Are you looking to fight or obtain a civil protection order in Denver? Either way, you probably have some pressing questions about the process.
That’s why we’ve compiled a guide on protection orders in Colorado, so you know where and how to begin.
What is a Civil Protection Order?
Colorado considers a civil protection order, also known as a restraining order, a court order that prohibits a person or party from interacting with a protected party in some capacity.
The stated purpose of these orders is to “promote safety, reduce violence and other types of abuse, and prevent serious harm and death” (C.R.S13-14-100.2.).
Courts can issue civil restraining orders for many reasons. Some of the most common situations include issues of domestic abuse, sexual or physical assault, stalking, and unlawful sexual conduct. The conditions of civil restraining orders are unique in every case but typically include:
- Avoiding contact with the victim
- Avoiding specific locations, particularly those a victim may frequent
- Temporarily relinquishing care of children or pets to the victim or other family
Types of Civil Protection Orders
There are two types of civil protection orders in Colorado.
- Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO): Temporary protection orders usually last 14 days and are the first step towards obtaining a permanent restraining order. To qualify for a TRO, the victim must demonstrate that they are in immediate danger. Once the order is granted, a third-party individual (such as the local sheriff or a process server) will then serve the dependant with the TRO.
- Permanent Restraining Orders (PRO): These restraining orders can last forever; however, judges can agree to change or cancel them down the line. Before granting a PRO, a judge will hold a hearing, where the victim and abuser have a chance to argue their respective sides. While the abuser does not need to be present for this trial, the victim must be at the hearing.
Do not confuse civil restraining orders with mandatory protection orders (MPOs), which aim to protect a victim in a criminal law case. MPOs last until the conclusion of the case and violating the order is a crime. You can learn more about MPOs in Colorado here.
How to Get a Civil Protection Order
For anyone seeking a temporary protection order, Colorado provides these instructions. In short, the party filing for a protection order must complete the appropriate forms, including:
- Verified Compliant/Motion for a Protection order (JDF 402): This form must include specific and complete information regarding why you seek the protection order.
A notary public or court clerk must witness and sign this form before you can file it.
- An Incident Checklist (JDF 401): This document lists the incidents that caused you to seek protection and may be kept or filed with the previous form.
- Affidavit Regarding Children (JDF 404): You must file this form if you seek temporary custody of any children involved in your case. A notary public or court clerk must also sign this form.
Once you file these forms, you will need to prepare to answer any questions at the temporary protection order hearing. We strongly recommend seeking legal counsel for these hearings, as the defending party will likely do the same.
How to Fight a Protection Order
If you feel you have been wrongly subjected to a civil protection order in Colorado, you can still fight it in court to have a judge dismiss it.
It is much easier to fight a temporary restraining order (TRO) than a permanent one (PRO), so you will want to seek legal counsel right away. Once a PRO is in effect, defendants must wait two years before seeking to reverse it.
Even if you feel that the order against you is unjust, violating a restraining order is a criminal offense that can result in fines and jail time. For your best chance of beating a temporary protection order, you must follow the order until the permanent order’s hearing date. In that time, learn what allegations have been set against you, gather evidence, and seek legal representation.
Need Legal Help?
Protection orders get serious fast. You don’t have to face them alone.
At COLaw Team, we have dedicated ourselves to treating every client as a VIP. Our clients receive only the best care, and we use the latest in technology to make our legal services affordable.
Contact us on our website or call us at (970) 670-0738 to get in touch with a professional Colorado lawyer.