How long can a risk protection order last?
Within 14 days after the service of a risk protection order and execution of a warrant to take (seize) firearms, the judge must hold a hearing to decide whether the risk protection order should continue or not. If the judge determines at that hearing that the respondent poses an immediate risk of personal injury to himself/herself or to another person, the risk protection order will continue and law enforcement will continue to keep possession of the firearms or other deadly weapons seized until the judge terminates the order.1
After 180 days from the first hearing, the respondent can file a petition to ask the judge to end (terminate) the order and the judge will schedule a hearing in 28 days. During those 28 days, law enforcement must determine whether they believe there is probable cause that the person poses a risk of imminent personal injury to himself/herself or to another person. If the law enforcement agency finds no probable cause, the agency must notify the court and then the hearing will be canceled, the order will end, and the firearms will be returned. If law enforcement does find probable cause, the hearing will take place as scheduled. For the order and warrant to remain in effect, the judge must determine at the hearing that there is ”clear and convincing evidence” that the person poses a risk of imminent personal injury to himself/herself or to another person. There will be no specific end date for the risk protection order. The only way for the order to terminate is for the person to re-file a petition to terminate the order and a new hearing would be scheduled with another probable cause investigation. The person has to wait at least 180 days from the prior hearing to file a new petition to terminate the order.2
1 C.G.S. § 29-38c(e)
2 C.G.S. § 29-38c(f)