While not the most positive of subjects, filing for a protection order can prove to be a very beneficial process for any citizen who feels that they are in danger in the company of another individual. Also known as a “restraining order,” this civil protection order is delivered by the state court which legally restricts an individual from coming within a specified distance of another. When you or a loved one are dealing with this unfortunate situation, it’s helpful to have a caring team of local lawyers on staff. The Peek Law Firm is proud to be a top choice of Greeley family lawyers in Colorado, and our dedication to providing optimal representation has helped our law firm and clients for nearly 30 years. If you need an attorney for criminal, traffic office, or family law, give Peek a call to see how our team can help you regain some normalcy in your life. Today, we’ll look more at restraining orders and what these protective measures entail. Anytime you are facing legal proceedings, it’s best to have an expert in your corner!
Types of Protective Orders
Restraining orders fall into two different systems, each with their own intricacies and requirements:
- Civil. A civil protection order involves one individual communicating with the court about protecting themselves from another entity. Typically, this is a move that does not ask for any legal actions against the person being issued in the order. Simply put, you as the citizen have the power to request a restraining order, also giving you the power to drop the case if you feel inclined to do so.
- Criminal. With criminal law, some variation of a crime has been committed that requires legal actions against an individual for harming another. The district attorney in this structure has the power to pursue a court case against the Defendant for criminal charges. Even if the victim in this setting decides to drop their case, the prosecution can still pursue legal consequences.
How to Obtain a Protection Order
In emergency cases, you can reach out to local law enforcement in order to gain a restraining order when the courts are not in session. During regular hours, though, it is recommended to go to the Weld County Courthouse in order to file correctly. While this may seem simple, it’s important to note that there are requirements to be granted for your order after filing a Verified Complaint or Motion for Civil Protection Order. In the right situations, these protective measures can be issued against individuals as young as 10. Essentially, anyone can receive a protection order if they are:
- Anyone in fear of personal harm.
- Any person that is the victim of domestic or sexual abuse, unlawful sexual contact, or any elderly or physical abuse in general.
Temporary and Permanent Restraining Orders
After you go to the court and file the appropriate forms, you typically will have a hearing with a judge that does not include the Defendant. If the judge decides that you are in danger, he or she will issue a temporary restraining order. Once this occurs, a new court date will be set in the future that will allow the Defendant to come in and represent their side of the story. It will fall on you to serve the other individual their court summons for the next hearing. Whether you utilize law enforcement or a process server for help, it’s important that an individual that is NOT the victim deliver the papers. Once delivered, you will need to provide proof of the service to the court that issued your temporary restraining order (TRO). If the Defendant cannot be served, you will need to go to the court date and request a continuance to give you more time to serve the order. If you fail to appear in court, your TRO will expire.
If the Defendant is served and does not appear for the court date, a permanent restraining order (PRO) will be put in place. This order is identical to a TPO except that a PRO does not expire and is infinite in length.
If the Defendant does arrive at the hearing, they have the right to dispute your account of what transpired to result in the situation. When this happens, be prepared to provide evidence of your case, including documented cases of abuse, witnesses, and even photographs. This is to show a preponderance of evidence in order to see who holds the greater weight of evidence. Utilizing a quality family lawyer for preparations can prove very helpful during this process.
While the process of seeking and granting a protection order may seem relatively straightforward, there are factors that a professional attorney can assist with. Next time, we’ll continue this topic by discussing the stringency of restraining orders and what happens when they are violated or need to be dismissed. Anyone seeking a family lawyer in Greeley can benefit from a quick conversation with Peek Law Firm. We strive to employ the best lawyers in the field, and our professionals have the tools and experience to get the job done. Contact us today if you are in need of legal representation.