Getting a Protective Order

Steps to Seeking a Domestic Violence Protective Order

You may get a protection order against someone who:

  • You are/were dating
  • You are/were involved in a sexual relationship with
  • Are living with and/or are married to
  • You have a child with
  • You are related to by blood or marriage
  1. Go to your local district courthouse and tell the clerk in the family court division you are wanting to get a domestic violence protective order.
  2. The court clerk will provide the forms for you to fill out. They will ask for your name and contact information in addition to the name of the person you’re filing for protection against.
  3. The family court clerks in Belknap County District Court call New Beginnings anytime someone requests protective order paperwork. If an advocate does not show up please ask the court to call one for you, or call us at (603) 528.6511. If you are at the Franklin District Court, New Beginnings advocates provide assistance to those who reside in Belknap county towns. (Tilton, Sanbornton, Winnisquam, Lochmere).
  4. In the paperwork, be sure to provide as much contact information for your abusive partner as you can.
  5. The form will also ask for a detailed description of the abuse. Be as specific as possible, including dates and times, and anything you hope to address at a further hearing. Below you will find a more detailed description of what the court is looking for in this part of the petition.
  6. After you complete the necessary forms, a judge will review what you have written and determine if you qualify for temporary protective orders. You need to stay in/around the courthouse until a decision is made.
  7. After submitting your petition, the judge will grant, deny, or deny with hearing.
    • If granted, you receive a certified copy of the temporary protections issues by the judge, which will last up to 30 days, until a final hearing date. The court will send the paperwork to the police department where your abuser lives, for them to serve them a notice of the orders and the hearing date. The abuser can go to the court and request the hearing be moved up to within 3-5 business days.
    • If denied, you may always re-file an order as long as new facts/information are provided. Your abuser will not be notified that you attempted to get the restraining order.
    • If the petition is denied with hearing, it means the judge feels there isn’t sufficient evidence in your petition to grant protective orders, but wants to hear from both sides at a hearing.   A hearing date is set, the defendant is served all paperwork, HOWEVER, there is no order of protection.    If the judge feels that there isn’t enough information provided to grant temporary orders, but wants to hear more from you, they may set a hearing date, without granting you temporary orders of protection. If you want to attend that hearing, the abuser will be served the paperwork, even though you were denied protection, until a hearing. This is most often a VERY dangerous option, and you can choose to tell the court that you would like to withdraw your petition, and not have a hearing date. You can then re-file at anytime.

At the final hearing, your abusive partner will be notified to attend and both of you will have the opportunity to present your case. If the judge sides with you, you’ll get more permanent protection in the form of a year-long restraining order. Advocates are available to accompany you to this hearing, and help you prepare for it.

During hours the court is closed, police departments may be able to put into place an emergency order of protection valid through the next court day

In Your Domestic Violence Petition…

Domestic Violence from 173-B: “Abuse” is the commission or attempted commission of one or more of the following acts by a family member, household member, or current/former sexual or intimate/dating partner, where such conduct constitutes a credible threat to the victim’s safety:

· Assault or Reckless Conduct: Hitting, pushing, slapping, pulling hair, punching, kicking, grabbing, pinching, etc.

· Criminal Threatening: Any specific threat to your physical safety (threatening to hurt you in any way or kill you).

· Sexual Assault: Sexual contact that is coerced, forced, and/or without consent.

· Interference with Freedom: Physically preventing you from leaving, or preventing you from calling or getting to help (destroying/taking/hiding your phone and/or car keys).

· Destruction of Property: Knowingly damaging, destroying, selling or converting property that you have an equitable interest in.

· Unauthorized Entry: Entering where you live/a room where a reasonable person can assume you expect privacy/they are not welcome

· Harassment: Repeated calling, text messaging, or emailing; showing up at your workplace, school, or home.

· Stalking: (Click here to read more about what constitutes stalking behavior)

You must demonstrate that a reasonable person has reason to fear this person.