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What Are The Differences Between A Limited Protective Order And A Full Protective Order?

A Protective order, sometimes called a restraining order, is an order issued by the court that is meant to protect someone who may be threatened, abused, or harassed by another person by limiting their behavior, their location, or their contact with the victim. Both parties are often in a relationship of some kind whether current or former, but sometimes the offender does not have a relationship with the victim - a great example of this would be a celebrity stalker.

Types of Protective orders

There are two kinds of protective orders to be aware of: A Limited Protective order and a Full Protective order.

A limited protective order is meant to keep the “abuser” from assault, staking, harassing, intimidating etc. their victims. These orders are common with domestic violence cases and may be expanded to include other family members or roommates. Sometimes these orders have provisions that allow limited contact for purposes regarding mutual children.

A full protective order is meant to keep the abuser from all contact. These orders usually also have physical restrictions regarding how close the offender may get to the victim. A common distance for example is 100 yards. This order may specify that the offender may not text, email, call, or have any verbal or physical contact with the victim or come within 100 yards of the victim at any time.


These orders can be temporary or permanent. An emergency order may only be in effect for a few days until the courts can determine whether or not to extend it. Once the courts determine the validity of the claims against the offender they may choose to extend the order to last from 1 to 5 years or even a lifetime.


If the offender does not comply with the court order to stay away from the victim they may be charged with anything from contempt of court to felony domestic violence. These charges will vary with the severity of the violation and how many times the order has been violated.


There are many resources for the people who may be in need of protective orders. Here are a few for residents of the state of New York:

NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

NYS Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Safe Horizon

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