New Hampshire Restraining Orders

New Hampshire Restraining Order Law

Under New Hampshire law, a person who is abused by another party may file a protective order against them. These are called protective orders or restraining orders. When the two people involved are family members or intimate partners, it is referred to as a domestic violence restraining order. The purpose of such an order is to keep the other person from contacting or abusing the petitioner. If the person whom the restraining order is filed against fails to abide by the conditions of the order, they can be charged with a criminal offense.

Restraining orders are often use cases of domestic violence to prevent one partner from contacting or visiting the other. If you are considering filing for a restraining order, contact Russman Law right away to speak to a family law professional.

What does a Protective Order look like in New Hampshire?

According to New Hampshire law, when one person is found by a judge to be a credible threat to another, a protective order can be placed. A person who requests a protective order is known as the plaintiff and anyone whom a protective order is filed against is known as the defendant.

Under New Hampshire law RSA 173-B:5, any defendant whom an order is placed against will be forced to turn in to law-enforcement all firearms and ammunition in their control in their possession during the period in which the protective order is valid. They will also be prohibited from purchasing, receiving or possessing firearms or any type of deadly weapon during the course of the protective order. In addition to this, the plaintiff may also be issued the following:

  • A protective order that states:
    • The defendant must refrain from abusing the plaintiff
    • The defendant must refrain from entering the plaintiff's home unless accompanied by a law-enforcement agent
    • The defendant must not contact the plaintiff or enter their place of employment, school or any other location frequently visited by the plaintiff
    • The defendant must refrain from abusing the plaintiff, their relatives or any members of their household in any way
    • The defendant must not take or damage any of the plaintiff's property to which they have  "legal or equitable interest"
  • Additional relief including:
    • Allowing the plaintiff exclusive use or possession of the place of residence in which they jointly own with the defendant
    • Preventing the defendant from keeping any of the plaintiff's property. All property of the plaintiff must be returned to a peace officer
    • Allowing the plaintiff exclusive use or possession of the any property, furnishings or joint possessions which they own with the defendant
    • Ordering the defendant to make car, insurance, rent or mortgage payments
    • Awarding temporary custody of the minor children to either party
    • Establishing visitation rights of minor children
    • Ordering the defendant pay financial support to plaintiff or to minor children that they have with the plaintiff
    • Ordering the defendant to attend batter's intervention or personal counseling
    • Ordering the defendant to pay attorney's fees

New Hampshire Restraining Order Burden of Proof

In order for a protective order to be issued, the plaintiff must establish that they have been abused by the defendant. Under New Hampshire law 173-B:1, abuse is defined as:

The commission or attempted commission of one or more of the acts described in subparagraphs (a) through (g) by a family or household member or by a current or former sexual or intimate partner, where such conduct is determined to constitute a credible present threat to the petitioner's safety. The court may consider evidence of such acts, regardless of their proximity in time to the filing of the petition, which, in combination with recent conduct, reflects an ongoing pattern of behavior which reasonably causes or has caused the petitioner to fear for his or her safety or well-being:

(a) Assault or reckless conduct as defined in RSA 631:1 through RSA 631:3.   
(b) Criminal threatening as defined in RSA 631:4.
(c) Sexual assault as defined in RSA 632-A:2 through RSA 632-A:5.     
(d) Interference with freedom as defined in RSA 633:1 through RSA 633:3-a.  
(e) Destruction of property as defined in RSA 634:1 and RSA 634:2.    
(f) Unauthorized entry as defined in RSA 635:1 and RSA 635:2.
(g) Harassment as defined in RSA 644:4.

New Hampshire Family Law Attorney

If you are considering filing a protective order, contact our office to speak to an experienced family law attorney. Attorney Katharine Phinney will help you through the entire process; she handles all types of family law cases including divorce. Call now to set up a consultation.