the batterer to vacate the home, alcohol, drug, and/or alternatives to violence counseling for the batterer, weapon removal, etc. The children can be included on an Order of Protection but you must state at the time of the interview why they need to be on it.
  3. The Family Court worker will then prepare the petition. Read over the petition to make sure it is correct.
  4. Take the petition down to Family Court and have it notarized. You will need identification for this. They will give you the name of the judge to see and an appearance which is usually later that same day. Go to the indicated area and check in with the bailiff. They will call you when it is your turn to see the judge.
  5. In court, again relate reasons for needing the Order of Protection. Answer any questions the judge asks and clarify your petition if need be. You are permitted to have an advocate with you in court.
  6. Get a copy of the Temporary Order of Protection before you leave the courtroom. Temporary Orders of Protection are usually in effect until your next scheduled court appearance.
  7. The papers will be served (usually within 24 hours) on the respondent (abuser) by the court at no charge to you.
  8. It is important to show the local police that you have an order of protection.
  9. A second court appearance is required to obtain a permanent Order of Protection. Time and date will be given or mailed to you. Both you and your partner will appear at this time. Permanent Orders of Protection are issued for up to one year.
  10. If a husband/partner does something that is prohibited by the Order of Protection, you can call police and ask that he be arrested for violating the Order of Protection. If he is not arrested, you can file a Violation of an Order of Protection at the probation department.