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All Types of CO Protection Orders

A protective order is an order issued by a court telling one person (the restrained person) to stay away from and not to hurt, threaten, or communicate with another person. A protective order is also known as a protection order, a restraining order, a civil protective or restraining order, an injunction, a no contact order. The order is usually issued by a judge for the protection of family members exposed to domestic violence. It orders the abuser to do or not to do certain things that the judge specifies.

Protective orders can be obtained by victims and also by employers.

Employers Obtaining Protective Orders

Pursuant to section 13-14-102, Colorado Revised Statutes, a business can seek a civil protective order against a person who has threatened, attempted or completed assaults, and/or bodily harm. Many courts in Colorado will issue a protective order for a business if there has been a threat, attempted or completed assault, or bodily harm. There are a few courts that feel that this is not appropriate. (NOTE: 2002 HB 1051 clarifies for the courts that they are authorized to issue such orders. As of March 4, 2002 the bill had passed the House and was to be heard in the Senate.)

To seek a protective order:

Contact the county or district court in your area about procedures for obtaining protective orders (many jurisdictions have specific court rooms or times when protective order petitions are heard).

Appear at the appropriate time without the person to be restrained (ex-parte) and explain to the judge why you want a protective order. You must show that there was a threatened, attempted or completed assault, or bodily harm against you, your employee(s), or your client(s)/customer(s). It is required that you tell the court, at least, about the most recent incident. You can also tell the court about other incidents. You must also state that you, your employees, and/or your clients/customers are fearful that future assaults or bodily harm will take place. If the judge finds that imminent danger exists to you, your employees, or your clients/customers, the judge will issue a temporary protective order. You will receive a copy for yourself and one to have served on the restrained person.

Once a temporary protective order is issued, you must have it personally served on the restrained party. The Sheriff’s office will serve the protective order (usually for a fee). (Once the restrained party is served, she/he must follow the protective order and stay away from your business and follow any other condition the judge ordered.)

The temporary protective order will be effective until the permanent protective order hearing. The hearing must be set to take place within 14 days. If after hearing evidence (mostly presented by witnesses) from both parties, the judge believes that the restrained party threatened, attempted or completed assault, or bodily harm, and if not restrained will continue to do so, the judge will issue a permanent protective order. (In Colorado the protective order is effective forever unless the court vacates — cancel — the protective order.)

If the restrained person does not appear for the permanent protective order hearing, the judge will issue a permanent protective order if you wish her/him to do so. If you fail to appear for a permanent protective order hearing, the temporary protective order will be dismissed and you will have to start over. (The judge can grant continuances of the hearing if you show up and explain why you need a continuance, e.g., a witness is sick or the restrained party could not be served.)

If the restrained person ever wants to vacate or modify the conditions of the protective order, she/he must notify you (if they can find you) and come back to court for another hearing. She/he would claim that the protective order is no longer needed. It would be up to you to say otherwise.

Victims Obtaining Protective Orders: (Domestic Violence Does Happen for Victims of Domestic Violence)

Part of a victim’s safety plan may be a protective order. Reasons for getting a protective order:

  • While some people who have restraining orders against them try to violate those orders, most don’t violate the orders.
  • A protective order gives the abuser a message from an objective authority figure that abuse must stop.
  • A protective order empowers the victim by having an objective authority figure validate the reality of her/his danger.
  • A protective order informs law enforcement that the victim is serious about stopping the abuse and keeping the abuser away.
  • A protective order delivers (hopefully) consequences if the abuser continues his/her abusive behavior.
  • A protective order documents the victim’s attempts to change the situation and distance her/himself from the abuser.
  • A protective order can allow the victim time to contact a lawyer.
  • A protective order may make the justice system aware of the victim’s situation and provides the victim with a way to get some added help from law enforcement before violence happens.
  • If the victim calls law enforcement when someone has, or is trying to violate the order, this will give him/her evidence to use in legal cases they may have against the restrained person.
  • If the person the victim has a protective order against violates the order, the victim can call the law enforcement, possibly before the restrained person can cause more harm.
What a Protective Order can do
  • Prohibit further acts of domestic violence.
  • Prohibit the abuser from directly communicating with the victim (via phone, fax, email, or in person).
  • Prohibit the abuser from going within a specific distance of the victim’s home or place of employment.
  • Prohibit the abuser from going near the home, child care facility, or school of a child protected under the order.
  • Provide for the victim parent to have temporary decision-making responsibility for children.
  • Set child support or spousal support.
  • Order the abuser to attend counseling or an intervention program.
  • Provide for the possession of mutually-owned property, such as a home or car.
  • Help the victim establish the conditions when she/he should seek assistance from law enforcement.
Who can get a Protective Order
  • Adults who are related to the abuser by blood or marriage. This includes a spouse, parent, sibling, parent-in-law.
  • Ex-spouses.
  • Persons currently living with an abusive partner or who have lived together in the past or who have a child together.
  • Persons who have been involved in “an intimate relationship”

In Colorado there are several ways a protective order may be issued.

  1. A mandatory protective order is issued by the court in a criminal proceeding (Colorado Revised Statutes Section 18-1-1001).

This order retrains a person from harassing, molesting, intimidating, retaliating against, or tampering with any witness or victim. In cases of domestic violence the court can order the defendant:

  • To stay away from victim’s home or other location including work;
  • To not have direct or indirect contact with the victim;
  • To not possess firearms or other weapons; and
  • To not possess or consume alcohol or controlled substances; or
  • Any other order the court thinks is appropriate to protect the safety of the victim.

This protective order lasts until the defendant is acquitted or until the defendant is convicted and completes his/her sentence.

A civil protective order is issued by a court after a victim petitions the court to have someone stay away from them. A civil protective order requires the victim to go to court at least twice.

At the first hearing, the victim provides information about the harm the other person has caused her/him and why he/she thinks the person will hurt them again. At the second hearing, the restrained person (defendant) has an opportunity to appear and give reasons why they think the order should not be made permanent. If the order is made permanent, it is in effect forever, unless the court cancels the order. However, the parts of the order concerning children will end after 120 days. It is therefore necessary that the victim also file in District Court for separation, divorce, or custody, so that he/she can get permanent custody and child support orders. (Colorado Revised Statutes Section 13-14-101,102)

Where and how to get a Civil Protective Order
  • A person doesn’t need an attorney to file a protective order, although they may choose to use one.
  • A person can get a standardized form at the courts, or through the Judicial Branch Web site.

There is a filing fee with the court and an additional fee to have the other person served with the order. These fees may be waived for low-income people. The victim can check for times and locations at local courthouse or domestic violence agency and for court filing fees (on average $30; can be paid over time or waived if unable to be paid). The process to obtain an order will take at least two weeks.

First a person can get a temporary order which is good for 14 days. Then he/she attends a permanent order hearing (usually within 14 days) where the judge will decide if there is a reason to make the temporary order permanent.

A temporary injunction automatically takes effect at the time of filing for divorce. This injunction restrains both parties from:

  • transferring, encumbering, concealing, or disposing of marital property;
  • molesting or disturbing the peace of the other party;
  • removing minor children from the state without the consent of the other party or an order from the court; or
  • changing insurance without 14 days notice or written consent or court order. (CRS Section 14-10-107)
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