Step 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.1
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.
1 Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-104.5(7)(a)