New York City Ex Parte Restraining Orders
New York City ex parte restraining orders or orders of protection are orders issued by a judge while the defendant is not present in court. Ex parte restraining orders can sometimes be the result of harassment offenses, stalking, assault, and sometimes even domestic violence offenses. If you are the subject of an ex parte order, consult a qualified restraining order attorney that could protect your rights and advocate for you.
Why a Judge Would Issue an Ex Parte Order
Judges issue New York City ex parte restraining orders in criminal cases if the defendant is not there. While the case is open, a judge will generally issue an order that it is effective on a date of that court appearance until the date of the next court appearance. For example, if a judge issues an order of protection on January 15th because the case is on and the next date is on January 22nd, the judge will issue that order to expire January 22nd.
If January 22nd comes and the defendant does not show up in court, there is no order of protection valid because the last one has expired, but the case is still open. A judge will issue an ex parte order at that point, which is open-ended until the defendant is found and brought back to court. Then they will institute an effective ending date for that order and start the process again.
Judges do not like to do that because part of the force behind an order of protection is that the defendant is on notice that they are not to do these things, which is why the reason the defendant has to sign a copy of the order in court indicating that they understand and the judge will put on the record the specific terms of the order of protection so that there can be no claim in the future that the defendant did not know or understand they were and were not allowed to do. If a defendant is not in court, they are not signing the order of protection and the judge is going to be able to tell them what they can and cannot do.
Duration of an Ex Parte Restraining Order
The duration of New York City ex parte restraining orders is up to the discretion of the judge. If a defendant bench warrants and is not in court on a date and the judge needs to issue an order of protection, the judge can issue an open-ended order of protection until the defendant shows up in court. This means if the defendant goes out of the land for 10 years, the order of protection will still be valid for 10 years in the future. Judges do not like to do that because it does not come with finality, but they might issue an order if the defendant forces their hand by not showing up to court when they are supposed to.
There is no limit to the amount of time the judge can issue an order for; it is usually prescribed based on the circumstances. If the case is still open, it will be issued until the next court date. If the case is disposed of and there is either a plea or a guilty verdict, the top count of that plea of guilty verdict will determine the time period of the order of protection.
How Ex Parte Orders May Impact an Individual’s Case
New York City ex parte restraining orders can heighten the level of difficulty, because a lot of what a defense attorney does investigate the claims and defendants frequently want to help conduct the investigations. They have a lot to lose in any criminal case because it is their life, so they frequently want to be a part of any investigative effort. If there is an order of protection in place, the defendants has to be careful about who they talk to and what they say, because prosecutors can construe certain statements to be requests for third party contact, digging for information could be viewed as some sort of inappropriate way to get in touch with somebody.
Also, a lot of times people who run in the same social circles will run into each other at certain events, for example, if a friend is having a birthday, unaware of the situation between the two parties. They do not know that there is an order of protection and they invite them both. Then all of a sudden, the defendant shows up at the party and the complainant opens the door. It is potentially a problematic situation and not handled appropriately right from the get-go can lead to a violation of an order of protection. It always makes things more difficult and it requires a lot more finesse if there is a full order of protection involved.