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Domestic Violence


•  What is an Order of Protection (OP)?

•  Different types of Orders of Protection

•  Remedies Offered By Orders Of Protection


What is an Order of Protection (OP)? An Order of protection(OP) is a court order stating that one person can not: stalk, physically abuse, harass, willfully deprive, neglect, exploit, intimidate a dependent, or interfere with another person's person liberty. There are provisions in the document to protect children, property, work, school, home and loved ones homes. If the person that has an OP against them breaks any of the rules spelled out in the OP they can face: monetary fines, batterer's counseling, community service, and even jail.

You are eligible for an Order of Protection when the person that raped or abused you is;

A current or ex-roommate used to share a home, apartment, or other common dwelling (like a residence hall room or suite);

A household member or if you have lived together in the past;

Is related to you by blood;

Is married or used to be married to you;

Is a person with whom you have or had a dating relationship; including same sex couples;

Is a person to whom you are or were engaged;

Is a person with which you have, or allegedly have, a child in common or a blood relationship through a child in common;


If you are what is considered a “high risk adult” with disabilities who is abused, neglected or exploited by a family or household member (a caretaker or personal assistant for example)

If you are what is considered an elderly adult who is abused, neglected or exploited by a family or household member a caretaker for example)

If you are a minor child

There are two different places a person can get an Order of Protection (OP):

1) In criminal court (see explanations of these on another page)

2) In civil court

CAN will work with you throughout every process to see that you are supported and that your questions are answered to the best of our abilities.


Different types of Orders of Protection: While you go through the system you will learn there are actually different types of Ops. Each one is in principle the same with the same or similar remedies, but they do vary in the length of time they are available and in the process in which you obtain them. Members of CAN will help you throughout this process; remember that we are here to help.

1) Emergency OP: You can obtain this OP on short notice when an emergency exists. Emergencies can include, but are not limited to

•  violence against you or your child,

•  verbal threats of violence or damage directed at you, your child, damage (or threats of damage) to personal property,

•  restriction of personal liberty or threats of restrictions to personal liberty (holding you captive, threatening to kidnap you etc),

•  deprivation

•  neglect

•  exploitation,

•  stalking,

•  sexual abuse

•  sexual assault

•  within a short time frame (usually less than four weeks since the last event occurred).

•  And which would make it dangerous to tell the abuser that you are coming to court to get help.

An Emergency Order of Protection can last up to 21 days. At the end of the 21 days there will be another court date. During the 21 days the Sheriff or police will attempt to notify the abuser that the Order exists and serve them with a subpoena to appear in court on the next court date.

2) Interim Order of Protection: Interim Orders can last up to 30 days. They are in places in-between court dates after the abuser has been served.

3) Plenary Order of Protection: Plenary Orders are given either at the end of a case, or while a case is pending and the next court date is more than 30 days away. Plenary Orders typically last up until two (2) years.


Remedies Offered By Orders Of Protection: The following are remedies or reliefs that you can get through an order of protection. This is not an all-conclusive list; for full information please call or visit CAN.

All Orders:

The abuser is not allowed to :

•  Stalk

•  physically abuse (including sexual assault and abuse)

•  harass

•  restrict personal liberty

•  neglect

•  exploit etc.

•  visit the survivor's home, work, school

•  destroy the survivor's personal property

•  contact the survivor for any reason or by any minas

Also on Interim and Plenary Orders:

•  Temporary Child Custody Issues

•  Property Issues

•  Money

This project was supported by Grant No. 2002-WA-BX-0011 awarded by the Office of Violence Against Women and the U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.