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Know the Laws: Colorado

UPDATED January 2, 2017

Domestic Violence Protection Orders

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A Colorado protection order is a civil order that provides protection from harm by (1) any person who is or has been related to you by blood or marriage, (2) any person who has lived with you or lives with you now, or (3) any person with whom you have had an intimate relationship.

Basic information

back to topWhat is the legal definition of domestic violence in Colorado?

In Colorado, for the purpose of a civil protection order, domestic abuse/violence is defined as:

  • Any act, attempted act, or threatened act of violence, stalking, harassment, or coercion.  (Coercion is defined as using force, the threat of force, or intimidation to make you do something that you have the right not to do, or to make you not do something that you have the right to do.)  Domestic abuse can also include any act, attempted act, or threatened act of violence against your children under 18 or against any animal owned by either of the parties or by a child of either of the parties;*
  • Examples of behavior that may qualify as domestic abuse:
    • Name-calling;
    • Threatening or harassing phone calls;
    • When the abuser threatens to injure himself;
    • Threatening to physically or sexually abuse your children;
    • Threatening to use a weapon against you;
    • Threatening you by threatening to harm animals;
    • Threatening you by following you;
    • Threatening you by damaging property;
    • Throwing things;
    • Grabbing or pushing you;
    • Forcing sexual contact upon you;
    • Physically or sexually abusing the children in your household;
    • Slapping, punching, kicking, biting, choking or otherwise physically harming you; or
    • Forcing you to stay in a closet, room, house, or any other location against your will.**
To be considered domestic violence as defined under Colorado law, the person who acted abusively toward you must be someone:
  • Who is or was related to you by blood or marriage;
  • Who lives or has lived with you; or
  • Who you have or had an intimate relationship with.  You do not have to have sex during the relationship for it to count as an "intimate relationship."*
You can read the exact legal definitions on our CO State Statutes page.

* Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-101(2)
** See Colorado Protection Order Form JDF 401, Incident Checklist

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back to topWhat is a domestic violence protection order?

A civil domestic violence protection order is an official court order designed to stop violent, harassing, and intimidating behavior and to protect you and your children from an abuser.  It prohibits the restrained person (the abuser) from contacting you in any way, harassing, stalking, injuring, intimidating, threatening, stalking or sexually abusing you and may forbid the restrained person from entering or remaining in a specific place or from coming within a certain distance of you or your home.  Also, a protection order can prohibit the abuser from threatening, taking, transferring, concealing, harming or threatening to harm an animal owned by the protected person. *

* See Colo. Rev. Stat. §13-14-101(2.4)(a)

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back to topWhat types of domestic violence protection orders are there? How long do they last?

There are a three types of civil domestic violence protection orders, which are described below.  The first two can be issued regardless of whether or not you have called the police about the abuse.* 

1. Temporary (ex parte) Protection Orders
: A temporary (ex parte) protection order can be issued if the judge believes that you are in immediate danger.*1  (Note: "Ex parte" means that you can get the order without the abuser being notified beforehand or present in court.)  The judge is not supposed to deny you the order based solely on the fact that the act of abuse or threat of harm happened a while before you filed for the order.*1   A temporary (ex parte) protection order is designed to protect you during the time that it takes for your full court hearing for a permanent order to take place, which is usually within the next 14 days.*2  The order is not enforceable until the abuser is personally served.*3

2. Permanent Protection Orders
: When both you and the abuser return to court for the hearing after you get a temporary protection order, the judge can either:

  • continue the temporary protection order for up to 1 year (if both parties are present at the hearing and both agree to the continuance); or
  • if the judge determines that the abuser has committed domestic violence, and that without the order, s/he will continue to commit such acts or will intimidate or retaliate against you, the judge can grant you a permanent protection order (with provisions different from the temporary protection order, if necessary).*4  
Note: Permanent protection orders can sometimes cover temporary care and custody of minor children.  However, even if your permanent protection order lasts for many years, the part of the permanent protection order that deals with custody can only last for one year.*5  To get a long-term custody order, you would likely have to file a separate custody petition – we suggest talking to a lawyer about how to do this.  You can find free and paid lawyers on our CO Finding a Lawyer page.

