Temporary vs. Permanent Civil Protection Order

Civil protection orders are common in divorce and in situations where a relationship that was once good goes wrong. Sometimes the only way for someone to protect him or herself is to seek a civil protection order, sometimes called a restraining order.

Civil protection orders can be temporary or permanent. The purpose of each is the same:

• To prevent assaults and threatened harm
• To prevent domestic abuse
• To prevent emotional abuse, especially for at-risk adults and the elderly
• To prevent sexual assault or abuse
• To prevent stalking

The person filing for the restraining order (the petitioner) must show that there is imminent danger to the person seeking the order. The court considers relevant evidence, but the civil protection order hearing is not used to determine someone’s guilt or innocence.

According to C.R.S. § 13-14-104.5:

(7)(a) A temporary civil protection order may be issued if the issuing judge or magistrate finds that an imminent danger exists to the person or persons seeking protection under the civil protection order. In determining whether an imminent danger exists to the life or health of one or more persons, the court shall consider all relevant evidence concerning the safety and protection of the persons seeking the protection order. The court shall not deny a petitioner the relief requested because of the length of time between an act of abuse or threat of harm and the filing of the petition for a protection order.

(b) If the judge or magistrate finds that an imminent danger exists to the employees of a business entity, he or she may issue a civil protection order in the name of the business for the protection of the employees. An employer is not be liable for failing to obtain a civil protection order in the name of the business for the protection of the employees and patrons.

(8) Upon the filing of a complaint duly verified, alleging that the respondent has committed acts that would constitute grounds for a civil protection order, any judge or magistrate, after hearing the evidence and being fully satisfied therein that sufficient cause exists, may issue a temporary civil protection order to prevent the actions complained of and a citation directed to the respondent commanding the respondent to appear before the court at a specific time and date and to show cause, if any, why said temporary civil protection order should not be made permanent. In addition, the court may order any other relief that the court deems appropriate. Complaints may be filed by persons seeking protection for themselves or for others as provided in section 26-3.1-102(1)(b) and (1)(c), C.R.S.

Permanent Civil Protection Orders

To receive a permanent civil protection order, the person requesting the protection order must show that the threat will still exist unless a Permanent Protection Order is entered and/or the temporary order was violated.

The Court must find that unless restrained, the person will continue to commit acts designed to intimidate or retaliate against the protected person. If this is the case, the Judge or Magistrate shall order the Temporary Protection Order to be made Permanent or enter a Permanent Protection Order with provisions different from the Temporary Protection Order.

The Court may also choose to continue the Temporary Protection Order and set a hearing for not more than one year after the original Permanent Protection Order hearing date if the Court determines that a continuance of the hearing would be in the parties’ best interests and if both parties are present at the hearing and agree to the continuance.

If you need assistance protecting yourself in a domestic violence situation or you have questions about permanent or temporary civil protection orders, contact Montgomery Little & Soran, PC at 303-773-8100.