How do I get an Order of Protection and Restraining Order in Rockland County: Rockland County Family Court in New City

The names and places may be interchangeable, but the questions regarding how to get a Family Court order of protection or restraining order in Rockland County, New York all come down to the same thing. I need a restraining order against my ex-husband in New City, what is a petition? Where do I get a restraining order against a former girlfriend if I live in Nyack? I moved from Orangeburg to Nanuet, how do I get either a restraining order or an order of protection if I still reside in Rockland County, but my ex-boyfriend lives in Westchester County?

Assuming you reside in Rockland County or incidents transpired in Rockland County that violate the New York State Family Court Act (generally certain crimes found in the New York Penal Law), a victim of certain otherwise criminal acts can file a petition in Rockland Family Court requesting that a Family Court Judge issue a temporary order of protection in your favor and against a family member. These family members can include a current or former spouse, boyfriend or other person with whom you have had an intimate relationship. Additionally, the other party can be of the same sex, a cousin or parent as well as any other immediate relation.

While hiring a Family Court lawyer to properly advise you, draft your petition seeking an order of protection and representing you before a Rockland Family Court judge is certainly advisable, the law by no means mandates you appear with your own attorney. Irrespective of whether you proceed on your own or with counsel, the Family Offense Petition must set forth how the respondent (the person you are seeking an order of protection against) violated the Family Court Act, where he or she did so or the nexus to Rockland County, your relationship to this other person and the type of restraining order you seek. As to this last piece, you may request, and a judge may grant or deny, either a limited order of protection that permits some contact or a full order of protection that restricts any and all contact from the respondent you ultimately serve.

Before going into Family Court to obtain your order of protection, keep in mind you will be sworn in before a judge. It is critically important to be accurate and honest not only because a lie can lead to legal trouble, but if you fail to provide all the applicable violations or information your chances of securing a final restraining order can be damaged because it may seem as if you were inconsistent, withholding or dishonest. Why? Assuming the respondent appears in court, he or she can bring his or her own attorney who will do whatever is permitted under the law to poke holes in your story and allegations.

At bottom, if you are a victim of a crime you can always go to your local precinct or police station to report an offense. In the event your attacker or harasser is a family member as defined in the New York Family Court Act you can take your complaint to Family Court in the form of a Family Court Petition in addition to or instead of a criminal court in the event the offenses qualify. More importantly, a Family Court restraining order in Rockland has the same standing and strength as one in Westchester, Manhattan or any other county and if the respondent violates the order of protection he or she can be prosecuted for Criminal Contempt either in a local justice court or Rockland County Court.

A little time and patience in drafting an accurate, tight and truly reflective petition for an order of protection in Rockland County may be a relatively easy task or a long drawn out procedure. It behooves you to complete it properly the first time around. Understanding the nuances of the Family Court Law, the petition process and ultimately how a case can be resolved with or without a trial is critically important to know. Take the time to educate yourself and prepare for Family Court. You may only get one opportunity to convince a judge you need a temporary restraining order before he or she agrees, or does not agree, to provide you what you seek.

To read more about the process by which a person obtains an order of protection in Rockland County, Westchester County or the counties and boroughs that make up the City of New York, follow the links contained herein and go directly to

Saland Law PC is a criminal defense and family court law firm representing clients in both domestic violence criminal matters as well as petitioners and respondents in order of protection proceedings. Both founding partners served as prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Domestic Violence Unit.

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