Step 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.1
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.2
You cannot be charged a fee for having a sheriff serve a protection order related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.3
Once service is complete, whoever completed service has to fill out the affidavit/certificate of service, 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.
You can find more information about service of process in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section, in the question called What is service of process and how do I accomplish it?
1 Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-104.5(9)
2 See Rule 4 C.R.C.P.
3 Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-109(2)