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Obtaining Restraining Orders

How to Obtain a Restraining Order in Connecticut

Westport divorce lawyer helps spouses in need of court protection

If you are dealing with a domestic conflict that you fear may become violent, you have the right to legal protection. Depending on your situation, there are remedies that our family law attorneys at Needle|Cuda can help you pursue. We are committed to the safety of our clients. We respond quickly to any emergencies to help you get the order that is appropriate for your circumstances. If you believe you are currently experiencing an emergency where your life or health is being immediately threatened, you should call 911.

Understanding restraining orders in Connecticut

The term “restraining order” can describe any court order that prohibits one person from coming into contact with another. Sometimes this order may be called an order for relief from abuse. Such an order can be issued by a criminal or family court. In Connecticut, a criminal court issues what is called an order of protection, usually after an arrest, which prohibits the defendant from having contact with the complaining citizen for the duration of the criminal case.

A family court restraining order, however, is available only to persons who fear violence, stalking or a pattern of threatening from a family or household member or someone with whom they have been in a cohabiting or dating relationship. The process begins with an application for a ex parte temporary restraining order, or TRO, which is first addressed based on the papers submitted and then the court can enter additional orders granting or denying it after a hearing.

Connecticut law also provides for a civil order of protection for victims of sexual assault, sexual abuse and stalking. These orders are available to people who cannot request a restraining order because they do not have a qualifying relationship with the targeted person.

How to get a family court restraining order

In our family law practice, we often help clients obtain restraining orders. To seek such relief, you start by filing a set of forms in family court that includes:

  • Application for relief from abuse
  • Affidavit for relief from abuse
  • Request for nondisclosure of location information
  • Restraining order service respondent profile
  • Affidavit concerning children

A judge then decides based on the paperwork that is filed whether to issue an ex parte restraining order and what restraints should be included in it. Restraining orders can compel the targeted person to:

  • Refrain from approaching you at home, at work, or in public
  • Refrain from contacting you by phone, text or email
  • Refrain from physically assaulting or threatening you
  • Vacate a residence you share
  • Stay away from your children, despite custody or visitation rights
  • Surrender firearms to authorities

If you are financially dependent on the targeted person, you can also request an order of maintenance requiring him or her to pay child support, rent, utilities and other expenses.

When the judge issues a temporary restraining order, a hearing date is set so that the targeted person has an opportunity to respond. The hearing must happen within seven to 14 days. At the hearing, the judge listens to the case presented by both sides and decides whether to extend the restraining order, deny the restraining order or modify the restraining order. An extension of a restraining order is initially limited to a maximum of one year, but you may request an extension as the expiration date approaches.

Contact our Westport, CT family law attorneys for help with restraining orders

Needle|Cuda in Fairfield County helps clients obtain and enforce family violence restraining orders throughout Connecticut. We provide highly responsive service and effective representation focused on positive results. To schedule a consultation, call us today at 203-429-4151 or contact our Westport office online.

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