RSA 173-B is New Hampshire’s domestic violence law. Under that law, an abused family or household member can quickly obtain protective orders from a court. For such orders, the victim must provide evidence in a written petition to the court of abusive conduct such as physical assault, verbal threat, destruction of property, or harassment. If the court concludes that conduct has occurred and represents a credible safety threat, the court will issue restraining orders to protect the victim. The court has discretion in fashioning the order, but it can include prohibiting the abuser from entering the victim’s residence or place of employment, from contacting the victim or family members, or from taking personal property, having the children, or possessing a weapon. The protective orders themselves are only as effective as they are obeyed, but the police are required to immediately arrest anyone who violates a protective order. Such orders are initially issued by the court on the representations of only one party, but, upon request, a follow up hearing is quickly scheduled to enable both parties to be heard.
This important law is crucial to providing protection from domestic violence, but it can also be misused as a tool to get an advantage in a family dispute. While a court will tend to err on the side of caution, it will also usually carefully consider whether there is sufficient evidence to conclude that the alleged conduct occurred and that it constitutes the required “credible threat to safety” necessary under law for a domestic violence restraining order.
The domestic violence attorneys at Winer & Bennett, LLP provide legal services to clients throughout Nashua and the surrounding cities and towns. We can help you get and keep a restraining order necessary to protect you, and we can defend you against baseless allegations being made to force you out of your own home.
If you want to be represented by an experienced attorney who knows New Hampshire’s domestic violence laws and how they are implemented as a practical matter in the courtroom, call the Nashua family law lawyers at Winer and Bennet, LLP, at 603-882-5157.