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How do protective orders help Coloradans stay safe?

Most people in a romantic relationship argue from time to time. While most couples can peacefully resolve their issues, other times the situation escalates, and domestic violence and neglect occur. When this happens, the victim may need legal protection to stay safe from their abuser. Colorado law recognizes this and has a system in place that allows a victim of domestic violence to seek a protection order from the court.

A protection order prohibits a person from contacting, harassing, harming, making threats, molesting, intimidating, touching, stalking or sexually assaulting the protected person. The restrained person cannot remain on the premises of the protected person and must keep a certain distance away from them. A protection order can restrain a person from doing anything to a protected person's pet as well. Protection orders can be temporary or permanent.

To obtain a protection order, certain forms must be filed with the court. There will be a temporary protection order hearing. The complaint and the temporary order will be served on the restrained person. Following that, there will be a permanent order hearing. If the restrained person appears at the hearing, then the order for protection will be submitted to them; thus, personal service is not necessary. However, if the restrained person does not appear at the hearing and the permanent order is different than the temporary order, then the restrained person must be personally served with the order.

The protected person should keep a copy of the order and the affidavit/certificate of service on them at all times. It is an unfortunate fact that sometimes domestic violence occurs that puts a person in such danger that they must seek assistance from the court. However, it is important that domestic violence victims are protected from their abusers, for their own safety and well-being. Protective orders are just one way that the legal system can protect victims of domestic abuse.

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