In the State of Colorado, protection orders are classified as either civil or criminal, depending on the circumstances. When a criminal Protection Order is issued in conjunction with a domestic relations matter, the order may be incorporated into the domestic relations case.
Protection Orders, also called Restraining Orders, are temporary orders put in place by a Court to protect individuals from potential harm, by restricting an accused person from contacting an alleged victim, as well as restricting access to places such as a victim’s workplace, school, church or other regular place of activity. Protective orders can also restrict the use of and access to firearms by an accused person. In cases of domestic violence, a protective order can also remove a spouse or domestic partner from a shared home, and limit access to children and animals, if warranted.
Criminal Protection Orders are issued when there is the potential threat of harm to an individual or group of people in connection to a criminal matter. This includes matters of domestic violence, where the parties involved have been in a specific (often intimate) relationship. Criminal Protection Orders are mandatory when a person is arrested on charges of domestic violence.
Protective Orders begin as a temporary action to protect a person or persons from imminent harm by another person but can be made permanent depending on the circumstances.
A Temporary Protection Order is issued by filing documents with the court and explaining the circumstances surrounding your request. Judges can issue a Temporary Order, usually lasting no more than a few weeks, or until a hearing can be held, and then the matter is set for a hearing on permanency.
To obtain a Permanent Protection Order, a full hearing is held, and both parties present evidence to the Court to support or refute the position that a Permanent Order is necessary. The Judge evaluates the parties’ statements and evidence presented and makes a determination as to the credibility of an ongoing threat of harm to an individual.
To obtain a Temporary Protection Order be prepared to do the following:
Fill out the required forms which can be found here.
- Verified Complaint and Motion for Civil Protection Order;
- Information Sheet for Registering a Protection Order;
- Affidavit Regarding Children (if applicable), and
- Incident Checklist.
Be specific and detailed in your documents to provide the Court.
Take the forms to the courthouse for the county in which you reside. The Clerk of Court will assist you with filing.
Generally, you will go before the Judge on the day of filing, and a Temporary Protection Order will be issued. This Order must be personally served upon the party to be retrained. Do not do this yourself but arrange service through either the county Sheriff’s office or a private service, which can be researched online. This Temporary Order will have a date for a future appearance in which a Judge will determine whether the Protection Order is still needed, and for how long.
You are not required to have a lawyer at a protection order hearing but having one is recommended. If the other party has a lawyer and you do not, you may be at a disadvantage.