In Colorado, a temporary civil protection order can be issued restraining you from contacting a person without you every having the chance to tell your side of the story. Pursuant to Colorado Revised Statutes section 13-14-104.5, a court can issue a temporary civil protection order against an adult or a juvenile who is ten years of age or older for any of the following purposes:
(i) To prevent assaults and threatened bodily harm;
(ii) To prevent domestic abuse;
(iii) To prevent emotional abuse of the elderly or of an at-risk adult;
(iv) To prevent sexual assault or abuse; and
(v) To prevent stalking.
In order to obtain a temporary order restraining someone, all the party asking for the protection order needs to do is file a complaint, show up for a short hearing, and make allegations that fall under one of the five roman numerals above. These hearings are held quickly, oftentimes on the same day the complaint is filed or on the very next day after. If someone is filing for a protective order against you, you will not be notified until after this initial hearing is held and a temporary order is issued by the Court. You will not be notified or afforded an opportunity to tell your side of the story before the Court decides whether or not the temporary order is issued, and a Court often will be inclined to issue a temporary order out of an abundance of caution. Oftentimes, these orders don’t just restrain you from being around and/or contacting a certain person but will also restrain you from being physically present in certain places. Essentially, you could be having some of your rights removed very quickly without you even being aware that they are in jeopardy.
While there is sound public policy behind this process in that oftentimes allegations are legit and immediate protective action is needed, there are also due process concerns with the idea of a court issuing an order without allowing both parties an opportunity to be heard.
A hearing will be set for 14 days after the temporary order is issued. At this hearing the Court will decide whether to make the temporary protection order a permanent one. After being served personally with the notice of the hearing and order, you will have the opportunity to attend this hearing and tell your side of the story as to why the court should not make the temporary order permanent.
Having a permanent protection order against you can cause many collateral effects on your life and your job, so it is important to defend yourself against such a request. Contacting a local attorney is usually a wise first move. Maybe the allegations against you are wholly or partially untrue or exaggerated. Maybe a simple change can be made to remove the threat of harm to the other party in the future and negate the need for a protective order. Additionally, attorneys can contact the other party on your behalf and talk about possibly settling the case. Finally, they can represent you in court if need be. If someone is trying to take out a protection order against you, we are here to help. Call us today for a free consultation.