Step-By-Step Guide on How to Get a Restraining Order in Colorado

In Colorado, a restraining order is a legal means to protect individuals from harassment, threats, or harm.

How to Get a Restraining Order in Colorado
How to Get a Restraining Order in Colorado

This article provides a step-by-step guide on obtaining a restraining order in Colorado, along with answers to frequently asked questions.

ALSO READ: What Is the Difference Between Protective Orders and Restraining Orders?

Understanding Restraining Orders

A restraining order, also known as a protection order, is a court order that prohibits someone from engaging in certain behaviors, typically towards the person who has sought the order.

Types of Protective Orders

Types of Restraining Orders

There are two main types of restraining orders in Colorado:

Temporary Protection Orders (TPOs)

These are typically issued on an emergency basis and are designed to provide immediate protection.

They can be granted without the presence of the restrained person and usually last until the court hearing for the permanent order, which is generally within 14 days.

Permanent Protection Orders (PPOs)

These are issued after a court hearing where both parties have the opportunity to present their case. If granted, a PPO can last indefinitely and offers long-term protection.

It’s important to follow the legal process carefully to ensure that a restraining order is properly obtained and enforced.

Functions of a Protective Order

How to Get a Restraining Order in Colorado

Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining a Restraining Order

Step 1: Filing for a Temporary Protection Order

To obtain a TPO, you must file a petition at your local county court.

The court will review your petition and may grant the TPO the same day.

Step 2: Service of the Temporary Protection Order

Once the TPO is granted, the restrained person must be officially notified through a process called ‘service’.

This can often be arranged through the sheriff’s department.

Step 3: The Permanent Protection Order Hearing

You must return to court on the date specified in the TPO to request a PPO.

Failure to appear may result in the expiration of the TPO.

Step 4: Obtaining the Permanent Protection Order

If the court is satisfied with the evidence presented, it may issue a PPO, which provides long-term protection.

What can a restraining order do?

A restraining order, also known as a protection order, can do several things to help protect an individual from harassment, threats, or harm. Here are some of the actions that a restraining order in Colorado can enforce:

1.Prohibit Contact

It can order the restrained person not to contact, harass, stalk, or threaten the protected person in any way.

2.Physical Distance

The order can require the restrained person to stay a certain distance away from the protected person’s home, workplace, school, or other locations where they frequent.

3.Removal from Residence

If the restrained person lives with the protected person, the order can require them to move out.

4.Custody and Visitation

The order can establish temporary custody of children and set up visitation arrangements that are safe for the protected person.

5.Firearm Possession

It can prohibit the restrained person from possessing or purchasing firearms.

6.Property Protection

The order can prevent the restrained person from damaging, transferring, or disposing of property shared with or owned by the protected person.

Who can file for a restraining order?

Any victim of violence, threat of violence, or those in fear of personal harm can file for a restraining order.

Do I need an attorney?

No, you do not need an attorney to file for a TPO, but you may choose to have one.\

It can order the restrained person not to harm you, remove them from your home, and set safe parenting time arrangements, among other things.

What if the restrained person violates the order?

If the restrained person violates a restraining order in Colorado, it is considered a criminal offense.

Here are the steps that typically follow a violation:

1.Reporting the Violation

The protected person should immediately report the violation to the police. It’s important to provide any evidence of the violation, such as messages, calls, or witness statements.

2.Police Response

Law enforcement will investigate the report. If there’s sufficient evidence, the restrained person can be arrested.

3.Criminal Charges

The restrained person may face criminal charges, which can lead to fines, jail time, or both, depending on the severity of the violation and whether it’s a first or subsequent offense.

4.Enhanced Protection

The court may modify the restraining order to provide additional protections or extend its duration.

5.Legal Consequences

Violating a restraining order can also impact other legal proceedings, such as custody battles or divorce proceedings, and can lead to further restrictions or penalties.

How long does a PPO last?

For provisions concerning children, a PPO typically lasts no more than 120 days.

After this period, if ongoing protection is needed, a domestic relations case must be filed in District Court.

Finally, it’s important to note that a PPO can be modified or dismissed by the court upon request by either party, but there are specific conditions and time frames that must be met for this to happen.

For example, to request a modification of a PPO, you must generally wait 2 years from the time the PPO was entered or 2 years from the last time you requested a modification.


Obtaining a restraining order in Colorado involves several steps, from filing a petition to attending a court hearing.

Additionally, it’s a process designed to provide safety and protection for those who need it.

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