When someone is a victim of domestic violence, one of their legal remedies is to ask the court for a restraining order. If any victim of domestic violence is afraid of personal harm, they can go to civil court and ask for a restraining order, which is enforceable not only in Colorado but in all 50 states.
Here, obtaining a restraining order is broken down into two phases. First, the victim must obtain a temporary restraining order (TRO), which lasts up to 14 days. The TRO states the date and time the victim has to return to court to get the order converted into a permanent order; this is called the “permanent hearing.”
Second, the victim must go back to court on the date specified on the TRO so the court can issue a permanent restraining order (PRO). If the victim doesn’t return to court during the date and time indicated on the TRO, the TRO will expire and it will no longer protect the victim and their children. Once a victim obtains a PRO, how long it lasts is at the discretion of the judge; however, the part about children does not last longer than 120 days.
What Can a Restraining Order Do?
Of course, restraining orders order abusers to stop hurting their victims, but there’s a lot more that a restraining order can do. Some examples include:
- Remove the abuser from the family home
- Give the victim care and control of the couple’s children
- Order the abuser to stay away from the victim’s work and home
- Order the abuser not to call the victims
- Order the abuser to stay away from the victim’s friends and family
- Order the abuser to stay away from certain public places the victim frequents
- Set up parenting time if the children are victims of abuse
- Provide safety when the children are being dropped off and picked up
Unfortunately, the burden of dealing with the courts and the legal system is on the victim. The victim is the one who goes to court to tell their story in front of a judge. If you’re a victim of domestic violence, be prepared to have to fill out paperwork. Often, victims decide to hire attorneys to assist them with their cases.
Abusers do not go to jail because of restraining orders. However, if an abuser violates a restraining order, they commit a crime, which could lead to an arrest and incarceration.
If you are dealing with domestic violence and a restraining order issue, whether you’re the accused or the victim, we urge you to contact Kaplan Law L.L.C. for help.