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What Are the Types of Restraining Orders in Colorado?


If you’re seeking a restraining order in Colorado, chances are, you aren’t at a high point in your life experience. You may be wondering where to turn. It helps if you have an understanding of the different types of restraining orders available in Colorado so you know what type best applies to your circumstances and offers the outcome you’re seeking.

A Colorado restraining order prohibits contact between two people as a means of preventing threatened harm or further harm. The person the order protects is the “petitioner” and the individual prohibited from contacting them is the “adverse party.” Restraining orders are triggered automatically by an arrest for domestic abuse. While criminal restraining orders are issued by the courts in association with arrests for violent crimes, individuals who are victims of violent crime may also seek civil restraining orders.

What Types of Restraining Orders are Available for Protection in Colorado?

Most civil retraining orders serve to protect those in abusive relationships. Colorado has several types of civil and criminal restraining orders including:

  • Domestic Violence Restraining Orders: these are for those in an intimate relationship such as spouses, ex-spouses, unmarried partners, co-parents, or boyfriend and girlfriend
  • Civil Harassment Protection Orders: for those not in a relationship
  • Emergency Protective Orders: sometimes issued by law enforcement after arriving at the scene of domestic violence if the victim is in imminent threat of danger
  • Court Protection Orders (Stay Away Orders): issued by a judge to prevent contact between adversarial parties during the length of a trial
  • Juvenile Restraining Order: Civil harassment orders for those under the age of 18
  • Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order: issued to protect dependent victims of violence or victims of elder abuse
  • Workplace Violence Restraining Order: issued to keep two adversarial coworkers separated—typically requested by an employer
  • Extreme Risk Protection Order: requested by law enforcement or family members to prohibit a high-risk individual from purchasing a gun and compelling them to give up any firearms they possess

Restraining orders have serious consequences. Adverse parties named in a restraining order may have to move out of their home, change their daily routines, and lose custody and visitation rights, at least temporarily. These orders are also listed in a national database and apply in other states. Violation of a restraining order is a class 2 misdemeanor resulting in up to a year in county jail and a $1,000 fine.

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Temporary vs. Permanent Restraining Orders in Colorado

A temporary or ex parte restraining order protects the petitioner until a court proceeding is complete, after which a judge may issue a permanent restraining order. Temporary restraining orders are issued by a judge who believes the petitioner is in immediate danger. The adverse party doesn’t have to receive notification or appear in court for a judge to issue a temporary restraining order against them.

A permanent restraining order is one a judge issues following a trial with both parties appearing in the courtroom. A judge may continue the temporary restraining order for up to a year or may choose to issue an order with new terms. Permanent restraining orders can last for many years unless the case includes matters of child custody, in which even a “permanent” restraining order only lasts for a year before the judge will review the circumstances and decide whether or not to reissue it for another year, make changes, or end the order completely. Contact us today to set up a consultation. 

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