Colorado Civil Protection Order - All You Need to Know

February 17, 2023
Civil Protection Order

A protection order also called a restraining order, is a legal way to provide a level of safety against people who are threatening them. If someone has experienced violence, assault, stalking, threats, or other abusive and dangerous behavior, they can file a civil protection order against their abuser.

A civil protection order is court-ordered and will keep the restrained party away from the protected party that filed the order. It may prevent a restrained party from coming near your home, your loved ones, or your place of work. It can even make them move out of your home if you live together. Protective orders institute no-contact orders, meaning that the restrained party cannot contact you for any reason.

Why a Person May Need a Protective Order

There are several reasons why a person may file a protective order against someone. Most often, this is done to ensure their own safety and the safety of their loved ones. It also offers additional safety, provides distance between a person and their abuser, and gives them time to contact an attorney for additional protection. If the restrained party violates the protection order, they face criminal charges. These consequences mean that restrained parties rarely violate protective orders.

Types of Civil Protection Orders in Colorado

  • Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) An extreme risk protection order can be filed by law enforcement, family members, or a person who has lived with you for the last six months. This type of protective order is for extreme situations where immediate danger is present. If the petitioner believes that someone is a risk to themselves or others because of a firearm, they may file an ERPO. For an ERPO, the court orders the person to give up their firearms. The person is also not allowed to purchase other firearms. This order lasts for two weeks, during which it will be determined if the order is extended or not.
  • Temporary Protection Order (TPO) A temporary protection order can be filed by someone who has suffered violence or violent threats and believes they are in immediate danger. To get a TPO, you must prove past harm and imminent future danger to yourself or your loved ones.A TPO goes into effect when it has been served on the restrained party. It lasts for two weeks. This is the amount of time before the court hearing for a permanent protective order. The hearing will give both you and the restrained party the chance to argue your cases concerning a permanent protective order.
  • Permanent Protection Order (PPO) During a hearing for a permanent protection order, the court must find that the harm or violence that led to the TPO was done by the restrained party. They must also determine if they will continue those harmful actions or otherwise harm the protected party without a PPO. If the court orders a PPO, it lasts indefinitely unless it is dismissed or modified.
  • Protective Orders Obtained by Employers In Colorado, a business or employer can request a civil protective order. Suppose someone has threatened or assaulted you, your employee or employees, or your client or customers. If you fear future harm from this person, you can file for a protective order. This follows the same process as a TPO followed by a hearing for a PPO.

Limitations of a Civil Protection Order

Depending on the terms of a civil protective order, it may:

  • Prevent further domestic violence or abuse.
  • Force an abuser to leave a shared home with you.
  • Prohibit them from being a certain distance from your home, workplace, school, childcare facility, or other locations.
  • Force the restrained party to give up firearms if the cause of the order was domestic violence.
  • Give you temporary custody over shared children.

Civil Protection Orders vs. Criminal Mandatory Protection Orders

While a civil protection order is part of civil law, a mandatory protective order (MPO) is part of criminal law. The court files an MPO, and this is done whether the victim files for a civil protection order or not.

An MPO prevents a restrained person from retaliating against, harassing, or interfering with victims and witnesses. Criminal protective orders last until acquittal or until the restrained person is convicted and sentenced.

FAQs About Colorado Civil Protection Order

How does a protection order work in Colorado?

To obtain a protective order against someone who is harming you, you must file for a restraining order. Before the court hearing, a temporary protective order may be set in place. This usually lasts for about two weeks. Then, in court, it is determined whether a permanent protective order will be issued.

What is a civil protection order in Colorado?

A civil protection order can be ordered by victims and by employers. If there has been serious harm, violence, or threat of violence, you can request a civil protection order from the court to keep the person who harmed you away. A protective order means that they are legally required to stay away from you, your home, or your place of business. The exact requirements depend on the terms of the order.

How do I fight a civil protection order in Colorado?

If you are served a temporary civil protection order, it can be challenged during the hearing for a permanent civil protection order. To do so, you need an effective attorney representing you who can explain your side of the story. Failing to go to a court hearing will likely ensure that a permanent protection order is made against you. Once a permanent civil protection order is passed, it can be dismissed, but the process is more complex.

What does a protection order do?

The point of a protection order is to protect the victim of abuse and violence from their abuser. A civil protective order can be issued against anyone who has harmed you, including strangers. However, it is most commonly issued against family members, roommates, or ex-partners for domestic violence or sexual harassment. A protective order is a legally enforceable court order that keeps the restrained party away from the victim.

Filing for a Civil Protective Order

If you are in danger from stalking, abuse, or threats of violence, know that you can file for a protective order to keep yourself safe. You have the right to feel safe. A Denver protection order attorney at Johnson Law Group, LLC, can help you through legal procedures quickly and effectively. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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Written by Family Law Attorney Myles S. Johnson
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