To obtain an Order of Protection, the abusive party (the defendant) MUST be one of the following: A spouse or former spouse A parent of your child (either born or pregnant with) Lives or has lived with you in the same household Related by blood or court order as your parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, or sister Related by marriage as your parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, stepchild, step-grandchild, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepparent or step-grandparent A person who resides or who has resided in the same household with a child.

The child must be related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or to a person who resides or who has resided in the same household as the defendant.

The person only needs to threaten harm or abuse you once for the act to be considered Domestic Violence.

Other acts of disorderly conduct and crimes such as stalking and disobeying a court order are also considered Domestic Violence.

Within twenty-four hours after a defendant is arrested for an act of domestic violence, the court must forward a certified copy of the Release Order to the sheriff of the county in which the Order was issued for registration.

The sheriff must maintain a central repository for Release Orders so the existence and validity of the Release Order may be easily verified.

However, the judicial officer has discretion to allow a minor to request an order in cases where a parent or guardian is missing or not available, or where the minor is seeking relief from the parent. Children, family members or friends can be included in your Order of Protection or Injunction Against Harassment, if the judge determines it is appropriate.

If your family or friend is an adult, the judge may require that this person be present when requesting the protective order.Harassment is defined as: "a series of acts over any period of time that is directed at a specific person...." The relationship between you and the other person determines which protective order will be used for your situation.The Injunction Against Harassment differs from the Order of Protection in that exclusive use of the home cannot be ordered and the police are not mandated to serve the Injunction.Note: A protective order DOES NOT determine custody and cannot address parenting time issues.These matters must be handled separately by filing an action in the Superior Court as a domestic relations matter.Harassment for this injunction is defined as: "a single threat or act of physical harm or damage or a series of acts over a period of time that would cause a reasonable person to be seriously alarmed or annoyed." A qualification was included which ensures that the employer may not seek an injunction primarily to accomplish a purpose for which it was not designed (i.e.