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Legal Information: New York

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
February 1, 2018

What is the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Registry? Who has access to it?

The National Crime Information Center Registry (NCIC) is a nationwide, electronic database used by law enforcement agencies in the U.S, Canada, and Puerto Rico. It is managed by the FBI and state law enforcement officials.

Before moving to New York, the state that issued your protection order may already have entered your order into the NCIC. If not, your order will be entered into the NCIC once your order is registered in NY.

Note: Most law enforcement officials have access to the NCIC, but the information is encrypted so outsiders cannot access it.

How do I register my protection order in New York?

To register your protection order in New York, you need to bring a certified copy of the order and identification to the Petitions Division of the family court.  You will also need to sign an affidavit (sworn statement) that says that you believe it is a valid order that has not been vacated or modified.  The clerk will then either enter your order directly into the New York Statewide Police Information Network (NYSPIN) or fax it to the registry center to be entered.*  

If you need help registering your protection order, you can contact a local domestic violence organization in New York for assistance. You can find contact information for organizations in your area here on our NY Advocates and Shelters page.

* NY Executive Law § 221-a

Do I have to register my protection order in New York in order to get it enforced?

No. According to federal Law,* all states, including New York, must enforce an out-of-state protection order. It does not have to be entered into the state or federal registry in order to be enforced by a New York police officer, but the officer does need to believe that it is a valid (real) order.**

* 18 USC § 2265
** NY CPL § 140.10(b)(ii)

Will the abuser be notified if I register my protection order?

Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies to all U.S. states and territories, the court is not permitted to notify the abuser when a protective order has been registered or filed in a new state unless you specifically request that the abuser be notified.*  However, you may wish to confirm that the clerk is aware of this law before registering the order if your address is confidential.

However, remember that there may be a possibility that the abuser could somehow find out what state you have moved to.  It is important to continue to safety plan, even if you are no longer in the state where the abuser is living.  We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Staying Safe page.  You can also contact a local domestic violence organization to get help in developing a personalized safety plan. You will find contact information for organizations in your area on our NY Advocates and Shelters page.

* 18 USC § 2265(d)

What if I don't register my protection order? Will it be more difficult to have it enforced?

Maybe. While neither federal law nor state law requires that you register your protection order in order to get it enforced*, if your order is not entered into the state registry, it may be more difficult for a NY law enforcement official to determine whether your order is real, which means that it could take longer to get your order enforced.

If you are unsure about whether registering your order is the right decision for you, you may want to contact a local domestic violence organization in your area. An advocate there can help you decide what the safest plan of action is for you in New York. To see a list of local domestic violence organizations in NY, go to our NY Advocates and Shelters page.

 * NY Fam Ct Act 154-e(2)

Does it cost anything to register my protection order?

No. There is no fee for registering your protection order in New York.*

* NY Executive Law §221-a(3)