What is an Order of Protection?
An Order of Protection (OFP) is a court order to the abuser (called the “respondent” in court) to stay away from the victim (the “petitioner”) and to not commit further acts of domestic abuse.
An OFP can also provide other relief to the petitioner. If the petitioner and the respondent are living together, the court may require the abuser to move out. With a court order, the police will go with either the petitioner or the respondent to pick up belongings, turn over keys of the residence or car, from the property where the other party is living. The court may order temporary financial support for the victim and children; order the abuser to undergo counseling; or pay for expenses, such as medical bills, caused by the abuse.
Who is eligible for an Order of Protection?
For an Order of Protection based on stalking or sexual abuse, you do not have to have, or have had, any type of ongoing relationship with the respondent.
For an Order of Protection based on domestic violence, the respondent must be a household member. New Mexico defines a household member as a spouse, former spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, ex-boyfriend/girlfriend (including same sex relationships), parent, present or former stepparent, present or former parent in-law, child, stepchild, grandchild, co-parent of a child or a person with whom the petitioner has had a continuing personal relationship. Cohabitation is not necessary.
How do I get an Order of Protection?
A temporary OFP is the first step in getting a long-term protection order. To get a temporary order, you will need to fill out a short form (petition) describing the abuse and what happened. The form is available at the courthouse or through a domestic violence agency. Fill out the form carefully and accurately, and turn it in to the court clerk. There is no charge to file the petition. You may want to have a domestic violence advocate assist you with completing the petition. You may have to wait several hours for a judge to sign the temporary order. That judge may ask you questions. If at all possible, do not bring small children with you to the court house. The TPO is good until a judge makes a decision about a long-term order at a hearing. The hearing is scheduled for no later than ten days after the court issues the TPO. The respondent must be personally served with the temporary order. This means hand-delivered, usually by the sheriff's department. Petitioners should NOT serve respondents themselves. The temporary order is not valid and will not be enforced until the Respondent has been personally served.
How does the TPO protect me?
The order allows you to get help from the police and the court if your abuser violates the order. Keep a copy of the order with you at all times. Keep another copy in a safe place. Give copies of the order to people who can help you enforce it, such as your attorney, your employer, your landlord, neighbors or friends, and your children’s schools. If you feel comfortable telling your employer what has happened, you should also give your employer a copy of your order. (An employer who fires you for being a victim of domestic violence will be required to pay unemployment benefits to you.) If the abuser violates the court order, you can call the police. Violating a protection order is a crime and the police may immediately arrest the offender. It may also be contempt of the court, and can mean the respondent must pay a fine or spend time in jail. The TPO lasts only until the court schedules a hearing to see if you are eligible for a permanent order of protection.
Please remember that an Order of Protection is just a piece of paper and cannot fully protect you. We recommend you work with a domestic violence advocate during all steps of the process in order to help protect you.
What Is a No Contact Directive?
In an effort to support students at the University of New Mexico, the Dean of Students Office has the authority to issue and enforce No Contact Directives to students affiliated with the University of New Mexico. A No Contact Directive is a means of preventing unwanted contact and communication and serves as a way to help prevent harassment or disruptions to the learning environment within the University setting.
Is a No Contact Directive Disciplinary?
No. A No Contact Directive is mutual between the party who requested one and the party who received one. The directive is not a disciplinary action and is not indicative of a University policy violation for either party of the directive. A No Contact Directive does not provide any indication of the parties' status or participation in an investigation of any kind. A No Contact Directive would not be disclosed in a disciplinary background check process for graduate schools or other clearances.
What Does a No Contact Directive Prohibit?
A No Contact Directive prohibits contact between both parties of the directive, both on and off campus. Contact refers to any intentional words or actions, including but not limited to: Communication in person, in writing, via gesture, over the phone, online, through text message, through email, on social media or networking sites (such as through direct messages, friend requesting or tagging a profile); Destruction or vandalism of property; Encroach on the individual’s property or place of residence; Using a third party to communicate with, harass, or intimidate the other party on your behalf. A third party may be a friend, family member or other person, known or anonymous; Acts of intimidation, such as hovering, “mad-dogging,” or failing to remove yourself from close physical proximity (see below); and/or Communicating to a third party about the other party with intent to harass, harm, humiliate, or otherwise portray negatively the other party, such as spreading rumors or personal information.
A No Contact Directive prohibits intentional close physical proximity, such as intentionally sitting at the same table as the other party and/or approaching the other party while in the same academic space. We expect both students under a No Contact Directive to separate themselves from the other party as much as possible and remove themselves from situations that may lead to a violation.
