What Is a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)?

What Is a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)?

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There are many reasons for requesting a Temporary Restraining Order in Colorado Family Court. Any person with fears for their safety can seek a restraining order against their alleged abuser. The main reason people seek a TRO in family court is for protection against domestic violence assaults or threats of domestic violence. In a family court setting, most temporary and permanent restraining orders are issued against an allegedly abusive spouse or domestic partner. The courts may also grant a TRO for cases of stalking, harassment, and coercion within a family relationship such as one spouse or ex-spouse against the other or an adult child against an elder parent.

A civil restraining order from a family court is sought by a victim, while criminal restraining orders are requested by a court during a criminal investigation regardless of the victim’s wishes.

If you’ve been harmed or threatened with harm by a spouse, ex-spouse, or partner, you can request a temporary restraining order to protect yourself and/or your children. A lawyer is not a legal requirement for obtaining a restraining order, but a family law attorney in Denver, Colorado can help you to understand your rights and represent your best interests throughout the process.

What Is a Temporary Restraining Order?

Temporary Vs Permanent Restraining Orders

A Temporary Restraining Order is common during divorce cases, but a court may issue them for personal protection at any time. It can take less than an hour to obtain protection against a threat of violence by an ex-spouse or domestic partner. A temporary restraining order is often simply a required first step toward a permanent restraining order. Colorado courts won’t grant a permanent restraining order until the end of the 14 days of protection allotted in the TRO. A judge may issue this type of order if it appears that the applicant is at imminent risk of harm. The order goes into effect immediately after the subject of the restraining order receives a notification. A process server or someone from the Sheriff’s office within the jurisdiction typically serves the order to the subject.

A judge may issue a Permanent Restraining Order at the end of the 14-day TRO period. This process requires a hearing where both sides and their attorneys can present and rebut evidence and testimony. A PRO may remain in place indefinitely or until one party requests a hearing to drop or remove the order.

What Does a Temporary Restraining Order Do?

Depending on the unique circumstances of a case, a judge may specify the following in a TRO:

  • That the subject of the order remains a specific distance away from the victim of the abuse or threats
  • That they remain a specific distance from the victim’s residence
  • That they remain a specific distance from the victim’s workplace
  • That they remain a specific distance from their family members or friends
  • That they remain a specific distance from places you frequent daily or often
  • That the subject remain off the property of a child’s school or daycare

These orders remain in place until a judge issues a permanent order. Violations of the orders result in criminal charges, including felony charges with significant fines and jail time.

What is the Process for Requesting a Temporary Restraining Order in Colorado?

When in immediate danger, a domestic violence victim should call 911. In some cases, the officers may request a TRO from a judge on your behalf. If you aren’t in immediate danger but feel that danger is imminent or you are under direct threat of violence, you can request a temporary restraining order at the county courthouse in your jurisdiction. After completing the required forms, you’ll go before a judge and give specific information about the reason for the request. Victims of violence or threats should explain what happened to the judge at the hearing and include information about any history of abuse.

There is a filing fee requirement for a temporary restraining order, but a family court cannot deny the request based on a victim’s inability to pay.