What is a No Contact Order?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A no contact order is an order from a judge that prohibits someone from making contact with another person. This can include physical, phone, and Internet contact. The order may also set out a set distance the subject is required to observe when in physical proximity to the person whom the order is supposed to be protecting. The purpose of a no contact order is to secure someone's safety.

A victim of domestic violence can request a no contact order.
A victim of domestic violence can request a no contact order.

A number of different terms are used to describe court orders that are used to limit contact for safety reasons, including protection order, restraining order, and no contact order. In some courts, these words mean different things, while in others, they can be used interchangeably. To obtain such an order, the person with safety concerns must file for a temporary order, which can be granted right away, and then go through a hearing for a permanent order. “Permanent” is a bit of a misnomer because protective orders usually expire at a certain point.

A no contact order is issued by a judge to forbid an individual from making any contact with another.
A no contact order is issued by a judge to forbid an individual from making any contact with another.

One obvious reason to request a no contact order is in connection with a domestic violence situation. A victim of domestic violence can request a no contact order for safety and can also ask that the order cover children who may be victims of violence as well. Likewise, no contact orders can be requested by people who are being stalked or harassed. Sexual assault victims may request no contact orders as well, on the grounds that they do not want to have contact with their attackers.

Phone calls may be prohibited under a no contact order.
Phone calls may be prohibited under a no contact order.

Courthouses provide the basic paperwork necessary to file for a no contact order and people can sometimes fill out the order alone or with the assistance of an advocate. However, having a lawyer can be very helpful. The lawyer can ensure that the paperwork is filed properly and assist the victim with presenting a persuasive case in court. It is important to note that judges can also make additional orders, such as giving people the right to access a jointly held car, home, or bank account exclusively. A lawyer can help a victim with deciding what to ask for and how to request it.

A no contact order will expire according to guidelines set out by the judge.
A no contact order will expire according to guidelines set out by the judge.

A no contact order will expire according to guidelines set out by the judge. The order may last for the duration of a legal case or have a time limit. Once it expires, the subject of the order can contact the person who requested it again without fear of legal reprisals. People who want to renew a no contact order must show compelling information to demonstrate that their safety is still at risk. It is also possible to lift a no contact order by request.

No contact orders may be issues in cases of bullying or violent attacks.
No contact orders may be issues in cases of bullying or violent attacks.
No contact orders may be given against someone that has threatened others with a weapon.
No contact orders may be given against someone that has threatened others with a weapon.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


My ex and I have been separated for over two years. The divorce was finalized in March 2015 and we have a two and a half year old together. He sends me harassing text messages about what went on when we were married and it has gotten to the point where I feel threatened. Can I final a no Contact Order with stipulations? Such as we only speak or text about our child?


My question is, if I get a no contact order against my sister-in-law will it prevent her from being in my home even if I am out of town? I live with my mother-in-law, and I found out my sister-in-law was in the house while I was out of town. I had to live with her before and it was a living you-know-what. I don't want her in the house. My mother-in-law doesn't seem to want to abide by that, so I want to see if i have any legal choices.


My fiance and I had a fight while our kids were home. I hit him after he called my son a baby (he was having a fit over something minor). A neighbor called the police. I was in the middle of a custody case with my ex, and when this happened, and he ended up with temporary sole custody. His argument is that my fiance was abusive, therefore, our son should not be around him.

In order for me to regain joint custody, I was forced to agree to no contact between my fiance and my son. My son is not afraid of my fiance, and my fiance poses no threat. Do you have any advice as to how to legally overcome this obstacle to our relationship?

I am in individual therapy and I am attending a family violence education course ordered by the court. My ex has an attorney, and for complicated reasons, I am unable to obtain one, and thus far, Family Services is not listening to any of my arguments.


OK, so my question is regarding a no contact order. My ex girlfriend decided to file a bogus EPO, which she dropped. There were also criminal charges that were also bogus. At the court date my attorney did not agree with what the prosecutor wanted. My attorney told me that there was a no contact order and that the judge would explain.

Well, when we went into the courtroom, the judge did not explain anything. I've been told that usually there is a set distance that you have to stay away. The reason I am concerned is that this girl and I know the same people for the most part and I just need to know exactly what it means. I have no desire to try and make contact with her, but I feel as though I have to watch everything I do when it comes to going out with friends. If someone could let me know the guidelines for a no contact order, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.


In a domestic violence case, if a no contact order is put in place by a judge against what both parties want, don't they have to both have paperwork informing them of the order, or both have signed something so they both know? And if the no contact order is in place and the girl is expecting the boy's child and they both want him at the birth, can the courts legally keep him from attending?


I really need some help! My ex mother in-law sends my son gifts. It says the gifts are from her, but in this case it is a Hallmark recordable storybook that my ex is reading. My son is also on the protection order and he is only allowed to see him on supervised visits, but he hasn't seen him for two months. I am lost. please help thank you. I live in Washington state.


If someone has an order of protection on someone, can they make any contact with one another rather by phone or in person? What if the person is in prison and they had a nasty brake-up and the other person has the person's information (in prison) like passwords to facebook and email addresses and doesn't give it to you or ''doesn't remember''? Can they get in trouble?


@Post 21: You basically need to keep records of everything she's said to you. Document everything and work with other neighbors about this. The police can't do anything without proof, but the same applies to her complaints too. Family services can't really do anything without concrete proof either. So, unless she has a lot of evidence, then her complaints will eventually be ignored. You're the one who needs evidence against her.