3. Emergency Protection Orders:
An emergency protection order can be requested by local law enforcement based on the belief that an adult is in immediate and present danger of domestic abuse, assault, stalking, sexual assault/abuse or that a minor child is in immediate danger of an unlawful sexual offense or domestic abuse (based upon an allegation of a recent actual or threatened unlawful sexual offense or domestic abuse).  Note: In the case of a minor child, the order could also be requested by the county department of social services, or another “responsible person.”*6   This type of order last only for a few days and is generally issued when the courts are closed or if you file for a temporary ex parte protection order but the judge cannot hold a hearing on the same day you file.*7

* Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-104.5(1)(b)
*1 Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-104.5(7)(a)
*2 Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-104.5(10)
*3 See Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-104.5(9)
*4 Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-106(1)(a),(b)
*5 Colo. Rev. Stat. §13-14-105(1)(e)(I)
*6 Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-103(1)(c),(e)
*7 Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-103(1)(f)

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back to topHow can a domestic violence protection order help me?

A temporary or permanent protection order may:

  • order the abuser to stop hitting, threatening, or harming you or your children;
  • order the abuser to stay away from you and/or your children;
  • order the abuser to stop contacting you and/or your children;
  • order the abuser to move out of the home you share or out of your home (if you can prove that physical or emotional harm would happen if s/he stayed in the home);
  • order the abuser to stay away from your home;
  • order the abuser to not interfere with your job or school or do anything that would harm your employment or educational relationships/environment;
  • give you temporary care and control of your children and order parenting time rights, supervised or unsupervised (this part of the order only lasts up to 1 year); and grant you temporary decision-making responsibility when it is related to preventing domestic abuse or preventing the child from witnessing domestic abuse;
  • order the abuser to continue to make payments on the mortgage or rent, insurance, utilities and related household services, transportation, medical care, or child care when the respondent has an existing duty or legal obligation;
  • order the abuser to not hide or get rid of your personal effects, land, or homes that are yours alone or shared with the abuser;
  • order the abuser to not threaten, harm, kill, hide or take any animal owned by you or by a child of you or the abuser;
  • make specific arrangements for the possession and care of an animal owned by you or by a child of you or the abuser;*
  • order the abuser to not have or buy any firearm or ammunition for the duration of the order and to give up any that s/he currently has in his/her possession or control to a licensed firearms dealer, private party or to law enforcement;** and
  • do anything else that the judge thinks is necessary for your safety.*
An emergency protection order (these are different than temporary ex parte orders) can do any of the following:
  • order that the abuser stop contacting, harassing, injuring, intimidating, threatening, molesting, touching, stalking, sexually assaulting or abusing the victim, the victim's child (if the victim is an adult) or the abuser's child;
  • order that the abuser be removed from the home you share or from your home if it is shown that physical or emotional harm would otherwise happen;
  • give temporary care and control of any minor child involved;
  • order the abuser to not contact the child at school, at work, or wherever s/he may be found;
  • order the abuser to not threaten, harm, kill, hide or take any animal owned by the victim or by a child of either party; and/or
  • make specific arrangements for the possession and care of an animal owned by the victim or by a child of either party.***
Whether a judge orders all or some of the above depends on the facts of your case.

* Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-14-105(1)(a)-(j)(I), 13-14-104.5(8)
** Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-105.5(1)(a) & (2)(c)
*** Colo. Rev. Stat § 13-14-103(1)(b)

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back to topIn which county can I file for a domestic violence protection order?

You can file for a protection order in the county where the abuse happened, where the abuser lives, where you live, where the abuser works, or where you work.*

* Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-104.5(3)

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Who can get a domestic violence protection order

back to topAm I eligible to file for a domestic violence protection order?

