Protection Orders 101

If you are a victim of domestic abuse and need protection from your abuser, a county court can award you a civil Protection Order against the offending party. Don't be ashamed to seek help because domestic abuse crosses all genders, races, ethnic groups and socio-economic classes. If you require protection, please seek immediate assistance in obtaining a TPO and later a PPO.

Temporary and Permanent Protection Orders

The two types of protection orders are a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) and a Permanent Protection Order (PPO). A TPO can be obtained Ex Parte, meaning only you will be present before the Judge as the "requester". The requester files a “complaint” with the court and then explains to a Judge, often on the same day, why the TPO is necessary. If the Judge determines that the TPO is necessary due to imminent danger of harm, the Judge will issue a TPO and set a PPO hearing to occur at a later date.

Service of Process

The other party must be served with a copy of the TPO and complaint prior to the PPO hearing. If the other party is not served, the Judge may continue the PPO hearing for a few weeks to attempt service again. Service is intended to ensure that a party accused of domestic abuse against another is afforded the fundamental due process rights of notice and an opportunity to be heard, and, unlike a TPO, a PPO hearing can not occur in the absence of service.

Failure to Appear

If the other party is served and fails to appear at the PPO hearing, the Judge may issue a PPO by default after taking testimony. The Judge takes testimony to ensure that PPO legal requirements are met before issuance. The legal requirements are that domestic abuse has occurred and without a PPO it is likely to continue. However, if the requestor does not appear for the hearing, then the PPO will not be granted and the request will likely be dismissed. The requestor can refile though and then the process will start over again.


There are many potential prohibitions that can be contained in TPOs and PPOs. When a requestor files a standard court form for a TPO, he may choose among a list of protections to request. The protections will not be issued automatically and the requestor may have to explain why certain ones are necessary. For example, if the requestor asks that the other party be prohibited from possessing weapons, the requestor may have to explain whether the other party possesses weapons and has ever displayed or used them in the requestor’s presence.

A TPO or PPO may require the other party to move out of the requestor's house, limit communication methods, or prohibit contact completely. The order may also prohibit coming within a certain distance of the other person, or going to their home, school, workplace, or their children's school. Additionally, the order may also restrict contact with other family members, children, or pets.


Violating either type of Protection Order is a crime regardless of whether the order is civil or criminal. After a PPO is issued in Colorado, it is entered into a statewide database available to police and police will arrest someone who has violated a TPO or PPO.


A PPO recipient can apply for a modification or termination after two years. The requester, on the other hand, can ask for a modification or termination at any time.

Are you looking for a TPO or PPO lawyer in the metropolitan Denver area? At WS Law, we understand the importance of obtaining an order to protect your safety. If you have a legal issue you need help with, the attorneys at Whitcomb, Selinsky Law PC would love to share their expertise with you. Please call (303) 543-1958.

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