Legal Information: Connecticut

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
November 24, 2021

Who qualifies for a civil protection order?

If you are a victim of sexual abuse, sexual assault, or stalking by someone who is not a family or household member, you can apply for a civil protection order in the Superior Court. If the abuser is a family or household member, then you would apply for a relief from abuse order instead, not a civil protection order.1

For the purpose of qualifying for a civil protection order, stalking is when someone commits two or more of the following acts in a threatening, aggressive, or disturbing manner:

  • harassing you;
  • following you;
  • lying in wait for you;
  • putting surveillance on you or monitoring you;
  • sending you unwanted gifts or messages.1

The person can commit these acts directly, indirectly, or through a third person, and by any method, device, or other means. The actions must cause you to reasonably fear for your physical safety.1

1 C.G.S. § 46b-16a

What types of civil protection orders are available? How long do they last?

When you apply for a civil protection order, the judge can issue an immediate temporary ex parte order if the judge believes that there is an immediate danger to you. It will usually last for up to14 days until a hearing for a final order is scheduled.1

At the hearing for a final order, the judge can grant you a final order that will last for up to one year if the judge believes:

  1. that the respondent committed sexual abuse, sexual assault, or stalking; and
  2. that the respondent will:
    • continue to commit sexual abuse, sexual assault, or stalking, or
    • will commit acts designed to intimidate or retaliate against you.2

In addition, once your final order is expiring, you can file a motion to extend the order for an additional period of up to one year.3

1 C.G.S. § 46b-16a(b)
2 C.G.S. § 46b-16a(b), (c)
3 C.G.S. § 46b-16a(c)

What protections can I get in a civil protection order?

In a temporary ex parte order or a final order, the judge can include any of the following protections:

  • ordering the respondent not to put any restraints upon you or your freedom (liberty);
  • ordering the respondent not to threaten, harass, assault, molest, sexually assault, or attack you;
  • prohibiting the respondent from entering your home.1

​1 C.G.S. § 46b-16a(b)

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