If you’re at the point where you are considering getting a restraining order against someone, it's important you know the basics of how the process works in New Mexico and what exactly a restraining order does for you. There are different types of restraining orders that you can apply in different situations. If there are issues of domestic violence or abuse, your legal options may be different than if you're just facing unwanted communication. This helpful guide can provide you an overview of the types of restraining orders that might be available to you in Albuquerque and Las Cruces and how you can access them. 

Please keep in mind, YOU DO NOT NEED A LAWYER TO GET A RESTRAINING ORDER. In fact, Genus Law can only help you if that restraining order is part of a larger divorce case, or if you need representation for a DVOP hearing (a household member has filed an order of protection against you). 

If you need help with your specific family law situation, contact our Albuquerque Divorce, Custody, and Domestic Violence attorneys at (505)-317-4455 to get the legal relief you and your family deserve. Genus Law does not accept civil cases. Rather our focus is divorce and custody. If you need an order of protection against your spouse or partner, or you need help dealing with an order of protection hearing, we can help. 

A person signing a New Mexico restraining order and to the side is a gavel as well as textbooks.

What Is A Restraining Order? 

A restraining order is a temporary court order that prohibits someone, in most cases from contacting or approaching someone else. In New Mexico, there are two basic categories of restraining orders, Protection Orders and Civil Restraining Orders. Protection Orders generally deal with domestic violence. An Emergency Protection Order can be granted after you or law enforcement request one from the courts. This can usually be done after you call law enforcement to respond to an incident of domestic violence (although not necessary). You can get a usually obtain a temporary emergency order without a court hearing and without the abuser’s knowledge, however, an emergency order only lasts until you have your court hearing for a permanent domestic order. Like an emergency order, a temporary protection order (TDO) can be granted without a hearing and without the abuser knowing. Usually, a hearing will be held within 10 days of the order being granted and the other party will be notified of the upcoming hearing. Unlike an emergency order, you will have to apply for a TPO yourself. A permanent order of protection can only be granted after a hearing in which both sides are able to present evidence and testimony. A Permanent Order can last for months or years and they can be renewed once they expire. 


When Can I Get a Restraining Order?

As discussed earlier, an emergency order of protection can be requested by law enforcement if they are called to respond to an incident. However, some rural counties in New Mexico do not offer this service, in which case you will have to wait until the next business day to request a temporary order of protection. A judge will usually grant an emergency order if they have grounds to believe you or your child are in imminent danger of domestic violence following a reported incident of domestic violence. 


A temporary protection order, or TPO, can be granted by the court after you fill out an affidavit or petition stating your reasons for seeking protection. A judge can grant a TPO if they believe domestic abuse has occurred. The judge will probably also set a hearing date within 10 days of granting the order to deal with the allegations made in your petition and to see if a permanent domestic order should be granted. 

The court can grant a permanent order of protection after a formal hearing where both sides can present arguments and testimony.  If children and custody issues are involved, a judge may grant this order to last from months to years, or they can assign another expiration date based on their discretion. Other injunctive orders can be granted and can stay in place after the permanent order of protection expires. 

If both parties seek a restraining order and the judge feels that both acted aggressively and not in self-defense, they may grant a mutual order of protection. 


How Can I Get A Restraining Order? 

As previously discussed, in New Mexico, emergency orders can only be requested by law enforcement and permanent orders can only be granted by a judge after a court hearing. However, temporary orders of protection can be requested at any time at your local district courthouse. Usually, you will fill out a petition for a temporary domestic order in which you will disclose why you feel threatened. Use descriptive language and be as specific as possible, provide dates and details. You can also apply for a permanent order of protection at the same time and request a hearing date. Remember, you must prove an act or acts of domestic violence have occurred, so document everything and obtain as many records as possible. A lawyer can help you obtain the relevant documentation and advise you on what further steps need to be taken. It is likely that other issues like divorce, custody, spousal or child support will need to be addressed so contacting a knowledgeable attorney early on will likely be in your best interest. Every case is different so if you need help getting a restraining order in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Los Alamos or Las Cruces, contact Genus Law’s experienced divorce and domestic violence attorneys at (505) 317-4455 or by clicking here.

Civil Restraining Orders

Victims of non-domestic abuse or harassment can apply for a civil restraining order. The court can grant civil restraining orders if they believe permanent harm is likely to occur if the behavior is not stopped. For example in Bernalillo county, or the second judicial district,  you can apply for a civil restraining order if anyone who “caused you serious harm or threatened you with harm that is likely to continue/cause you an irreparable injury” if not ordered to stop. You can file a civil restraining order against almost anyone who you do not have a domestic relationship with, but it requires a $132.00 filing fee. 

How Will A Restraining Order Protect Me?

An emergency order of protection, which can be issued at the request of law enforcement, can either: forbids the abuser from engaging in further acts of abuse, or from threatening to commit acts of abuse, against you or any of your household members; forbid the abuser from contacting you in any way; and grant you temporary custody of your children.

A temporary protection order can: forbid the abuser from abusing you your household members; forbid the abuser from contacting you in any way (except through your lawyer if you have one); order the abuser to stay away from you, your home, school and work; grant you temporary custody of your children (and order the abuser to have no contact with them or arrange for a way for the children to be in contact with the abuser); order both you and the petitioner to not remove your children from the state or disenroll them from school while the temporary order is in effect; award child support and temporary support for you when appropriate; and order the abuser to leave the home and surrender keys to the home to law enforcement or allow law enforcement to accompany you to get your belongings if you are leaving the home.

A permanent protection order can: forbid the abuser from engaging in further acts of abuse, or from threatening to commit acts of abuse; forbid the abuser from contacting you in any way; order the abuser to let you retrieve your belongings from a home you share with him/her;award you temporary custody of any children involved and determine visitation rights, child support and temporary support for you when appropriate; forbid the abuser from hiding, giving away or throwing away your belongings; order the abuser to pay for any expenses related to the domestic abuse including medical, counseling, replacement or repair of your damaged property, lost wages, and the cost of temporary shelter;order the abuser to attend counseling sessions (and the court may also order you to attend counseling for victims); evict the abuser from a residence you share with him/her or order the abuser to provide a temporary residence for you; and order the abuser to hand over any firearms in his/her possession to the authorities and forbid him/her from buying firearms.

Whether a judge orders any or all of the above depends on the facts of your case.

If your protection order evicts the abuser from the residence you share with him/her, you can ask a local law enforcement officer to help put you in possession of the residence or carry out any other item granted in your protection order.

If you need to obtain a restraining order against your partner, spouse, ex, family member, or anyone else, Genus Law can help you obtain the protection you need. Our Albuquerque family law firm specializes in domestic issues so we are able to assist you throughout the whole process, including other issues that might be relevant , like domestic violence, divorce, custody, child and spousal support. Every case is different so call Genus Law’s experienced domestic violence lawyers at 505-317-4455 today to receive the legal help you deserve.

 For more information on Albuquerque divorce, child custody or domestic violence issues, visit our Family Law page to get the answers you need. 

Anthony Spratley
Connect with me
Experienced Divorce, Child Custody, and Guardianship Lawyer Serving Albuquerque and Beyond