The Basics: What Is a Restraining Order and How Can It Help You?

In New Mexico, the law distinguishes between a “restraining order” and an “order of protection.” The main concept behind both is that a court needs to intervene on behalf of a person because someone else is “hurting, threatening or harassing” them.

Restraining orders and orders of protection are similar because they are both entered by courts. These orders bind the person against whom they are issued from bothering or interfering with someone else. For example, they may prevent domestic violence, stalking, assault, or physical or mental abuse.

The main difference between a restraining order and an order of protection lies in the person being restrained. An order of protection applies only to intimate partners and some household members, including the following:

  • a spouse, parent, grandparent or child;
  • a person with whom you have had an intimate relationship (even if the relationship is over);
  • a person who has sexually assaulted or stalked you (regardless of their relationship to you); and
  • a person with whom you have a child.

Orders of protection can also be issued against other people who live with you, but they cannot apply to someone who is merely a roommate.

Restraining orders are issued against people who do not fall into these categories. Additionally, restraining orders are issued in New Mexico civil courts.

There is no charge to file the paperwork requesting an order of protection. Additionally, judges hear these matters quickly to make sure that victims are protected by court order.

An experienced New Mexico family lawyer can help you understand the requirements for and obtain an order of protection in a case of domestic violence. If you have questions and need trusted legal advice, contact the Lightning Legal Group. We understand the toll that violence and harassment can take on a person, and we’ll help you find your way. Contact us today at (505) 247-2390 for experienced legal advice.


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