Step 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.1 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:
- 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.2 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.
- 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.
- 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).3
- 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.
1 See Instructions for Obtaining a Civil Protection Order, JDF 400
2 Colo. Rev. Stat. §13-14-106(1)(a)
3 Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-106(1)(a),(b)