Colorado Title 13 Civil Protection Orders
The Law Offices of Tray Stephany hope you find this guide helpful as cursory information regarding Civil Protection Orders in the State of Colorado.
What is a civil protection order?A civil protection order is defined under 13-14-101 of Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) as an order that prohibits the restrained person from contacting, harassing, injuring, intimidating, molesting, threatening, touching, stalking, or sexually assaulting or abusing any protected person. A civil protection order may keep a retrained person from entering a residence, harming an animal, or concealing an animal.
Difference between "restrained person" and "protected person."The "restrained person" is the person that is subjected to a court order for the benefit of the "protected person." For example, if a "restrained person" is prohibited from contacting a "protected person" then the "restrained person" shall not contact the "protected person." However, and as odd as it sounds, a "protected person" could still contact the "restrained person" but the restrained person must not reciprocate the contact. On other words: a civil protection order, unless a mutual, only restricts the "restrained party." A "restrained party" should consider hiring an attorney especially because violating a protection order is a misdemeanor offense (criminal offense).
Procedure for obtaining a civil protection order under 13-14-104.5 C.R.S.If a person seeks to become a protected party they file a motion to the court asking for a protection order. The court takes testimony from the person seeking a protection order (often ex parte). If the court determines the applicant needs protection to prevent imminent harm the court will enter a temporary protection order against the "restrained party." The "protected party" must then serve the "restrained party" with the paperwork (citation) from the court with a return date for a full hearing.
What happens at a full hearing?At the hearing, under 13-14-106 C.R.S., if the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that without a protection order the "restrained party" will continue bad behavior then the court makes the order permanent. It is advantageous for either party to hire a lawyer for these cases. Each party may, if the court finds good cause, ask for one 14 day continuance. At the full hearing each side may give testimony, present witnesses, cross examine witnesses, and give opening and closing statements. If an temporary civil protection order becomes a permanent civil protection order then the order may not be modified by the "restrained party" for two years. If the parties were in an intimate relationship then the "restrained party" will no longer be able to possess firearms under 13-14-105.5 C.R.S. It is advised, especially for the potentially "restrained party" to hire counsel. It should also be noted that if parties have a child or children then the court may fashion a temporary parenting plan at the full hearing. The parenting plan may last for not more than one year.