Orders of Protection In New York
An order of protection issued by the New York Family Court can be extended on a showing of “good cause.” Ok, let’s take a step back and consider this. Under ordinary circumstances, a Family Court will issue a final order of protection. This is different from the temporary order which is issued when a petitioner first shows up to court. The Final Order is the just that: Final. The case is over and no one has to come back to court. The Final Order has an expiration date, generally one year, but sometimes longer.
When the order expires, it is done. However, under the Family Court Act, the petitioner can make a motion to the court to extend the order past the expiration for “good cause.”
“Good cause” is not defined in the statute. So, what the heck does that mean?
Recently, an appellate court addressed this issue. The court recognized that “good cause” is not defined but pointed out that this not an obscure term. The court looked to various factors which would establish good cause: the nature of the relationship, the original circumstances which led to the order of protection, the state of relationship at the time of new request, frequency of interaction between the parties, any subsequent domestic violence, or violation of the previous order and whether current circumstances are such that there is a concern for the safety and well being of the petitioner.
In the case the court was looking at: (1) the parties had a child in common, (2) they continued to interact, (3) the child exchange occurred at a police, (4) the respondent has a history of assaulting the petitioner, (5) and since the original order the respondent pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was issued a two year order of protection by the criminal court (in addition to the Family Court Order) to stay away from the petitioner.
In this case, the court found “good cause” and stated that the order of protection should be extended.
Remember never compromise your safety. Here’s the link to the New York State Domestic Violence Hotline: http://www.opdv.ny.gov/help/dvhotlines.html