Learn more about how our family lawyers offer reliable legal help for restraining orders in Colorado Springs at Maceau Law to help protect you and your loved ones:
A restraining order, which is also known as an order of protection, is a legal injunction issued on behalf of a victim to prevent an abuser from physically contacting them or harassing them in any manner. When an abuser chooses not to honor the restraining order’s limits, they can face an arrest and subsequent jail time.
Who can apply for restraining orders?
Restraining order laws vary in each state. However, in most cases, a victim must be in a close personal relationship with the abuser in order to obtain a restraining order. They are often issued as a way to keep victims of domestic abuse, stalking, harassment or neighborhood disputes safe. When minors require a restraining order, their parents or guardians usually apply for the order.
Civil restraints or civil harassment orders are restraining orders that apply to abusers with whom the victim does not have a personal relationship. When complete strangers, roommates or neighbors are the abusers, civil restraints are often issued.
What does a restraining order restrain?
Restraining orders affect a wide scope of actions. A court can restrict access to property or direct an abuser’s inaction or actions. Judges tailor specifics depending on each case’s needs. Some common actions that are included:
- no email, calls, letters or contact of any kind by the abuser
- abusers are denied entrance to a family home
- the inability for the abuser to move children from an area or state
- the inability for the abuser to sell marital property
- the inability for an abuser to buy or possess a firearm
Types of restraining orders:
Each state has their own forms of restraining orders. However, the following are the most common types issued:
Emergency protective orders:
This order goes into effect quickly and is usually issued in domestic violence cases. Police officers often acquire these orders when they are responding to domestic violence calls, and they are issued to prevent imminent harm to a victim.
Temporary restraining order (TRO):
A TRO is a short-term restraining order often issued when a victim seeks a permanent restraining order. A temporary restraining order is designed to keep the victim safe until a hearing is held and another restraining order is issued.
Permanent restraining order:
This type of order is usually referred to as a restraining order. It is issued once a hearing is held, and it can be renewed or extended depending on circumstances.
How long are restraining orders valid?
An emergency restraining order is usually only effective for one week. In most cases, a victim will apply for a permanent restraining order while under the protection of an emergency restraining order. A temporary restraining order typically only lasts for a month and is designed to protect victims until a hearing is held. A permanent restraining order is effective for months or even years.
How a restraining order is obtained:
- The first step a victim must take is requesting an application from their local family law department.
- The second step involves the submission of the completed application to the family court. Within 48 hours, a temporary restraining order will be issued, which provides protection for the victim until a hearing is held.
- The third step of obtaining a permanent restraining order is attending the hearing and proving the necessity of a restraining order. After the order is issued, victims must make sure the local police department has a copy of the restraining order on hand.
The abuser must be served copies of the restraining orders before and after the hearings, and a proof of service document must be obtained. However, victims cannot accomplish this task themselves as it could be dangerous.
Is a police report necessary?
When victims seek to obtain a restraining order, there is no police report requirement. However, police reports are very good proof of abuse.
What do victims have to prove?
During the court proceedings, a victim must prove they qualify for a restraining order. Medical records make great evidence as they show proof of injuries. Photographs of injuries, bruises or damaged property are also valid proof. In addition, any harassing voice-mails, emails or text messages can be admitted as evidence. In some cases, witnesses who have seen or heard abuse can testify in court.
Why hire an attorney?
The process of applying for a restraining order can become confusing. After all, each state has different qualifications. For that reason, acquiring the services of a highly skilled attorney is wise. A lawyer who has experience dealing with restraining orders will know exactly how to prove to the court an order is needed. In addition, they can handle the application process and speak for the victim during a hearing.
How much does acquiring a restraining order cost?
There is typically no charge for obtaining a restraining order. However, if an attorney is hired to help with the case, their fees should be considered.
How to get help now
Don’t delay. If you think you’re in a situation that requires a restraining order, call 719-633-2222 immediately to talk to one of our experienced Colorado Springs family lawyers at Maceau Law.