What is Not Prohibited under a No Contact Directive?
A No Contact Directive does not prohibit presence in the same academic space, such as being in the same class, residence building, student organization, athletic team, or University event or function. A No Contact Directive also does not prohibit incidental contact, which may include unintentionally passing or seeing the other party.
A No Contact Directive aims to prohibit direct or directed contact. Therefore, a No Contact Directive does not prohibit either party from filing a report, complaint, lawsuit, or grievance with the University, police, government entity or other body of redress. The directive also does not prohibit either party from contacting the media, discussing the other party or situation with others, or posting on social media about the other party or situation so long as the other party is not tagged in the posts.
Who Can Receive a No Contact Directive?
The Dean of Students Office may only issue No Contact Directives between two or more students affiliated with the University of New Mexico. We have no authority to limit contact and communication with someone unaffiliated with the University, including former students who are not currently enrolled in courses. The Student Conduct Officer will work with the Health Sciences Center colleges, School of Law, and branch campus officials in requests involving students in these programs.
The Dean of Students Office has no authority to limit contact and communication with UNM staff or faculty, though there are options to address concerns involving UNM staff or faculty by involving Human Resources or the Provost’s Office. A No Contact Directive may be coordinated and issued between a student and staff or faculty by involving these offices. You may contact the Dean of Students Office, the Office of Equal Opportunity, LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center, Women’s Resource Center, Vassar House, the Learning Environment Office, or the LGBTQ Resource Center to discuss those options.
How Long Does a No Contact Directive Stay in Place?
A No Contact Directive will remain in place for the duration of the time both parties are students at UNM, including if they enter a different program or graduate school. A shorter duration may be contemplated on a case-by-case basis. See below for information on removal of a No Contact Directive.
How Can a Student Request a No Contact Directive?
Any UNM student currently enrolled in courses, including non-degree, graduate and professional students, can request a No Contact Directive by calling the Dean of Students Office at 505-277-3361 or emailing at email@example.com and requesting a meeting with a Conduct Officer. The student will need to share relevant information as to why the No Contact Directive is being requested and how contact with the other party is impacting the requesting student’s learning environment at the University. The Conduct Officer’s decision to issue the directive will be based on the following factors: severity and/or pervasiveness of unwanted contact or fear of unwanted contact, likelihood of continued unwanted contact, and any other relevant circumstances. The facts surrounding the request for the directive will be considered on a caseby-case basis.
Can I Remain Anonymous and Still Get a No Contact Directive?
Due to the nature of a No Contact Directive, the other party must know your identity so they know to refrain from contact and communication. Additionally, the Conduct Officer(s) in the Dean of Students Office are responsible employees and may have to disclose information you share with them to the Office of Equal Opportunity or to UNM Police for Clery Act purposes. They also may have to investigate disclosures themselves under the Code of Conduct to ensure campus safety.
If you are interested in pursuing a No Contact Directive without having to disclose relevant information as to why the No Contact Directive is being requested to avoid triggering a report or investigation, you may meet with an advocate at the LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center, Women’s Resource Center, Vassar House, Learning Environment Office, or LGBTQ Resource Center to discuss options. The advocates may work with the Conduct Officer on having a No Contact Directive issued without the disclosure of information. The advocates would have to confirm to the Conduct Officer that the learning environment is being impacted.
What if I’m in the same class/student organization/residence hall/athletic team with the other person subject to the No Contact Directive?
A No Contact Directive does not prohibit presence in the same academic space, such as a class, student organization, residence hall or athletic team. Some incidental contact may be unavoidable in these spaces, but there are steps to mitigate potential interactions.
If you are in the same class as the other person, you may notify the professor that there is a No Contact Directive in place. This is so the professor is aware not to assign you to group projects or other mandated interactions. If you are in the same student organization as the other person, you may notify professional staff in the Student Activities Center that there is a No Contact Directive in place. Professional staff in the Student Activities Center may brainstorm how to best approach interactions in the student organization given the No Contact Directive. If you are in the same on-campus residence hall as the other person, you may notify professional housing staff that there is a No Contact Directive in place. If you are on the same athletic team, you may notify the coach or other professional athletics staff that there is No Contact Directive in place.
