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Frequently Asked Questions – Protection Orders

NEW FILINGS FOR PROTECTION ORDERS ARE ONLY ACCEPTED BETWEEN 8:00 A.M. AND 9:00 A.M. MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO FILE?

You may file for a Protection Order if

  • There has been an act or threatened act of violence against you, and
  • You or the other party lives or works in Denver County, and
  • There is not a custody or divorce case filed

{ If a custody or divorce case has been filed, you must go to that jurisdiction to obtain a protection order }

WHAT IS THE FEE TO FILE A CASE?

There is a filing fee EXCEPT when the person seeking a Protection Order is a victim of domestic abuse, stalking, sexual assault or unlawful sexual contact.

WHAT IF I CANNOT PAY THE FEE?

Colorado Revised Statutes §13-16-103 provides for an indigent person to proceed without payment of costs, at the discretion of the Judge.

WHAT CLASSIFIES A CASE AS “DOMESTIC”?

“Domestic” is defined as blood relative, roommate or involved in an intimate relationship.

HOW WILL THE PROTECTION ORDER HELP ME?

The Court will ORDER that the defendant/restrained person, shall not contact, harass, stalk, injure, intimidate, threaten, or molest you, or threaten, take, transfer,conceal, harm, or dispose of an animal owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by you, or coming within a specified distance of you.

HOW DO I RESPOND TO A PROTECTION ORDER?

If you would like to respond to the Temporary Protection Order you must appear at the scheduled hearing. You may not request an earlier court date.  You are required to comply with all of the restrictions of the protection order until such time as they are cancelled by the Court.   It is important that you understand that only the Court can modify or cancel the protection order.  You must comply with all of the terms of the protection order, even if the protected person tells you that it is okay for you to now have contact with them.  Violating the Order puts you at risk of having criminal charges filed against you as well as possible jail time.  Only the Court can modify or cancel the protection order.

CAN I CANCEL THE PROTECTION ORDER?

A protected party may file a Motion to Dismiss the Protection Order at any time; however only the judicial office can cancel or change the Order.  A restrained party may file a Motion to Dismiss the Protection Order at anytime; however, the judicial officer cannot typically cancel an Order issued on or after July 1, 2013 at the request of the restrained party unless two (2) years has passed since the Order was issued.  For a Permanent Protection Order issued prior to July 1, 2013, four (4) years must have passed after the issuance of the Order.

CAN I CANCEL THE HEARING?

Once the Hearing has been set, both parties must appear.   If the protected party does not appear at the hearing, the Protection Order may be vacated.  If the restrained party does not appear at the Hearing, the protection order may go into effect or the terms of an existing Order may be changed.

WHAT IF I DO NOT KNOW WHERE THE OTHER PARTY LIVES?

You may use the address of where the other party lives or works to file for a Protection Order.  You may proceed with your filing without an address; however service on the other party may be difficult.

WHAT IF I DO NOT KNOW THE OTHER PARTY’S FULL NAME?

Proceeding without the person’s full, legal name may make enforcement difficult.

WHAT IF I DO NOT KNOW THE DATE OF BIRTH?

You may file without knowing the other person’s date of birth, but the Order will not go into the national database without the date of birth.

WHAT IF THE OTHER PARTY LIVES OUTSIDE OF DENVER?

At least one of the parties must live or work in Denver County to file in Denver.

HOW DO I SERVE THE OTHER PARTY?

Take a copy of the Order to the Sheriff, private process server, or someone over 18 years of age (who is not a party to the case) to have the other party served. Remember you must return a completed Affidavit of Service to the Court.

WHAT IF I COULD NOT SERVE THE PROTECTION ORDER IN TIME FOR THE HEARING?

You must appear at the hearing and you may ask for a continuance in order to obtain service.  The judicial officer will determine whether or not such a continuance is warranted.

CAN I GET MY PROTECTION ORDER FROM COLORADO ENFORCED IF I MOVE TO ANOTHER STATE?

Yes. If you have a valid Colorado protection order that meets federal standards, it can be enforced in another state. The Violence Against Women Act, which is a federal law, states that all valid protection orders granted in the United States receive “full faith and credit” in all state and tribal courts within the US, including US territories.

Each state must enforce out-of-state protection orders in the same way it enforces its own orders. Meaning, if the abuser violates your out-of-state protection order, she or he will be punished according to the laws of whatever state you are in when the Order is violated. This is what is meant by “full faith and credit.”

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY PROTECTION ORDER IS GOOD UNDER FEDERAL LAW?

A protection order is good anywhere in the United States as long as:

  1. It was issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, harassing behavior, sexual violence, or it was issued to prevent another person from coming near you or contacting you.
  2. The Court that issued the Order had jurisdiction over the people and case. In other words, the Court had the authority to hear the case.
  3. The abuser received notice of the Order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his or her side of the story. It does not matter if he or she actually showed up in court; just that they had the opportunity to do so.

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