Safe Shelter provides advocacy within the justice system
Below are answers to the most common questions we receive regarding legal matters:
What is a Civil Protection Order?
Who can get a Protection Order?
Will someone go with me to get a Protection Order?
Where can I file for a Civil Protection Order?
How much does a Protection Order cost?
How can I get a Protection Order?
Will the children be included in the temporary and permanent Protection Order?
Does permanent mean forever?
Can I apply for a Protection Order if I’m already divorced?
Does there have to be an arrest for me to obtain a Protection Order? What if I don’t have any actual evidence of the abuse?
How long does it take to get a Protection Order?
If I relocate, is my Protection Order good in other cities or states?
Will a Protection Order really protect me?
If the Protection Order is violated, what should I do?
How do I know if there is a protection or no-contact order or if the children are included?
What are the main differences between a no-contact order as a part of a bond condition and a civil protection order?
What are my rights as the victim of a crime?
What is Victim’s Compensation, and how can I access it?
What if I want an attorney for a divorce or a permanent protection order hearing but can’t afford one?
Civil Protection Order
Q. What is a Civil Protection Order?
A. A Civil Protection order is a temporary or permanent order issued by any county or district court. It forbids someone 10 years of age or older to come in contact with another person. A Civil Protection Order can be issued to prevent stalking, sexual assault, physical assault and threatened bodily harm, domestic violence and abuse, and emotional abuse of the elderly (60 years or older) or an at-risk adult. Back to Top
Q. Who can get a protection order?
A. Anyone who believes that he or she is in danger of a form of abuse listed in the previous answer may apply for a Civil Protection Order. Back to Top
Q. Will someone go with me to get a protection order?
A. Absolutely. Going in front of a judge and filing paperwork with the court can be an intimidating process. We understand this and offer support throughout the process of obtaining a protection order. Just call our crisis line at 303-772-4422, or e-mail us at email@example.com. Back to Top
Q. How much does a protection order cost?
A. You can obtain paperwork from the Clerk of Courts ($3.00), Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley (free), or on-line at http://www.courts.state.co.us/forms/forms_list.cfm/form_type_id/24
All fees, except a possible $3.00 paperwork charge, are waived for domestic violence protection orders. Back to Top
Q. How can I get a protection order?
A. If you’d like support when going through this sometimes intimidating process, Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley is always available to support and help you. Call our crisis line for more information at 303-772-4422, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Based on what you say and what has been filed, the judge will decide whether or not there are grounds to grant the Civil Protection Order. Back to Top
Q. Will the children be included in the temporary and permanent protection order?
A. It is ultimately up to the judge whether to allow contact between the abuser and the children. If the protection order is filed in county court and the children are included, the judge has jurisdiction over the children for 120 days. If the protection order is filed as part of a divorce, more than likely it will become part of the divorce proceeding, as will custody of the children. Back to Top
Q. Does permanent mean forever?
A. If a protection order is made permanent and the protected party wishes to drop or modify the protection order at a later date, she or he can ask the court to do so by filing the appropriate paperwork with the court.
Q. Can I apply for a protection order if I’m already divorced?
A. If you’re already divorced you can still apply for a protection order. If you still live in the county where you were divorced, more than likely the protection order will become part of your divorce. For Boulder County you will more than likely file in district court at 6th and Canyon. If you have moved to a different county since your divorce, call the Clerk of Court of the county where you were divorced, and the new county you live in to inquire where you should file, or ask your local domestic violence agency. Back to Top
Q. Does there have to be an arrest for me to obtain a protection order? What if I don’t have any actual evidence of the abuse?
A. You do not need to have filed a police report or have actual evidence to get a temporary or permanent protection order. However, evidence is helpful in any court proceeding: Witnesses, medical records, your own documentation of abuse (include dates and times), pictures, torn clothing, etc. can all be presented as evidence. Back to Top
Q. How long does it take to get a protection order?
A. A judge can immediately issue a temporary protection order. However, please keep in mind the operating hours of the court. In addition, you need to arrange to have the defendant served with the appropriate paperwork before there can be an actual violation of a protection order. Service can be done by a sheriff, private process server, or anyone over the age of eighteen NOT involved in the case. The person requesting the protection order cannot serve the paperwork. Back to Top
Q. If I relocate, is my protection order good in other cities or states?
A. An order entered by a Colorado judge is valid anywhere in Colorado. It is wise to have a certified copy of the court order with you, especially if you reside outside the county where the court order was issued. An order entered by a Colorado judge may be enforced outside of Colorado, but if you move outside of Colorado you should talk to an attorney, local domestic violence agency or the court where you live. It may be necessary to file your Colorado court order with the court in your new home state so that it will be recognized and enforced there. Back to Top
Q. Will a protection order really protect me?
A. A protection order can be an important piece in an overall safety plan. In a domestic violence relationship you know your situation better than anyone. Only you can decide what will keep you safest. Call us for further discussion or information at 303-772-4422. (See Safety and Safety Planning on this web site.) Back to Top
Q. If the protection order is violated, what should I do?
A. Call the police and report the violation. See Being Safe and Create A Safety Plan if you are the victim of a domestic violence incident that resulted in someone’s arrest. Back to Top
Q. My abuser was recently arrested for domestic violence-related charges. How do I know if there is a protection or no-contact order or if the children are included?
A. In Boulder County call the Bond Commissioner at 303-441-4626 (available 24/7) if the arrest happened within the previous working day, or the District Attorney’s office at 303-441-3700 for information regarding the no-contact order. Usually the defendant has to sign a no-contact condition of bond before being released from jail. Back to Top
Q. What are the main differences between a no-contact order as a part of a bond condition and a civil protection order?
A. Civil protection orders give clear instructions to the defendant about how far to stay from a victim, locations excluded, and if children are included. Currently, ‘No-contact’ is subject to interpretation on issues such as residence, distance and children. If there is probable cause that a defendant has violated a civil protection order, there is an immediate arrest. When the No-contact Order is part of a resolution to a case, the police do not have the authority to arrest upon a violation of the ‘no-contact’ unless the District Attorney files a motion with the court and a warrant is issued. The main difference between the two is that a criminal no-contact order only lasts until the case is over, the civil protection order can be made permanent (see description of permanent above). Back to Top
For more information about the Victim’s Rights Amendment, please go to the website: http://www.nvcan.org/ Victim’s Compensation
Q. What is Victim’s Compensation, and how can I access it?
A. Victim’s Compensation is an amazing resource that is different from district to district. For Boulder County, go to the following website: http://www.co.boulder.co.us/da/vcomp/vcomp.htm
Most recently, Victim’s Compensation became willing to consider compensating victims of domestic violence for loss of income if their abusers refuse to pay bills while the no-contact is in place. For more information call 303-441-3700. Back to Top
Q. What if I want an attorney for a divorce or a permanent protection order hearing but can’t afford one?
A. If you live in Boulder County, you may qualify for an attorney through Boulder County Legal Services at 303.449.7575. If you live outside of Boulder County, or want to discuss other options, call our office at 303.772.0432.
Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley may be able to help with some legal questions at 303-772-0432. We are not attorneys and cannot give legal advice. It may be wise for you to confer with an attorney, even if you decide not to hire one for the entire case. You can learn a lot about your legal rights and court procedures in a one-time consultation with an attorney. Many attorneys will do what is called ‘unbundling’ of their legal services and will handle as much or as little of a case as the client can afford. You may represent yourself and receive coaching periodically from an attorney at a lower cost than if an attorney handles the entire case for you. Some attorneys charge a reduced rate for their initial consultations and others charge their regular hourly rate.