Order of Protection and the “Relationship Test”

There a several types of protective orders that may be sought. These Orders are to include, but not necessarily be limited to the following: 1) Emergency Orders of Protection; 2) Injunctions Against Harassment; 3) Injunctions Against Workplace Harassment; and 4) Orders of Protection.

This article will focus of the forth type of protective order listed, that being Orders of Protection. An Order of Protection may be granted to prevent another person from engaging in certain activity. Orders of Protection are limited to parties (plaintiff / defendant) that meet certain relationship requirements.

An Order of Protection shall not be issued unless a judicial officer determines that the relationship between the plaintiff and defendant is one designated by statute as appropriate for issuing an Order of Protection. Specifically, a specific relationship must present itself either by statute, blood or marriage as between plaintiff and defendant. Particular statutory relationships include: 1) parties that reside together or who have previously lived in the same household; 2) a plaintiff that has a child in common with the defendant; 3) a plaintiff that is pregnant by the defendant; 4) the victim is a child that has lived in the same household as the defendant and is either related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or is related by blood to a person that resides or who did reside in the same residence as the defendant; and 5) the plaintiff and defendant then currently share or did share prior in a romantic or sexual relationship.

In determining if the plaintiff and defendant are then or were previously involved sexually or romantically, the court may consider: 1) the type of relationship; 2) length of that relationship; 3) frequency of interaction between parties of that relationship; and if the relationship has ended, the length of time since the relationship ended.

Assuming the relationship test is met, next a plaintiff must demonstrate very specific things in order to meet his/her burden for issuance of the Order of Protection. For more information on Orders of Protection please contact our Firm today for your free consultation.

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