You can ask a civil court for a protection order if the abuser has committed domestic violence against you or your children as long as  s/he is one of the following:

  • A relative or former relative (either by blood or marriage);
  • A spouse or ex-spouse;
  • The father or mother of your child;
  • A current or former intimate partner (not married to you); or
  • A current or former housemate.*
Also, if the judge finds that there is an immediate danger to the employees of a business, the judge can issue a protection order in the name of the business for the protection of the employees.** 

A parent may file on behalf of a minor child (under 18).***  You cannot get a protection order against someone who is under 10 years old.****  You may want to contact a domestic violence organization or a court clerk for more information on minors requesting protective orders.  See CO State and Local Programs and CO Courthouse Locations for contact information.

Note: Colorado also has protection orders based on stalking, assault and threatened bodily harm, sexual assault or unwanted sexual contact, and emotional abuse of an elderly or at-risk person – the abuser does NOT have to be related to you or in an intimate relationship with you to qualify for one of these orders.  For more information on each of the these orders, see Protection Orders for Stalking, Sexual Assault, Physical Harm/Threats, and Elder Abuse.

* Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-101(2)
** Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-104.5(7)(b)
*** Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-101(2.2), Colorado Rules of County Civil Procedure Rule 317(C)
**** Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-104.5(1)(a)

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back to topCan I file for a protection order against a same-sex partner?

In Colorado, you may apply for a domestic violence protection order against a current or former same-sex partner as long as the relationship meets the requirements listed in Am I eligible to file for a domestic violence protection order?  You must also be the victim of an act of domestic violence, which is explained here What is the legal definition of domestic violence in Colorado?

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back to topCan a minor file for a domestic violence protection order?

It is not clear according to Colorado law if a minor victim of abuse can file for his/her own order without a parent.  For minors under 18, a parent or guardian can file for the protection order.*  If a parent or guardian is not available, it may be possible to have someone else apply on the minor’s behalf but you may want to check your court’s clerk’s office to make sure they would accept a petition brought by an adult who is not the parent or guardian.  You may want to contact a domestic violence organization or a court clerk for more information on minors requesting protective orders.  See CO State and Local Programs and CO Courthouse Locations for contact information.

Note: You cannot get a protective order against someone who is under 10 years old.**

* Colo. Rev. Stat.§ 13-14-101(2.2); see Colorado Rules of County Court Civil Procedure Rule 317(C)
** Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-104.5(1)(a)

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back to topHow much does it cost?

There are no fees for filing for a protection order in Colorado when the reason for the protection order is domestic abuse, domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault.  It is free to file the order in court and to serve the order through the sheriff's office.*

* Colo. Rev. Stat. 13-14-109(1),(2)

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back to topDo I need a lawyer?

No, you do not need a lawyer to file for a protection order, but it may be better to have one.  If the abuser has a lawyer, you should try to get one too.  Even if the abuser does not have a lawyer, it is recommended that you contact a lawyer to make sure that your legal rights are protected.

In addition, the domestic violence organizations in your area and/or court staff may be able to answer some of your questions or help you fill out the necessary court forms.  You will find information on legal assistance and domestic violence organizations on the CO Where to Find Help page.  You will find contact information for courthouses on the CO Courthouse Locations page.

For more information, you can also write to our Email Hotline.  We cannot represent you in court or give you legal advice, but we may be able to answer some of your questions.

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back to topI am an employer of an abuse victim. How can I protect my business from the abuser?

Colorado law authorizes an employer to apply for a protection order in the name of the business if the employer believes that the employees or customers are in immediate danger from the abuser* (for example, the employee is being stalked and the stalker comes to the workplace, scaring the employee and others).   If the judge or magistrate finds that the employees or customers of a business are in immediate danger, s/he can grant the order to keep the abuser away from the business.* 

* Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-104.5(7)(b)

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Steps for getting a domestic violence protection order

back to topStep 1: Get the required forms.

