Updated: Aug 15, 2018
The first step in determining whether a Restraining Order is even possible is to determine whether your particular situation would even qualify. Restraining orders are not available to just anyone. Under Connecticut law, individuals must have specific types of relationships between them or a restraining order will not be possible. Also restraining orders are only available in specific types of situations.
You can only get a restraining order against "any family or household member." Family or household member is defined under the Connecticut Statute for family violence as any of the following persons, regardless of the age of such person:
(a) Spouses or former spouses;
(b) Parents or their children;
(c) Persons related by blood or marriage;
(d) Persons other than those persons described in subparagraph (c) of this subdivision presently residing together or who have resided together;
(e) Persons who have a child in common regardless or whether they are or have been married or have lived together at any time; and
(f) Persons in, or who have recently been in a dating relationship.
Therefore, you can apply for a restraining order against a household member or a former household member, meaning someone, regardless of age, who is living with you or used to live with you and is not related to you by blood or marriage.
These situations under which you could apply for a restraining order include: physical abuse (including the continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury), stalking or a pattern of threatening (as defined by CGS Section 53a-62) by the individual someone wants to get a restraining order against. Verbal abuse, yelling or screaming that does not include a threat of physical harm may not be enough for a judge to agree to give you a restraining order.
Physical injury can include hitting, kicking, punching, slapping, pushing, raping, or being forced to conduct sexual acts you do not want to do (even by your husband). You may even be able to get a restraining order if someone threatens physical pain and/or injury even if they do not carry out the threat or if they are unsuccessful in their attempt.
Threatening means that you are afraid for your physical safety because someone has made a threat to cause serious physical injury to you. Continuous mean that the threat or injury have occurred on more than one occasion or over a period of time. Therefore, a judge may not grant a restraining order if they is the first time you have been threatened or injured.
Stalking means there have been two or more acts by which a person directly, indirectly or through a third person follows you, waits at places where you may be, threatens or harasses you, sends you unwanted gifts and/or interferes with your property or possessions. This behavior by this person is intentional and makes you feel afraid for your personaI safety and/or threatens your employment, including your business or your career.
It is important to note that restraining orders do have expiration dates. A restraining order can last for one year from the day the judge signed the order. However, a judge may order that the restraining order be in effect for a shorter period of time. So you need to be aware of when the restraining order will expire. If you have one that is about to expire and you still feel unsafe, you should be aware of by when you need to apply to the court for an extension to try to get the restraining order extended without an interruption.
You have the right to ask the court for a restraining order even if you do not have an attorney. If you need to go to court to ask for a restraining order, you can bring someone with you for moral support. That person you bring for moral support as you go through the process could be a friend, relative and/or advocate. Non-attorneys cannot give you legal advice. If the individual you are seeking the restraining order against threatens or harasses you in the courthouse, ask the court marshals to help you.
The Statewide Domestic Violence Hotlines are:
Both hotlines are free, confidential, toll free and open 24 hours.
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