Legal Information: Connecticut

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
October 6, 2018

What types of restraining orders are there? How long do they last?

In Connecticut, there are two types of restraining orders:

A temporary (ex parte) restraining order can be issued on the day you apply for your restraining order if you allege (and the judge believes) that there is an immediate and present physical danger to you. ("Ex parte" means that the order can be issued without prior notice to the abuser and without the abuser present in court.) When deciding what to include in the temporary ex parte order, the judge can also consider the report that will be prepared by the family services unit of the Judicial Branch that may include, as available:

  • any existing or prior orders of protection against the respondent that are recorded in the protection order registry;
  • information on any pending criminal case or past criminal case in which the respondent was convicted of a violent crime;
  • any outstanding arrest warrant for the respondent;
  • the respondent's level of risk based on a risk assessment tool utilized by the Court Support Services Division;
  • information related to any pending or disposed (resolved) family matters cases involving you and the respondent.1

If the judge grants you a temporary restraining order, it will last until the full court hearing for the permanent order, which has to take place within 14 days. However, if you include in your application that the abuser has a permit or eligibility certificate to carry a pistol or revolver, a long gun, ammunition, or that s/he possesses firearms or ammunition, the hearing has to take place within 7 days. If the hearing is postponed, the temporary order can be extended until the hearing takes place. If the respondent cannot be located/served with the petition and order, your ex parte order can be extended another 14 days while law enforcement attempts to locate/serve him/her.2

A permanent restraining order can be issued after a court hearing in which you and the abuser both have a chance to tell your sides of the story. Permanent orders can last up to one year, but can be extended for additional periods as the judge believes is necessary.3

Note: In Connecticut, a there is also something called a family violence protective order, which is issued by a criminal court judge at arraignment after an abuser has been arrested. This is different from the civil court restraining orders (also known as relief from abuser orders) that are discussed in this section.4

1 C.G.S § 46b-15(b)
2 C.G.S § 46b-15(b),(c)
3 C.G.S § 46b-15(g)
4 See CT Judicial Branch website