You will need to go to an appropriate county or district court and ask for the required forms for filing a “motion for civil protection order.”   An appropriate county court is a court in the county where you live or work, where the defendant lives or works, or where the abusive incident occurred.   You need to file in district court if you have previously filed for divorce or custody with the person you wish to get the order against. (To find the courthouse in your county, go to CO Courthouse Locations.)

The forms are also available online.  To access those forms and instructions on how to go about asking for a protection order, you can go to the Colorado state court website.

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back to topStep 2: Fill out the appropriate forms.

Carefully fill out the appropriate forms.  When you are filling out the forms, you will be the "petitioner" and the abuser will be the "respondent."  Be prepared to provide the following information:

  • The county where you live or work and the county where the abuser lives or works;
  • The names and birthdays of children who will also be protected by the protection order;
  • A description of what happened and when – in other words, you’ll need to explain why you are seeking a protection order; and
  • What kind of relief you are seeking – in other words, you need to tell the court whether you want the abuser to get out of your home, to not contact you at all, to only contact you in specific ways, etc.
When filling out the forms, be sure to include a detailed description of the facts and circumstances of the domestic violence that you have been through.  If you would like the court to give you a temporary (ex parte) protection order, be sure to also explain why you need immediate protection.  You must show the court why your need for protection is urgent and cannot wait.  (The complaint/motion for protection order will use the word “imminent” instead of “immediate.”)

Read the application carefully and ask questions if you don’t understand something.  Describe in detail how the defendant (abuser) injured or threatened you.  Explain when and where the abuse or threats occurred.  Write about the most recent incident of violence, using descriptive language ("slapping," "hitting," "grabbing," "choking," "threatening," etc.) that fits your situation.  Be specific.  Include details and dates, if possible.  Colorado provides a form called an “incident checklist,” which may help you identify the different forms of abuse that the abuser committed against you.

Please note that the court will not deny you a protection order solely because of a lapse of time between an act of abuse or threat of harm and filing of the petition for a protection order.*

Note: If you are divorced from your abuser, you may have to include in your application for a protection order either a copy of the divorce decree (court order) or a statement that the decree is currently unavailable, but that you will file a copy of the decree with the court before the hearing date on the application.

* Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-104.5(7)(a)

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back to topStep 3: Sign the verified complaint/motion for protection order and affidavit regarding children in front of a court clerk or notary public and submit all forms to the clerk.

A court clerk or notary public must see you sign the verified complaint/motion for protection order and affidavit regarding children.  You may either (1) bring the completed, but unsigned paperwork with you when you go to the courthouse to submit it and ask a clerk to witness your signing, or (2) take the completed, but unsigned paperwork with you to a notary public who will witness your signing and notarize the verified complaint/motion for protection order and affidavit regarding children. There may be a fee (usually around five dollars) for a notary.  There is no fee for the court clerk.*

The judge may wish to ask you questions as s/he reviews your petition.  The judge will then decide, based on the information you provide, whether or not to give you a temporary protection order.

If the judge grants a temporary protection order, you will be given a written copy of it.  Be sure to obtain any additional copies you might need.  You will need at least two copies, one for yourself and one to have served to the abuser (see Step 4: Service of Process for more information). You may need more depending on your situation.  (For example, if you have minor children listed on your temporary protection order, you may want to give a copy of the order to the child’s school or daycare provider.)*

Note: Remember that although the hearing for your temporary protection order will happen without the abuser being there, the abuser does have the right to be present at the hearing for the permanent protection order.  For tips on how to deal with seeing the abuser at the hearing for the permanent protection order, see Going to Court under our Staying Safe page.

