Two kinds of protection orders are available to citizens in New Mexico: Domestic Violence (DV) Orders of Protection and Restraining Orders. These are two very different orders heard in different courts. Both are meant to protect victims of abuse, harassment or violence.
You do not need a lawyer to apply for either of these protective orders. However, both types of applications lead to a hearing in front of a Judge or Hearing Officer. It is highly recommended that you engage an experienced attorney to represent you in the actual court hearing where your request will be either granted or denied. If you need either of these types of protection orders in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it’s important to have an experienced family law attorney at your side.
What is a DV Order of Protection?
Domestic Violence (DV) Orders of Protection are heard in Family Law Court by a Hearing Officer. This type of order can be sought only if the parties are “household members”. Examples include: spouses, former spouses, stepparents, in-laws, any other family member, boyfriend or girlfriend, or a person with whom the petitioner (person requesting the protection) has had a continuing relationship (dating or an intimate relationship). Cohabitation is not necessary for one of the parties to be considered a “household member” for the purposes of protection.
DV Orders of Protection usually forbid an individual from engaging in certain behaviors, such as contacting the other person via telephone or email or being within a certain physical proximity to that person. New Mexico courts grant DV Orders of Protection any time a Hearing Officer believes that there is a credible threat against you, the Petitioner. Typically, DV Orders of Protection are granted due to:
- Domestic violence
- Harm to minors, child abuse
- Stalking and harassment
- Physical or mental abuse
Family law attorney Dorene A. Kuffer possesses the criminal defense expertise required for hearings involving DV Orders of Protection. Having a legal professional present your case to the Hearing Officer increases your chance that the necessary evidence will be presented. An experienced attorney knows the rules of procedure in the courtroom and can best present your case.
What is a Restraining Order in Albuquerque, NM
Restraining Orders are similar to DV Orders of Protection in that, when granted, they prevent a person from contacting you. These requests however, are heard in front of a Judge in Civil Court not Family Law Court. In these cases, the Defendant (or person you want to be protected from) may or may not be a member of your household or family as defined by New Mexico Statute (or law). It is strongly advised that you seek legal advice and representation before attending the hearing that will be scheduled after you apply for this type of protection. Although you can represent yourself in front of the Judge (called Pro Se), a skilled attorney better understands the rules of the court and the law.
Contact our Family Law Attorney
Dorene Kuffer has over 30 years of courtroom experience working on all aspects of family and criminal law, from CYFD investigations to domestic violence, divorce, custody, juvenile arrests and more. If you need help filing a restraining order in Albuquerque, New Mexico, contact our family law office to request a consultation with Dorene Kuffer.