Restraining orders or Orders of Protection can be obtained by going through the judicial branch of any state government. The lengths of time, proper forms, and form sequences vary depending on different variables. Whether someone has children under the age of 18 or is in imminent danger all reflects on the method, speed and forms that are introduced to keep one person away from another.
The state of Connecticut has made obtaining a restraining order less stressful by placing all the necessary, easy to print, forms on its website. On the state site there is a link to a free legal aid site called CTLawHelp.org. Type in restraining order into the search bar and all the forms needed are in order at the top for easy print out.
Application for Relief from Abuse (JD-FM-137)
This form gives the judge all the vital information needed about the person who will be served with this order. It also tells the Judge what type and how much protection the applicant needs in order to feel safe.
Affidavit for Relief from Abuse (JD-FM-138)
This form tells the judge what happened in order for the applicant to want protection from the other party. When filling out this form the applicant must write down everything as if they are on a witness stand and may not lie or embellish in anyway.
Affidavit Concerning Children (JD-FM-164)
This form is specific to children and gives the judge the chance to look into the family dynamic and custody history as it concerns minors within the household.
Request for Non-Disclosure of Location Information 9JD-FM-188)
This is short document that informs the judge that the applicant would like for each of his or her locations, or the location of the children, left undisclosed for personal security reasons.
Only the first two forms are mandatory to receive a protection order. Fill out the needed forms but do not sign them. These forms must be signed in front of either a notary public, the clerk at the courthouse or an attorney. The papers must make their way to the clerk’s office location inside the courthouse usually in the area where the applicant resides. Requesting protection from someone doesn’t cost anything, so after the forms are turned into the clerk they will be processed and reviewed by a judge. If and when the judge grants the request the date and time will be set for a hearing that will be marked on the papers that are returned. In most cases the papers are returned with a Temporary Order of Protection (TRO), at least one other copy of the returned paperwork, and a restraining Order Service Instruction Profile.
The other copy of the returned paperwork and the Restraining Order Service Instruction Profile needs to be given to a State Marshal so the other party involved can be notified that there is a court date and that an Order of Protection is being sought against them within five days of the hearing date. While there are State Marshals located inside of courthouses at certain times of day, a list can be given to you by the Clerks’ Office the Court Service Center or by going to www.jud.ct.gov.
For someone who has not retained a lawyer there is a big responsibility to prove why protection is needed from the other person. Evidence needs to be collected to show that protection is a must. Police records, photos, medical records even video and audio recordings can be brought into the courtroom to prove that there is a threat. A clerk can have State Marshals subpoena people as close as the day before the hearing to make sure that someone who was a witness but might not want to show up will have to be there to tell what they know.
If the hearing was successful then the most important thing to do is to keep a copy on hand at all times. Keep it in the car, house, place of worship, the HR department at work, at the kid’s school, and even a copy at the local police department. After the hearing, the judge will make a decision on the nature and the length of the restraining order. In most cases they last for six months and then a motion needs to be filed in order to extend that time period, but all cases are different and protection lengths may very.
The state provides many free resources to get legal advice on how to get protection from others, to keep residents safe and to also keep them informed of their rights.