* See Instructions for Obtaining a Civil Protection Order, JDF 400, available at http://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/Forms_List.cfm/Form_Type_ID/24

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back to topStep 4: Service of process

The abuser must be served with: (1) a copy of the verified complaint/motion for protection order and (2) a temporary protection order (if one is granted) before the date of your hearing for a permanent protection order.* 

You may ask a local sheriff in the county where the abuser will be located when served, a private process server, or someone you know who is at least 18 years old, is not involved in the case, and is familiar with the Colorado rules of service to serve the abuser.** 

You cannot be charged a fee for having a sheriff serve a protection order related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.***

Once service is complete, whoever completed service has to fill out the affidavit/certificate of service (form 409),**** sign it in front of a notary (unless the process server is a deputy sheriff), and give it back to you.  You should then make a copy of it and and keep it with your copy of the protection order and bring the original to the hearing.  This document is very important, especially if the abuser doesn’t show up in court; it is your proof that the abuser was served with the papers and notified of the court date.  The order is not enforceable until the defendant has been served.

* Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-104.5(9)
** see Rule 4 C.R.C.P.
*** Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-109(2)
**** Affidavit/Certificate of Service forms are available on the CO courts website

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back to topStep 5: The hearing

To get a permanent protection order, you must show up for your scheduled hearing.  The time and date of your hearing will be on your temporary protection order.  If you do not show up, your temporary protection order will automatically expire.*  Note: Failure to show up for your hearing may possibly make it more difficult for you to get one in the future.  It is extremely important that you show up for your hearing.

There are a number of possible outcomes at the permanent protection order hearing:

  1. The defendant does not appear in court and you can prove the defendant has been served.  If that happens, you may request that the protection order be made permanent.  If you request the permanent order and no changes are made to the order, the law allows the judge to make the order permanent without requiring the defendant to be served again.**  If any changes are made when the permanent order is issued, the law requires that the defendant be served with a copy of the modified permanent protection order.
  2. The defendant was never served.  If the defendant has not been served, you still need to go to court to ask for a continuance to continue to attempt to get the defendant served. 
  3. The defendant agrees to make the protection order permanent or to extend the temporary order for 1 year.  At the beginning of the protection order hearing, the judge may ask what each party would like to have happen.   At this time the defendant may agree to make it permanent or to extend it for 1 year (but you must also agree to this in order for the judge to issue the one-year temporary order).*** 
  4. Another possible outcome is a contested hearing, which is a hearing where you will likely each have the opportunity to testify and present witnesses, photographs, and other evidence either through your attorney or on your own (it is recommended that you have an attorney).  After the hearing, the judge will decide whether to make the protection order permanent or to deny the protection order.
See the Preparing Your Case section for ways you can prove to the judge that you were abused.

* See Instructions for Obtaining a Civil Protection Order, JDF 400
** Colo. Rev. Stat. §13-14-106(1)(a)
*** Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-106(1)(a),(b)

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After the order is in place

back to topWhat should I do when I leave the courthouse?

Here are some steps that you may want to take as you are preparing to leave the courthouse:

  • Review the protection order before you leave the courthouse.  If something is wrong or missing, ask the clerk to correct the order before you leave.
  • Obtain several copies of the protection order.
  • Leave a copy of the protection order at your work place, at your home, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, in your purse, and if children are included, then at the children’s school or daycare.  Basically, make sure that you have a copy of the protection order available at all times.  Once the defendant has been served, put a copy of the return of service with all copies of the protection order.
  • Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work along with a photo of the abuser.
  • Give a copy of the protection order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.
  • Be sure that the information you provided on the information sheet for registering a protection order is complete and accurate so that police are able to effectively enforce the order.  For more information about the information sheet for registering a protection order, see Step 1: Get the required forms.
Note: A protection order is not a guarantee of your safety.  Ongoing safety planning is important after receiving the order.  Many batterers obey protection orders, but some do not, and it is important to build on the things you have already been doing to keep yourself safe.  For suggestions on staying safe, visit our Staying Safe page.  Advocates at local resource centers can assist you in designing a safety plan and can provide other forms of support.  To find an advocate in your area please visit our CO State and Local Programs page.  Remember that if the abuser violates the order in any way, you can report the violation to your local law enforcement, and s/he may be arrested.

