A Protective Order is a civil order that bars the respondent (abuser) – in person, in writing, over the phone, or through another party – from:
- physically hurting the petitioner (victim)
- threatening to physically hurt the petitioner
- damaging the petitioner’s property
- harassing the petitioner
- disturbing the petitioner’s peace
- being in the same place as the petitioner
- In some instances, a Protective Order will address issues surrounding children, especially how and if the respondent can see them.
A Restraining Order is also a civil order and is very similar to a Protective Order. The difference is that a Restraining Order is used only in divorce cases, but all of the above mentioned rules apply to the respondent (abuser). The restraining order is only in effect until the divorce is final.
No Contact Order
A No Contact Order is a criminal order. The defendant (abuser) is ordered by a judge to have no contact with the complaining witness in person, by phone or letter, through friends or family or in any other way while s/he is released pending trial. At the bottom of most No Contact Orders there is a clause directing any law enforcement officer having probable cause to believe the defendant (abuser) is in violation of the order to arrest the defendant for the violation and have the defendant brought before the next session of Court.