Civil Protection Orders
If you or your children are in danger from your spouse or someone else, you should call for help and go to safety as instructed by the police. In addition, Colorado courts handling both criminal and civil cases can issue restraining orders. In civil cases, such as divorce cases, restraining orders are called civil protection orders. At Dymond•Reagor, we assist our clients in obtaining civil protection orders as well as defending against such orders.
How do I get a Protection Order?
In most cases the person requesting a civil protection order goes to court and requests a temporary civil protection order. This is done without the defendant being present. If the judge agrees that an imminent danger exists to the person asking for protection, the judge issues a temporary civil protection order, which is served on the defendant.
A second court date is set at which both parties appear before the judge and may testify and offer other evidence to show whether the temporary order should be made permanent or not. The order is made permanent if the judge believes the defendant committed acts of assault, threatened bodily harm, domestic abuse, emotional abuse of an elderly or at-risk adult or stalking and believes that such acts are reasonably likely to recur.
How does a Protection Order Help Me?
Because a civil protection order is a piece of paper, not bullet-proof vest, it may provide no safety against a defendant who is intent on assaulting or threatening a victim and is not afraid of the consequences of violating a court’s order. In some cases, involving extremely violent or disturbed defendants, it may upset them even more and have an opposite effect. However, in many cases a civil protection order stops the defendant from continuing the offensive behavior. In family law cases, the client usually knows the defendant and can best predict how a civil protection order will affect a defendant. If a civil protection order is issued by the court against a spouse, the court can prevent that spouse from contact with the other spouse and children and preclude the spouse from various locations such as the family home or children’s school.
When Does the Defendant Get a Chance to Object to the Order?
The judge typically grants a temporary protection order after hearing only the complaining spouses side of the story. However, a hearing must be scheduled within 14 days, at which time the other spouse can offer testimony and evidence to convince the judge that a protection order is not necessary. The judge then decides whether to cancel the temporary protective order or make it a permanent order.