When an individual is the victim of abusive conduct or harassment, they can seek a restraining order (also known as a “protective order” or “order of protection”) to help protect them from the alleged offender. Orders of protection can be important tool to help keep victims of abuse and harassment protected. However, they can also be misused to make false allegations during the midst of some type of dispute.
In Connecticut, there are different types of restraining orders that cover various circumstances. There are criminal protective orders that are connected with a criminal case. When they are issued, they typically remain in effect until the case is concluded, which can include time the accused spends in jail or on probation. A protective order can be issued if an individual is the victim of stalking, or if an individual is the victim of family abuse which resulted in the arrest of the alleged abuser.
There are also restraining orders that fall under the area of civil law. When someone seeks a civil order of protection, they are not asking the court to send the accused to jail for committing a crime. Rather, they are asking the court to protect them from the alleged abuser. That said, a violation of any protective order in Connecticut – criminal or civil – is a Class D felony, which is punishable with heavy fines, jail time and other criminal penalties.
There are three different types of civil orders of protection that can be issued or registered in Connecticut; foreign orders of protection, civil restraining orders, and civil protection orders.
Foreign orders of protection are injunctions, restraining orders, and other orders issued by a jurisdiction outside of Connecticut; such as another U.S. state or commonwealth, the District of Columbia, a U.S. Territory or possession, or an Indian tribe.
Civil restraining orders are for family members and household members who are seeking relief from continuous threats, stalking, or physical pain or injury. Family or household members may be minors or adults that fall into any of the following categories:
- Spouses or ex-spouses;
- Parents or children;
- Persons who are relatives by blood or marriage;
- Persons who are living together or who have lived together even if they are not related by blood or marriage;
- Persons who have a child in common together even if they were never married or never lived together;
- Persons who are dating or have recently dated.
On January 1, 2015, Connecticut created a new category known as “civil protection orders” (CGS § 46b-16a) to allow individuals to seek relief against alleged offenders who are not family or household members.
Civil Protection Order Overview
A civil protection order can be sought under the following circumstances:
- The person filing has been a victim of sexual assault, sexual abuse, or first, second, or third-degree stalking;
- The person filing has not obtained any other order of protection from a court arising out of the assault, abuse, or stalking;
- The person filing is not a family or household member, and therefore does not qualify for relief for the issuance of a civil restraining order.
The process for obtaining a civil protection order is similar to the process for obtaining a civil restraining order. Along with the application, an affidavit must be made under oath that states the specific facts and the reason for seeking the order.
A hearing is held within 14 days of the filing of the application, and the accused must be notified at least five days prior to the hearing. If a civil protection order is granted, the duration of the order cannot exceed one year, unless it is extended by the court.
Served with an Order of Protection in Connecticut? Call the Apex Law Firm to Discuss your Options
Orders of protection come with serious consequences. They can hang over your head for a year or longer, and violations can incur serious criminal penalties. Being served with a civil restraining order or civil protection order does not automatically mean it will be issued, however. There are various ways to fight these orders depending on the circumstances of the case, and with so much at stake, it makes sense to look at all of your legal options.
At the Apex Law Firm, we have over five decades of combined experience serving clients who have been charged criminally or served with a civil order of protection. We work closely with our clients, putting our extensive experience to work to thoroughly assess their case and explore every potential legal avenue toward mitigating the situation as much as possible.
Call our office today at (860) 900-0900 for a discreet and confidential consultation. You may also message us through our web contact form or stop by our Hartford County office in person at your convenience.