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How to Apply for a Restraining Order or Protection Order

How to Apply for a Restraining Order or Protection Order

Criminal restraining orders are mandatory following certain domestic violence arrests in Colorado and are issued without hearings. They last for the duration of the criminal case against the defendant.

What is a Restraining or Protection Order?

When a court in Colorado orders an individual to avoid contact with another individual, it is called a restraining order or a protection order. In criminal cases, these are referred to as mandatory restraining orders. In civil cases, these are called protection orders. You may also hear them referred to as no-contact orders.

These orders are issued to those suspected of being a danger to victims, such as in cases where domestic violence or abuse is considered a real threat. The order is issued to prevent any further harm to the alleged victim.

Restraining orders in Colorado refer to the “adverse party”, “restrained person” or “defendant” as the person who is the subject of the order.

Common Reasons to File for a Restraining Order

Typically, restraining orders are issued when there are allegations of:

  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual assault
  • Stalking
  • Unlawful sexual contact
  • Abuse of an elderly or at-risk adult
  • Physical assault or threats made

The terms of the restraining order vary, depending on what the adverse party is accused of. Some common examples of conditions are:

  • No communication in person or by phone, text, email, and/or social media with the victim or even through third parties
  • Staying away from the victim’s workplace, vehicle, home, children’s schools, and/or other places
  • Temporarily surrendering custody of children and/or pets to the victim
  • Temporary removal of the right to own a gun under the extreme risk protection order (or “red flag law” as it is also known)
  • No sale or transfer of certain assets

What are the three main types of restraining orders in Colorado?

There are three main types of civil restraining orders issued by the Colorado courts, as follows:

1.  Temporary Protection Order (TPO)

A TPO typically lasts 14 days and is the first step to getting a permanent protection order (PPO).

If the victim can show the judge that he or she is in imminent danger, a TPO will be issued and a hearing date may be set to decide whether to grant a permanent order.

Once the temporary order has been issued, the adverse party must be served with the order to activate it. This can be done by:

  • The local sheriff
  • A process server, or
  • Anyone aged 18 or over and not named in the TPO

2.  Permanent Protection Order (PPO)

Permanent protection orders (PPOs) can last forever and often replace temporary restraining orders.

Before issuing a PPO, a hearing will be held at which the victim and adverse party may hire lawyers to present evidence on their behalf, introduce witnesses, and argue their case.

A temporary order may be extended from the initial 14 days to 120 days or a permanent order may be issued. Sometimes, if within a divorce case, the protection order can continue through the final hearing in the divorce case. Alternatively, the judge may decide that no protection order is warranted.

If the adverse party does not attend the hearing, a PPO can still be issued. He or she must wait two years before asking the court to modify or recall the order.

Just like with TPOs, the adverse party must be served with the PPO for it to become valid.

3.  Emergency Protection Order (EPO)

Emergency protection orders last for just three days and are usually requested by the police in the following circumstances:

  • A victim is in danger of domestic abuse or a sex offense, and
  • It is outside of normal court hours (evenings, weekends, or holidays)

Again, for the EPO to be valid, the adverse party must be served by an appropriate individual.

The victim would normally then apply for a TRO lasting 14 days to replace the EPO as soon as possible after the court re-opens. Because EPOs are requested by police, this is not something your civil attorney can obtain for you.

If you’re worried about your safety, submit a free case evaluation today or call us at (720) 594-7360.

What are the steps to obtain a civil restraining order?

Anyone who fears for their safety can apply for a civil restraining order from the local court. When a victim applies, it is called a civil restraining order. This can be filed in a new, separate case, or within a pending or prior divorce/custody/legal separation case.

Generally, there are two steps to obtain a restraining order in Colorado (assuming that the courts are open when you need to apply for it):

  1. Obtain a temporary protection order (TPO) for 14 days by filing a JDF 402 form (this is the main form but there are a few other supplemental forms that may be required). The hearing is usually held on the same day as the application and the victim may be represented by an attorney but does not have to be (the adverse party need not be present). The TPO will state a date and time for the permanent hearing,
  2. Return to court on the date indicated for the permanent hearing. The court may issue a permanent protection order (PPO) if it is warranted. The duration of this protection order is at the discretion of the judge. If you do not appear, the TPO will automatically expire.

You must be able to state to the court that the adverse party hurt or threatened to hurt you and that you are in imminent danger of further abuse or threats if the order is not issued.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking, there is no fee for filing for a temporary order. However, there may be a filing fee for a permanent order unless it is waived.

Remember, if the courts are not open when you need the restraining order, local law enforcement has procedures to obtain an emergency protective order on your behalf for three days.

In some criminal cases, criminal restraining/protective orders are issued. These are issued whether a victim requests them or not.

Criminal restraining orders are mandatory following certain domestic violence arrests in Colorado and are issued without hearings. They last for the duration of the criminal case against the defendant.

Do You Need to Apply for a Restraining Order in Colorado?

If you are based in Colorado and fear for your safety, the lawyers at Colorado Legal Group can help you seek a civil restraining order from your local court. Involving one of our attorneys can help solidify how serious you are regarding taking legal action to ensure your protection.

Fill out our free case evaluation form or call us at 720-594-7360 to get started.