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    How Can I Get a Restraining Order in Connecticut?

    If you or a loved one are in an abusive relationship you might be wondering: how can I get a restraining order in Connecticut? Where do I go? What is the process? State Law allows for individuals to apply for a protective order out of either the family court (under C.G.S. § 46b-15) or the civil court (under C.G.S. § 46b-16a) under certain circumstances. A Connecticut restraining order attorney can help you navigate the system and apply for the order you need.

    Do I Need a Civil or a Family Protective Order?

    The civil and family court protective orders are for different people. Only family and household members qualify for a family protective order. This includes exes, nonromantic roommates, and parents of common children. Anyone else seeking a protective in Connecticut order needs to apply through the civil court.

    Do I Automatically Get an Order of Protection?

    No, you don’t automatically get an order. After you apply, a Judge will review your application to decide if there are grounds to grant it. For a family protective order, you need to be the victim of domestic violence as defined under the law. For a civil protective order, you must be the victim of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or stalking. After a judge reviews the application, they will decide whether you should get granted ex parte relief, meaning a protective order immediately before the other side has the opportunity to be heard. Regardless of whether ex parte relief is granted, the court will almost always set a hearing date within 1-2 weeks wherein you can explain to the Connecticut court why you need this order of protection.

    What Happens at a Restraining Order Hearing?

    A protective order hearing is essentially a trial. The applicant has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that they qualify and need a protective order and the respondent (the person whom you are seeking protection against) has the opportunity to be heard as to why the restraining order shouldn’t enter. To do this, both sides can put on testimonial evidence, enter tangible exhibits, and argue to the court. The rules of the court apply, even if you are not a lawyer, so it is beneficial to have the advice of a Connecticut trial attorney who knows the procedures and rules that need to be followed.

    What Kind of Restraining Order Can I Get?

    Regardless of whether you apply for a civil protective order, a family protective order, or even a criminal protective order, there are three “levels”. There is a partial protective order, which prohibits assaulting, threatening, harassing, following, stalking, or interfering with the protected person. A residential stay-away protective order which prohibits all of the above and prohibits the respondent from going to the protected person’s house or wherever they may reside. Then there is a full no-contact protective order, which as you may have guessed, prohibits all contact.

    Let Our Connecticut Firm Help You Get a Restraining Order

    When considering applying for a protective order, don’t go in blind. Speak with a Connecticut restraining order attorney who has handled restraining orders all over the State. Contact the attorneys at Mark Sherman Law today.