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back to topCan I get my domestic violence protection order from Colorado enforced if I move?

Yes, federal law provides what is called "full faith and credit," which means that once you have a criminal or civil protection order, it follows you wherever you go, including U.S. Territories and tribal lands.  Many states do have laws or regulations (rules) about registering or filing of out-of-state orders, which can make enforcement easier, but a valid restraining order is enforceable regardless of whether it has been registered or filed in the new state.* 

Rules differ from state to state, so it may be helpful to find out what the rules are in your new state.  You can contact a local domestic violence organization for more information by visiting our State and Local Programs page and entering your new state in the drop-down menu.  You may also call the National Center on Full Faith and Credit (1-800-903-0111 x 2) for information on enforcing your order in another state.

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

* 18 U.S.C. § 2265(d)(2)

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back to topWhat can I do if the abuser violates the protection order?

If you believe that the abuser has violated the protection order, you can call 911 (or you can file a motion for contempt in the court that issued the order).  When the police arrive:

  • The officer/deputy should interview you and the defendant (if s/he is still on the premises) separately.  If they do not do this, ask the officer/deputy to speak to you in private, away from the abuser.
  • Show the officer your protection order and the return of service form if the order is temporary.  The return of service form proves that the abuser was served with the temporary order.
  • Try to stay calm and tell the police what happened in the order that it happened.  If you would like additional support, you can have a friend with you or ask the officer to call a victim advocate to the scene.  If the officer will not call a victim advocate, you can call 911 and request an advocate.
  • Save any evidence of the violation (e.g., damaged property, photos of injuries, photos of the scene, caller ID info, taped conversations, emails, voicemails, text messages, etc.) and show the evidence to the police.  Provide the police with the names and addresses of any other witnesses to the violation.
  • Get the officer’s/deputy’s name, badge number, and report number as this will help you in following up on the report.  A police officer/deputy, detective, or victim advocate can provide you with information about what is happening with the case.  Write down the name, telephone number, time, and date of everyone you speak to and keep this information for your records.
The officer/deputy must have "probable cause" to arrest the defendant.  Probable cause is defined as “reasonable cause to believe that a crime has been committed or is currently being committed.”  Even if the officer/deputy determines that there is no probable cause to arrest the defendant, an Incident Report should be made, which documents what happened.  If the officer/deputy determines that probable cause exists to arrest the defendant but s/he has already left, the officer/deputy may apply for an "arrest warrant," which would allow the police to arrest him/her once s/he is found.  It may take several days before the arrest warrant is actually issued by a court and the arrest is made. Note: A violation of a civil protection order is usually a criminal offense.  The abuser can be arrested, found in contempt of court, or fined up to $5,000 and sentenced for up to 18 months in jail for violating the order.  In addition, if he committed a separate crime when violating the order (such as burglary, assault, etc.), s/he can be charged with that crime as well as being charged with the violation of the order.*

* See Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-14-106(1), 18-6-803.5; see also Form 399: Permanent Civil Protection Order 

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back to topCan I file to modify the terms or length of my order or cancel it?

Yes. To change the terms of your order, you must file with the court where you originally obtained the protection order.*  For instructions on how to file a motion to modify/dismiss a protection order, you can go to the CO Courts website.

* See Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-108(2)(a), (3)(a)(II), (4)

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back to topCan the abuser ask the court to terminate my permanent protection order?

