A Civil Protection Order is a legal mechanism designed to provide protection to individuals who are victims of harassment, stalking, abuse, or threats. In Connecticut, the legal system recognizes the need for safeguarding the rights and safety of individuals through the issuance of Civil Protection Orders (CPOs).
In Connecticut, there are three types of restraining orders or protective orders:
- Civil Restraining Orders
- Civil Protective Orders
- Criminal Protective Orders
Student School Bullying, Harassment, Threats & Cyber Bullying
Forte Law Group represents families seeking to have a Civil Protection Order issued by a Connecticut State Superior Court Judge against a student that is bullying or harassing their child on or off school grounds. A Civil Protection Order can be issued pursuant to Connecticut General Statute Section 46b-16a if certain conditions are met.
Eligibility and Grounds for Issuing a Civil Protection Order
To be eligible for a Civil Protection Order in Connecticut, an individual must be a victim of harassment, stalking, abuse or threats. The petitioner must demonstrate to a state superior court judge that they have reasonable fear for their safety or the safety of another person due to the actions or conduct of the respondent.
The grounds for obtaining a CPO in Connecticut may include, but are not limited to:
- Physical Abuse: Any act causing physical harm or the threat of physical harm to the petitioner or another person.
- Sexual Abuse: Any non-consensual sexual conduct or contact, including sexual harassment, rape and sexual assault.
- Stalking: Repeated and unwanted attention, communication, or harassment causing emotional distress to the petitioner.
- Harassment: Persistent behavior causing emotional distress, alarm, or fear in the petitioner.
- Threats: Expressions of intent to cause physical or emotional harm or damage to property.
Process of Obtaining a Civil Protection Order
In order to successfully have a Civil Protection Order granted, the victim must follow certain steps.
- 1. Filing a Petition: The petitioner initiates the process by filing a petition for a Civil Protection Order with the appropriate court. The petition should detail the allegations, incidents, and reasons for seeking the order.
- 2. Hearing: The court schedules a hearing to review the petition and hear arguments from both the petitioner and respondent. The court may issue a temporary ex parte order if immediate protection is warranted, pending the hearing.
- 3. Evidence and Testimony: During the hearing, both parties present evidence and testimony to support their positions. The court evaluates the credibility of the parties and the merits of the case.
- 4. Judicial Decision: The court considers the evidence, applicable laws, and the best interests of the parties involved to determine whether a Civil Protection Order should be granted, modified, or denied.
- 5. Issuance of Order: If the court grants the CPO, it will issue a legally binding order outlining the restrictions and protections to be enforced against the respondent.
Legal Representation for both Civil Prosecution and Defense of CPOs
Forte Law Group assists families in securing a CPO and handles the hearing, fact gathering, evidence, and witnesses on your behalf. Our firm also often represents students, including students with a disability, that may find themselves accused of bullying or harassing another student and facing a Civil Protection Order. We also handle expulsions and special education legal representation.
How Long Do Civil Protection Orders Last in Connecticut?
A civil protection order is effective for up to one year from the date of issuance. The order often includes a 100 yard stay away order. However, a respondent may also seek to modify or remove the CPO prior to the one-year timeframe by file a motion with the court.
What Are the Penalties For Violating a Civil Protection Order?
According to Connecticut General Statute Section 53a-223c a person is guilty of a criminal violation if they violate the terms and conditions of a Civil Protection Order. The criminal violation is a Class D Felony, which can potentially result in a prison sentence ranging from one to five years and/or fines up to $5,000.
Retaining an Experienced Connecticut Civil Protection Order Attorney is Key
A Civil Protection Order in Connecticut is a crucial legal tool aimed at safeguarding the safety and well-being of individuals and students facing harassment, abuse, stalking, or threats. The attorneys at Forte Law Group understand the intricacies and workings of CPOs and strategically use the court system to prevent or defend students involved in school bullying circumstances when school districts fail to act.
Understanding the nature, purpose, and process of obtaining a CPO is essential for those seeking legal protection and support in addressing such distressing situations. Forte Law Group is experienced in both prosecuting and defending CPOs for the betterment of supporting families and their children. Contacting Forte Law Group is the most critical first step.