ORDER OF PROTECTION
An Order of Protection is a court order that prohibits a person from hurting, threatening or harassing another person. The Order of Protection can be filed by a victim of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault.
Any person who has experienced domestic abuse by a "household member" may file for an Order of Protection.
Only individuals that have an intimate or close family relationship to each other are considered a "household member".
Those relationships include: spouse or former spouse; parent, stepparent or parent-in-law; child, stepchild or grandchild; parents of a shared child; dating or intimate relationship.
Domestic Abuse by a household member may include: physical harm, emotional distress, assault, threats of injury, criminal trespass, criminal property damage, harassment, harm or threatened harm to children.
Any person who has been stalked can file for an Order of Protection, regardless of their relationship with the other person.
Stalking is a "pattern of conduct" or two or more incidents that happened on more than one occasion in which you were afraid of being hurt, killed or held against your will.
Any person who has been sexually assaulted by any other person, regardless of the relationship between the two people, can file for an Order of Protection.
Do I have to include my home address on my Order of Protection application?
If you feel that giving your home address will put you or anyone you live with in danger, you do not have to give your address BUT you will need to fill out the Petition to Omit Address (Form 4-961B).
How long will the Order of Protection be valid?
After filing the Order of Protection application, a judge may grant a Temporary Order of Protection that will be valid beginning after the respondent is served, and until the court hearing (within 10 days of filing).
At the court hearing, the judge may approve the Order of Protection for a typical period of 6 months. To keep the Order of Protection in place for longer, an Application to Extend (Form 4-968) must be completed and filed at the court before the expiration date.
It is recommended to file the Application to Extend a month before the Order of Protection expires.
For more detailed information about Orders of Protection visit the NM Courts site, here.
The State of New Mexico has created an online Guide & File self-help application to assist those needing guidance in completing Order of Protection application.
CIVIL RESTRAINING ORDER
A Civil Restraining Order is a civil court order that instructs another person to leave you alone, directs them to return something to you or refrains them from taking something form you.
A Restraining Order is different from an Order of Protection, but it may be an alternative option if the relationship of the person abusing you falls outside those listed above as "household members".
A Civil Restraining Order is often issued against a neighbor, co-worker, friend, roommate or distant relative.
There is a $132 fee when filing the Restraining Order application. If you cannot afford to pay the fee, you may also complete a Free Process application to request that the court waive this fee.
For more detailed information about Restraining Orders visit the NM Courts site, here.