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Know the Laws: Connecticut

UPDATED January 10, 2017

Enforcing Your Out-of-State Order in Connecticut

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If you are planning to move to Connecticut or are going to be in Connecticut for any reason, your protection or restraining order can be enforced.

General rules for out-of-state orders in Connecticut

back to topWill the abuser be notified if I register my protection order?

Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies to all U.S. states and territories, the court is not permitted to notify the abuser when a protective order has been registered or filed in a new state unless you specifically request that the abuser be notified.*  However, you may wish to confirm that the clerk is aware of this law before registering the order if your address is confidential.

However, remember that there may be a possibility that the abuser could somehow find out what state you have moved to.  It is important to continue to safety plan, even if you are no longer in the state where the abuser is living.  We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Staying Safe page.  You can also contact a local domestic violence organization to get help in developing a personalized safety plan. You will find contact information for organizations in your area on our CT State and Local Programs page.

* 18 USC § 2265(d)

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back to topCan I have my out-of-state restraining order changed, extended, or canceled in CT?

No.  Only the state that issued your restraining order can change, extend, or cancel the order.  You cannot have this done by a court in Connecticut.    

To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will have to file a motion or petition in the court where the order was issued.  You may be able to request that you attend the court hearing by telephone rather than in person, so that you do not need to return to the state where the abuser is living.  To find out more information about how to modify a restraining order, see the Restraining Orders page for the state where your order was issued. 

If your order does expire while you are living in Connecticut, you may be able to get a new one issued in Connecticut but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred in Connecticut.  To find out more information on how to get a restraining order in Connecticut, visit our Restraining Orders (Relief from Abuse Orders) page. 

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back to topI was granted temporary custody with my out-of-state protection order.  Will I still have temporary custody of my children in CT?

Yes. As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,* Connecticut can enforce a temporary custody order that is a part of a protection order.

To have someone read over your order and tell you if it meets these standards, contact a lawyer in your area. To find a lawyer in your area click here CT Finding a Lawyer.


* The federal laws are the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980.

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Registering your out-of-state order in Connecticut

back to topWhat is the Connecticut automated registry of protective orders?  Who has access to it?

The Connecticut automated registry of protective orders contains all restraining orders that have been issued by the Connecticut courts, and all foreign orders of protection that have been registered with the Superior Court. 

Any judge of the Superior Court or any employee of the Judicial Department who is authorized by the Chief Court Administrator will have access to the information in the registry.  It is not open to the public.*

* C.G.S.A. § 51-5c

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back to topHow do I register my foreign order of protection in Connecticut?

To register your protection order in CT, you can send the following to the Superior Court:

  • a letter or other document requesting registration;
  • two copies, including one certified copy, of the foreign order of protection sought to be registered and a statement under the penalty of perjury (i.e., a sworn affidavit) that, to the best of your knowledge, the order has not beenchanged in any way; and
  • your name and address, except if giving your name and address would put your safety in danger.*

See Do I need anything special to get my restraining order enforced? to find out how to get a certified copy of your order. 

Note:  If it is not safe for you to give out your physical address, yyou can fill out the “Request for Nondisclosure of Location Information” form (JDFM 188), which is available online and at the superior court.  Make sure to give this form to the clerk of court when you are registering your order.  Go to our CT Download Court Forms page to find links to many forms online.  You will have to provide a mailing address for the court, but you do not have to give your physical address.

To find the superior court in your district, go to our CT Courthouse Locations page. 

Once the superior court receives all of this information from you, your protection order will be filed as a foreign judgment, and will be entered into the Connecticut automated registry of protective orders.**

If you need help registering your protection order, you can contact a local domestic violence organization in Connecticut for assistance.  You can find contact information for organizations in your area here on our CT State and Local Programs page.

* C.G.S. § 46b-15a(f)
** C.G.S. § 46b-15a(g)

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back to topDo I have to register my protection order in Connecticut in order to get it enforced?

No.  Connecticut state law gives full protection to an out-of-state protection order that appears real and true on its face.  It does not have to be entered into the state registry in order to be enforced by a Connecticut police officer.*

* C.G.S.A. § 46b-15a

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back to topCan I get my protection order enforced in Connecticut? What are the requirements?

Yes.  Your protection order can be enforced in Connecticut as long as:

  • 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.*
  • 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.)
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
    • In the case of ex parte temporary and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled before the temporary order expires.**
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. § 2266(5)
** 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b)

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back to topCan I restrict who has access to my personal information in the Connecticut protection order registry?

Yes.  If you have a protection order in the registry, you can request in writing that your name and address not be given out to anyone, except for the law enforcement agency in the town where you reside, the town where you work, or the town where the abuser lives.  

To do this, you must file a Request for nondisclosure of information in protection order registry, form JD-CL-80 at the superior court in your district.  This can be done when you are registering your order, or after you have registered. 

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back to topWhat if I don’t register my protection order?  Will it be more difficult to have it enforced?

Maybe.  While neither federal law nor state law requires that you register your protection order in order to get it enforced, if your order is not entered into the CT state registry, it may be more difficult for a CT law enforcement official to determine whether your order is real.  Meaning, it could take longer to get your order enforced. 

If you are unsure about whether registering your order is the right decision for you, you may want to contact a local domestic violence organization in your area.  An advocate there can help you decide what the safest plan of action is for you in Connecticut.  To see a list of local domestic violence organizations in CT, go to our CT State and Local Programs page.

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back to topDoes it cost anything to register my protection order?

 No.  There is no fee for registering your protection order.

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