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COVID-19 has impacted every part of American life, including the Court system, and it will likely continue to for some time. With most New York civil courts closed until at least May 1, 2020, except for emergency applications, many are left wondering what happens with temporary orders of protection set to expire during the next few months.
At this point, courts are still receiving emergency applications for new orders of protection on a limited basis. However, to lessen the burden on the court system caused by people reapplying for temporary orders set to expire during the court’s recess, courts have extended orders of protection for at least the next several months.
This applies whether you are the one against whom the temporary order is issued or the one whom the order seeks to protect. So if an order has been issued requiring you to stay away from someone, or refrain from certain conduct, and that order is in effect as of March 16, 2020, the order does not expire, even if it contains an expiration date. To treat it otherwise, would still be a violation of its terms and could subject you to arrest.
Similarly, if you are the protected party, that order stays in effect, and if it is violated, you may call the police or seek enforcement of the order.
As of now, the policies seem to vary from county to county. For instance, in the Sixth Judicial District—which covers nine counties, including Broome, Madison, and Cortland—all temporary orders of protection set to expire before the court reopens will continue until the matter is re-calendared or the order is directly terminated by the judge or court attorney referee assigned to the case.
Whereas, in the Fifth Judicial District–which covers six counties, including Onondaga, Oswego, and Jefferson—all temporary orders of protection were extended for 90 days from March 16, 2020.
There are 13 judicial districts in New York State, and it will likely result in a patchwork of rules governing temporary orders of protection.
To find out how your temporary order of protection may be affected or to discuss filing for a new order of protection during the court shutdown, please contact the attorneys at Tully Rinckey at (888) 529-4543 or