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Legal Information: Connecticut

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of January 3, 2024

What can I do to convince the judge that a risk protection order is needed?

Only a state’s attorney, an assistant state’s attorney, or two law enforcement officers can file the actual petition for a risk protection order.1 However, you may be able to file in court to request that law enforcement starts an investigation into whether a risk protection order is needed. The law says that any family or household member or medical professional who has a good faith belief that a person poses a risk of immediate (imminent) personal injury to himself/herself or to another person can make an application for a “risk protection order investigation” with the clerk of the court.A “family or household member” is defined as someone eighteen years or older who:

  1. is related to the respondent in any of the following ways:
    • spouse; 
    • parent; 
    • child; 
    • sibling;
    • grandparent;
    • grandchild;
    • step-parent;
    • step-child; 
    • step-sibling; 
    • mother/father-in-law;
    • son/daughter-in-law; or
    • brother/sister-in-law;  
  2. lives with the respondent;
  3. has a child in common with the respondent;
  4. is a dating/intimate partner of the respondent; or
  5. is the current or former legal guardian of the respondent.3

If the judge believes the application was made in good faith, the judge will order law enforcement to do a risk protection order investigation to determine if the person does indeed pose a risk of imminent personal injury. If the law enforcement agency determines that there is probable cause to believe this risk exists, they must apply for a risk protection order as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours after receiving the order from the judge to do a risk protection investigation.4 

1 C.G.S. § 29-38c(a)
2 C.G.S. § 29-38c(b)(1)
3 C.G.S. § 29-38c(j)
4 C.G.S. § 29-38c(b)(2), (b)(3)