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Applying for a Restraining Order in Connecticut

March 24, 2023 General

In Connecticut, if you are fearful for your safety, you can petition the family court for a restraining order. A restraining order is a document issued from a judge that tells a family or household member to stay away, stop harassing, stalking, coercing and/or threatening you.  Conn. Gen. Stat. §46b-15.  A family or household member includes spouses or former spouses, parents, children,  someone related to you by blood or marriage, , or people that were in a recent dating relationship. Conn. Gen. Stat. §46b-38a(2).  A restraining order can additionally protect your children and/or pets.

However, when applying for a restraining order, there is no guarantee that one will be granted. You will have to prove to a judge that the abuse is recent and that you are in fear. If you are considering a restraining order, here are a few things to keep in mind:

    • Imminent and present physical threat.
      • You will need to show to a court that the threats of violence were recent and that your safety is at risk.
    • Pattern of violence.
      • Inform your attorney if there has been a pattern of present physical pain or physical injury over the course of a few weeks or months.
    • Coercive Control.
      • This can be hard to prove. Our law states that someone has to “unreasonably” engage in certain behaviors in order for it to be considered coercive control.
    • Recent dating relationship.
      • If the abuser is an ex-partner, you will need to show a court that the dating relationship was recent and not years ago.
    • Keep a log.
      • Keep a diary listing the incidents of abuse so you can keep a timeline and be prepared to testify about these incidents.
    • Take pictures.
      • If your abuser has physically injured you, take pictures so the pictures can be submitted as evidence. If your abuser has sent your text messages or messages through a social media platform, make sure to take screenshots. Make sure to forward the photos to your email just in case the abuser tries to delete the photos.

If you believe you qualify for a restraining order, our family lawyers can answer any of your questions or concerns. Contact Attorney Jennifer Siegel or visit the BPS page on Family Law to schedule a consultation.