Violence Protective Restraining Orders
is a law in New Hampshire designed to protect any adult against
domestic violence. That law is RSA 173-B.
To use the law, you do not have to be
married to or even have lived with the person who abused you.
The law protects you from abuse by current or former sexual
or intimate partners, as well as past or present household
or family members.
Applying for a Domestic Violence Protective
Order is considered a civil action and the person applying
is considered the 'plaintiff' and the alleged abuser is considered
What Can Protective Orders Do?
- Order a person to stop abusing, threatening,
harassing, or intimidating you or your household members,
other relatives or friends.
- Award custody of minor children (in
most cases, the defendant will still have visitation rights
with the children).
- Direct the defendant to pay child
support for those children.
- Give petitioner the use of the home,
furniture and/or car (if the property and/or car are in
the defendant's name only and there are no children together,
it will be unlikely that this will be granted).
- Order the defendant to refrain from
contacting you at, or entering your place of residence,
employment or school.
- Restraining the defendant from taking,
converting or damaging property in which you have a legal
or equitable interest.
- Order the defendant to attend personal
counseling, a parenting class and/or a batterer's intervention
- Order the defendant to pay for costs
caused by the most recent incident of abuse, such as medical
fees, loss of wages, moving expenses, emergency shelter,
damaged property, and attorney fees.
- Order the defendant to turn over any
and all weapons he or she may have to a peace officer (you
should list the number, locations and kinds of weapons the
How to Get a Domestic Violence Protective
You can ask for a temporary protective
order in the District or Superior Court serving either the
town in which you live, the town where the abuser lives or
the town or city to which you went for safety. There are three
courts, which serve our county:
Keene District Court
Serving the towns of Keene, Westmoreland, Surry, Stoddard,
Chesterfield, Gilsum, Richmond, Nelson, Alstead, Roxbury,
Sullivan, Harrisville, Hinsdale, Winchester, Walpole, Troy,
Marlborough, Swanzey and Marlow
Jaffrey Peterborough District
Serving the towns of Jaffrey, Rindge, Fitzwilliam, Dublin,
Temple, Sharon, Greenville, Greenfield, Peterborough, Hancock
and New Ipswich
Cheshire County Superior Court
Serving all of Cheshire County.
You can also call Monadnock Center for
Violence Prevention with questions about Protective Orders
and/or assistance. Their telephone number is 603-352-3782.
If available, an advocate from their office will assist and
accompany you to the court for a Domestic Violence Petition.
A Domestic Violence Petition is an application
for a DV Protective Restraining Order and is available at
any one of the above courts. There is no cost for filing the
protective order or for serving the papers on the abuser.
You can call Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention and
they can discuss the options with you.
For more details about the process
of obtaining a protective restraining order download this