Many individuals (most frequently females) suffer prolonged periods of physical abuse, family violence, and intimidating threats of bodily harm because they feel as though they have few options for seeking protection from an abusive partner. New Mexico law does provide a legal process to seek protection from specific household members which include: (1) a current or former spouse; (2) dating partner or lover; (3) co-parents; or (4) other partner involved in a continuing personal relationship. Our Family Lawyers in Santa Fe have provided an overview of the process of seeking domestic violence (DV) restraining orders in New Mexico.
The initial step in obtaining protective orders is to file for a Temporary Order of Protection at the Bernalillo County Courthouse. The paperwork must allege that the party seeking Restraining Orders has been the victim of domestic abuse by a member of the petitioner’s household of a type listed below:
• Threatened or actual harm to children
• Physical injury
• Significant emotional distress
• Harassing phone calls
• Criminal damage to property
• Threats resulting in imminent fear of bodily harm
• Traveling repeatedly past the home or workplace of the petitioner
• Criminal trespass
If the application for protective orders satisfies the criteria above, the application will typically be approved after a cursory review in an abundance of caution. A temporary restraining order will be imposed that will be valid until a hearing which will be scheduled approximately three weeks later.
At the hearing, the hearing officer will consider evidence to determine whether the evidence justifies approving an extension of the restraining orders based on domestic violence. The petitioner must establish by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent engaged in an act of domestic abuse listed above and that failure to approve the request for protective orders will result in imminent and irreparable harm. The hearing officer may dismiss the petition or extend the restraining orders for six months or as much as a year. If the protective order is granted, it will include: (1) “no contact” orders (includes telephonic and electronic communications); (2) restrictions from the petitioner’s place of work, residence or daycare; and (3) prohibition of conduct constituting domestic violence.
The above information is designed solely to illustrate general principles of law, and does not constitute a specific legal opinion on individual cases. We suggest that you contact experienced legal counsel for a specific opinion tailored to your individual circumstances.
The restrained party can be arrested and prosecuted for violation of a restraining order which may result in jail time for even a first offense. If you have questions about domestic violence or restraining orders, our Family Lawyers in Santa Fe offer a free initial consultation so that we can evaluate your options. Jay Goodman & Associates offers a free consultation in our centrally located offices in Santa Fe and Albuquerque during which we discuss your situation and answer your questions. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at (505) 989-8117 to learn about your rights and options.