You do not have to disclose the reason a No Contact Directive is in place to any individual, including a professor, any professional UNM staff, student organization leadership, RA, coach, or athletic advisor. No adverse action should be taken against anyone for disclosing a No Contact Directive is in place or seeking assistance in having it enforced. A No Contact Directive does not indicate a University policy violation or status in any investigation. Should anyone have questions about the No Contact Directive, please refer them to the Conduct Officer in the Dean of Students Office.
In limited circumstances, the University may assess on a case-by-case basis options for moving one or both students in the same class or residence hall to a different space.
Is a No Contact Directive the Same as a Restraining Order?
No. A No Contact Directive is an administrative directive and does not carry the force of law. It therefore is not enforceable by police or the courts. For information regarding a Temporary Restraining Order or Order of Protection enforceable by police or the courts, you may contact UNM Police, the Albuquerque Police Department, or one of UNM’s confidential campus advocates.
How are No Contact Directives Enforced?
A No Contact Directive is a directive by the Dean of Students Office. As such, violations of a No Contact Directive may be subject to disciplinary action under the UNM Student Code of Conduct, which could include suspension or expulsion from the University of New Mexico. For more information on the Student Code of Conduct, you may refer to the student handbook, The UNM Pathfinder at http://pathfinder.unm.edu. Alleged violations of a No Contact Directive should be reported as soon as practicable to the Student Conduct Officer in the Dean of Students Office and should include any supporting documentation or evidence of the violation. Any disciplinary action taken is confidential and the party who reported a violation may not know the outcome of any disciplinary action(s), or if any were taken.
Can I call the Police if a No Contact Directive is Violated?
Although UNM Police may not legally enforce a No Contact Directive, you may contact them if you fear for your safety or believe you are being harassed.
Why did I receive a No Contact Directive?
You received a No Contact Directive because the other party requested one from the Dean of Students Office. In limited circumstances, University officials may implement a No Contact Directive without either party requesting one.
Can I Contest the Issuance of a No Contact Directive?
No. Since the No Contact Directive is not disciplinary, there is no process by which a student may contest its issuance or the facts provided to decide that the No Contact Directive should be issued. If you have concerns about its issuance, please request a meeting with the Conduct Officer to discuss those concerns.
What Happens if a No Contact Directive is Violated?
If the Conduct Officer receives a report that a No Contact Directive is violated, they may initiate disciplinary proceedings under the Code of Conduct. For more information on the Code of Conduct process, you may refer to the student handbook, The UNM Pathfinder at http://pathfinder.unm.edu.
What Happens if I Didn’t Read the No Contact Directive?
The Conduct Officer sends notices of a No Contact Directive via software that tracks if/when a student has read the notice. A No Contact Directive is considered issued within 24 hours of sending or once the parties have read the notice, whichever is sooner. University Administrative Policy 2540: Student Email https://policy.unm.edu/universitypolicies/2000/2540.html affirms that email is an official form of communication for the University with the full expectation that students will receive and read emails in a timely fashion. Therefore, students are responsible for abiding by a No Contact Directive and may face disciplinary outcomes for violations even if they have not read the notice.
Can I Remove a No Contact Directive After Requesting One?
Maybe. We expect all students who request a No Contact Directive to be intentional and serious about wanting all contact and communication with the other party to cease. If the requesting student asks that a No Contact Directive be lifted, the Conduct Officer will ask the other party if they want the directive to be lifted or remain in place. Only if both parties agree to have the directive lifted will the Conduct Officer do so. Should the parties have the directive lifted, the Conduct Officer may decline to re-issue a directive between those parties again in the future.
Who Do I Contact if I have Additional Questions?
You may call the Dean of Students Office at 505-277-3361 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions or concerns.
Dean of Students Office University Advisement and Enrichment Center (Bldg. 85), Room 281 505-277-3361 email@example.com
LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center University Advisement and Enrichment Center (Bldg. 85), Room 262 505-277-1580 firstname.lastname@example.org
UNM Police Department 2500 Campus Blvd. NE Dispatch: 505-277-2241 For emergencies, dial 911
Office of Equal Opportunity/Title IX Coordinator 609 Buena Vista Dr NE 505-277-5251 email@example.com
Student Health & Counseling Building 73 505-277-3136 After-Hours On call Service: 505-277—3136 Option #3
Women’s Resource Center 302 Cornell Dr. 505-277-3716 firstname.lastname@example.org
LGBTQ Resource Center 1919 Las Lomas NE 505-277-5428 email@example.com
Vassar House 917 Vassar NE
Learning Environment Office Reginald Heber Fitz Hall, Room 187 505-272-7867 HSC-LEO@salud.unm.edu