I am a concerned parent, mother and neighbor. A few months ago, I got a new neighbor. The first weekend that she moved in, she borrowed money from me. I didn't think anything of it. Then she started borrowing more things. I was being nice and trying to welcome her and make her feel comfortable so I didn't make a big deal out of it.

Within her first three months, she was going through things with the landlord about fixtures. Then she started complaining about other neighbors. I distanced myself from her. She started sending threats through my text about calling the cops and family services on people. I and various neighbors have had the cops called on us as well as family services. She made verbal threats that things are just getting started. The complaints are making me feel unsafe as well as making me feel confined in my own home. I feel like I have to whisper and am scared to discipline my children when the need arises. What can I do?


The court put a no contact order on my ex for a year. Can I have that removed even when it was the courts who did it, not me?


I have a no contact order through the state of new jersey. If both parties do make contact, can one be in as just as much trouble as the other?


Some females abuse the system and file claims that are not true in order to get even. They don't understand they are ruining someone's life but God don't like ugly.


My son is not married, but his girlfriend accused him of beating her (made up to get him arrested) and now, every time we go to court, the order of protection gets extended. Now it's up to two years. Also, he has another case where she accused him of robbery (not true).

This girl is medically bipolar and has schizophrenia. We cannot afford an attorney and she is constantly calling and coming to our home, promising she will not stop until he is locked up, but then turns around and swears she is sorry and that she loves him. We never called the police for fear that it would hurt our son. We do know he cares for her.


I am a caregiver and a fiancee. My fiance's daughters are trying to take control of their mother after seeing her suffer from Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's and dementia conditions. I have been taking care of her for almost five years. One of the daughters decided to come and take her away without my authorization since I work for In-Home support services. She began dispensing medication to her mother without my permission and after that episode, my fiancee wanted to leave but was held against her will, so I contacted the local police and they talked to her after she ran away, to get away from her family who were treating her like a child.

She stated numerous times she wanted to come home to me and was not allowed. Can a no contact restraining order be filed on a case like this, when she does not want to communicate with them at all?


Are the specifics of a civil no-contact order public information, or private between the two parties involved and the police department?


Can I keep my ex-husband from taking our kids to the home of his married girlfriend? She still lives with her husband and my ex has told me he is abusive towards her.


How do you get a no contact order dropped? There was a temporary order on him until we went to court. The case has been to court and the judge put a no contact order on him for one year.

How do I go about getting this dropped? We both want to be together., plus we are family through marriage and we have family get-togethers for the holidays, etc. Plus, the judge did not say how far he had to stay away.


I have a no contact order through the state. If both parties do contact, can the other be in just as much trouble as the other?


My ex-fiance and I are both active duty military. He is now stationed in England but is still harassing me through e-mail and calling my work. This has been going on since I ended our relationship six months ago. Would I be able to use a no contact order even though he is in the UK?


i live at home with my mother, father and 24 year old brother. i pay $500 a month to live at home while my brother pays nothing. he has a two year old son whom he is not allowed to see when the mother of the child is angry with my brother.

The mother of the child has come at me in my own house, threatened me in my own house and harassed me on facebook. she is absolutely crazy and i do not feel safe living in a home i pay for when she is here. i can't leave my bedroom and I'm afraid that when she leaves she is going to slit my car tires or key my car because she has keyed my brother's car about six times in the past three years and slit four tires in the same amount of time. she has broken into our home before and stolen from us before.

is there anything i can do to make sure she is not allowed in my house? my mom and dad don't know what to do because my brother wants to see his child. the last time he went over to her house (about twi weeks ago) with my mother to see his child, she refused to let him see her and she said she was going to call the cops on my mother because she was trespassing. she lives at home with her mom and dad also. they, like my parents, don't do anything about this.

if anyone has an answer, I'd really appreciate it. because i need to do something so she is not aloud in my house because I'm sick and tired of being scared in my own house.


If I am at a place and the order states he is to stay 200 feet away, and he follows me within three feet and I record this on my phone camera, and I give it to the police and they say it's just a coincidence do I have a violation case? He has already violated and been arrested for it once.


is a facebook friend request in violation?


My question is If my ex is in a store or place, can I still go shopping, or do I have to wait till he leaves. Live in a very small place, and shopping for groceries can seem to be a problem. Should I leave or come back when he is not there, or am I able to go shopping, and he must leave?

Just curious, as we have a one store town, and at times I cannot go shopping, because I see his vehicle there. anyone help me out.


Is there a way that i can stop my parents from coming to my workplace. I don't want to stop seeing them. i just want to make sure they won't be able to come to my workplace.


i want to get a no contact order on this guy because he creeps me out and won't stop texting me. he's weird and my whole family senses that he is a pervert. how can i get this order against him? can someone help me out? please!


How do I get a no contact order in Mississippi? I want to get a domestic violence no contact order to protect my children, but I don't know how to start. Can anybody help me out?


@charlie89 -- The punishments for violating a no contact order vary from state to state, but usually in the case of a civil no contact order, the violator can be arrested.

In some states, the violator can be arrested even if the victim initiates the contact.

In some cases, dropping a no contact order is possible if you feel like the person who filed the no contact order is trying to trap you into violating the order, but you should be very careful -- there's not a lot of sympathy for those who have led others to filing a restraining order.


What are the consequences of a no contact order violation? My daughter has a no contact restraining order against her ex, but we're afraid he's going to just ignore it.

So what happens if there is a violation of a no contact order? Would the violator have to go to jail, or what?

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