Courts in Connecticut have the ability to issue a variety of different protective and restraining orders. The purpose of these orders is to attempt to protect people who are in fear of their safety from another person. These protective orders can prohibit criminal defendants from doing the following things to victims:
- Sexually assaulting.
- Entering the victim’s home.
It is important to remember that none of the orders require alleged victims of crime to keep their distance from their accused abusers. These orders get issued generally as part of criminal proceedings, intending to control the conduct of criminal defendants. Connecticut courts also have the ability to issue protective orders if a person gets arrested for stalking. The definition of stalking involves the willful and repeated following of another person. Under Connecticut law, the committer of stalking must fulfill requirements. They must either intend to cause their victim to fear for their physical safety or attempt to cause this response. A court also has the ability to issue a protective order. This happens when a person is arrested for harassment if the victim fears for their safety. The protective order may include provisions necessary to protect the victim from threats, harassment, injury, or intimidation by the perpetrator.
Definition of Family or Household Member
For the purposes of the Connecticut court system, family or household members are statutorily defined as the following:
- Former spouses.
- Parents and their children.
- People age 18 or older related by blood or marriage.
- People age 16 or older either living together or who have lived together.
- Those who have a child together.
- People in or formerly in a dating relationship.
Family Protective Order
In family violence cases, the judge can issue a protective order to protect a person involved in the case, usually the alleged victim. The protective order is a condition of the defendant’s bail or release. Family violence is defined as an incident resulting in physical harm, assault, or a threat of violence that constitutes fear of imminent harm between family members. Verbal abuse or an argument is not family violence unless there is present danger and the likelihood that physical violence will occur.
Family Violence Protective Order
One of the most commonly issued protective orders by the court is the Family Violence Protective Order. This order is issued at the time of arraignment during a criminal proceeding. A defendant will usually meet with the family relations staff and family relations may recommend that a protective order get issued. These types of protective orders usually go into effect from when issued until the criminal charges get disposed of. Sometimes, however, a protective order can be withdrawn before there is a disposition of the criminal charges.
A family member that has been subjected to an incessant threat of physical injury by another family member or person in a relationship can apply to the Superior Court for a restraining order. The court can make appropriate orders to protect the applicant and dependent children or others, including temporary child custody or visitation rights. The court can issue an immediate ex parte order as appropriate if the applicant alleges immediate and present physical danger.
Protective orders last for up to six months and may be extended for additional time as the court finds necessary on the applicant’s motion.