Possibly, yes, but whether or not the respondent will be successful depends on many factors.  The respondent can apply to the court for a modification, including but not limited to, a modification of the duration of the protection order or dismissal of a permanent protection order.*   S/he must prove at a hearing (where you can be present) that the modification is appropriate or that a dismissal is appropriate because the protection order is no longer necessary.**   However, the respondent must wait two years after the permanent order was issued or after any prior motion by the respondent to modify or dismiss the order (regardless of whether or not the judge granted the prior motion).*

In considering whether or not to modify or dismiss a protection order, the judge will consider all relevant factors, including but not limited to:

  1. whether or not the respondent has complied with (followed) the terms of the protection order;
  2. whether or not the respondent has met the conditions associated with the protection order, if any;
  3. whether or not the respondent has been ordered to participate in, and has completed, a domestic violence offender treatment program or sex offender treatment program, or has made significant progress in a sex offender treatment program as reported by the sex offender treatment provider;
  4. whether or not the respondent has voluntarily participated in any domestic violence offender treatment program or any sex offender treatment program;
  5. the amount of time that has passed since the protection order was issued;
  6. when the last incident of abuse or threat of harm occurred or other relevant information concerning the safety and protection of the protected person;
  7. whether or not, since the issuance of the protection order, the respondent has been convicted of or pled guilty to any misdemeanor or any felony against the protected person, other than the original offense that formed the basis for the issuance of the protection order (see "note" below);
  8. whether or not any other restraining orders, protective orders, or protection orders have been issued afterwards against the respondent in any state;
  9. the circumstances of the parties, including how close the distance is between the parties' residences, schools or work places, and whether or not the parties have minor children together; and
  10. whether or not the continued safety of the protected person depends upon the protection order remaining in place because the order has been successful in preventing further harm to the protected person.***
Note: If after the permanent protection order is issued, the respondent is convicted of any misdemeanor or any felony against you, other than the original offense that was the basis for the protection order, then the respondent can never modify or ask for dismissal of the permanent protection order.****

* Colo. Rev. Stat. §13-14-108(2)(b)
** Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-108(5)
*** Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-108(6)
**** Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-108(3)(a)(I)

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If you are the defendant in a protection order case

back to topWhat if I disagree with the protection order issued against me?

If a temporary protection order has been issued against you, you will have the opportunity to be heard before a permanent protection order is granted.  The person requesting the permanent protection order must arrange for you to be served with written notice of the date and time of the hearing for the permanent protection order along with the petition that was filed against you.*  At that hearing, you will have the opportunity to prove to the judge that the allegations against you are false and that a permanent protection order should be denied.

You may want to seek the assistance of an attorney since representing yourself can be difficult to do, especially if the petitioner has an attorney.  To find an attorney in your area, go to our CO Finding a Lawyer page.  Note: If you show up to court and the petitioner has a lawyer and you do not (or if you want to get a lawyer even if the petitioner doesn’t have one) you may ask the judge for a continuance. 

If you fail to show up for the hearing or if you lose the protection order hearing and a permanent protection order is issued against you, you cannot challenge it for two years.  After two years, you may file a motion to modify/dismiss the protection order.  For instructions on how to file a motion to modify/dismiss a protection order, visit Colorado’s court website or click here.  However, if, after the permanent protection order is issued, you (the respondent) are convicted of any misdemeanor or any felony against the protected person (petitioner), other than the original offense that was the basis for the protection order, then you (the respondent) can never file to modify or dismiss the permanent protection order.**  For information on what factors the judge will consider when deciding whether or not to dismiss the permanent protection order, go to Can the abuser ask the court to terminate my permanent protection order?

* Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-104.5(9)
** Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-108(3)(a)(I)

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back to topI have been ordered to stay away from my house. How do I collect my belongings?

If you need to get personal belongings or clothing, you may contact the local police department or county sheriff's office.  A peace officer will accompany you one time to the residence.*

You will find a list of sheriff departments on our CO Sheriff Departments page.

* Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-104.5(11)

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WomensLaw.org thanks Andrea, CourtWatch Coordinator at Project Safeguard, for her helpful revisions on these pages.

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