Civil Restraining Orders—also called Protection Orders—exist to protect victims of abuse. Because of the sensitivity of the issue, Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO) can be established extremely quickly; and the restrained party does not always get the chance to defend themselves.
While restrained parties must abide by the stipulations of a TRO, they can fight against the restraining order becoming permanent.
How are restraining orders established in Colorado?
Whenever someone files for a Temporary Restraining Order, the order is brought to a judge to approve. If the judge believes that the order is warranted, they will sign the order and schedule a date for a hearing to make the order permanent.
This Permanent Restraining Order (PRO) hearing is often the first time the restrained party has a chance to defend themselves. At this hearing, the judge will decide whether or not to enforce a PRO.
Consequences of a restraining order
If a judge decides that a PRO is warranted, you will have to abide by the order for at least two years before you can challenge it again.
There are many negative side effects of a restraining order that go beyond the dispute you may have with the filing person. A restraining order can show up on background and security checks. This can make it difficult to:
- Find gainful employment
- Apply for housing
- Maintain your credit record
- Pursue additional education
Defending against a restraining order
During the PRO hearing, you will have the opportunity to defend yourself. At this hearing, you must demonstrate that you do not pose a threat to the filing party’s safety and that you have followed the instructions of the temporary restraining order.
A civil restraining order can affect any other processes that you are going through, such as a divorce. It can also lead to additional legal actions, such as a criminal charge. If a protection order is mounting against you, you should obey its instructions and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help mount your defense and prepare for any additional impending legal actions.