Protective and Restraining Orders
For a detailed and comprehensive description of the Connecticut laws and processes related to restraining and protective orders, please visit the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence guidebook. Keep in mind that you can ask for a University No-Contact Letter from UConn’s Office of Community Standards without engaging in the legal or criminal processes. UConn’s No-Contact Letters are different from legal protective and restraining orders, and can be requested at any time. For much more information about UConn No-Contact Letters, contact Community Standards or the Dean of Students.
In Connecticut, restraining orders are different from protective orders.
Protective orders are made by a criminal court judge against a person who was arrested for stalking, harassment, or for a family violence crime. Protective Orders are:
- Processed through criminal court after an arrest.
- May be put in place by a judge if the abuser is arrested for activities such as assault, stalking, threatening, or harassment.
- May also be put in place for a current or former family member, household member, dating partner or spouse and may protect animals owned or kept by the victim. Orders may protect minor children if they are identified as victims of the crime for which the abuser was arrested.
Contact the Assistant Dean of Students for Victim Support Services or a confidential advocate for more information about obtaining a protective order in Connecticut.
Restraining orders are made by a civil court judge after a person files an Application for Relief from Abuse.
A restraining order is an order made by a judge in the Family Court. In the restraining order the judge can order your partner not to hurt or harass you. The judge may also order your partner to move out of your home and order that you have temporary custody of your children. There is no fee for filing a restraining order in court and the State pays for the marshals to serve restraining orders. Contact the Assistant Dean of Students for Victim Support Services or a confidential advocate for more information about obtaining a protective order in Connecticut.
Who qualifies for a restraining order?
To determine whether or not you qualify for a restraining order you must be able to answer “yes” to the following two basic questions:
- Question 1: Is someone physically hurting you or threatening to physically hurt you?
- Question 2: Is the person hurting you related to you, living with you, someone with whom you used to live, the parent of your child or someone with whom you are in or have recently been in a dating relationship?
The form is also called an “Application for Relief from Abuse.” You can get court forms from the website for the Judicial Branch at www.jud.ct.gov.
If your order of protection is from another state, it is important for you to know that police in Connecticut are required to enforce orders of protection from other states, U.S. territories or Indian tribes. This means that if you have a court order from another state that protects you from your partner’s violence, your partner can be arrested if they do any of the following things in Connecticut:
- Threaten or physically hurt you; or
- Contact you or comes near you when the order says they are not allowed to do so.
To prove that you have an order from a court in another state, it will be very important to show a copy of the order to the police. The copy does NOT have to be a certified copy. The law says that the police must enforce an order that appears authentic, even if the order is not in their computer base.