Full Statute Name:  Connecticut General Statutes Annotated. Title 46B. Family Law. Chapter 815A. Family Matters. § 46b-15. Relief from physical abuse by family or household member or person in dating relationship. Application. Court orders. Duration. Copies. Expedited hearing for violation of order. Other remedies

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Primary Citation:  CT ST § 46b-15 Last Checked:  August, 2014 Date Adopted:  1981
Summary:

Under this Connecticut law, any family or household member who has been subjected to a continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury by another family may apply to the Superior Court for an order of protection . The court may also make orders for the protection of any animal owned or kept by the applicant including, but not limited to, an order enjoining the respondent from injuring or threatening to injure such animal.

Statute Text: 

<Section effective until Jan. 1, 2015. See, also, section effective Jan. 1, 2015.>

(a) Any family or household member, as defined in section 46b-38a, who has been subjected to a continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury, stalking or a pattern of threatening, including, but not limited to, a pattern of threatening, as described in section 53a-62, by another family or household member may make an application to the Superior Court for relief under this section.

(b) The application form shall allow the applicant, at the applicant's option, to indicate whether the respondent holds a permit to carry a pistol or revolver or possesses one or more firearms or ammunition. The application shall be accompanied by an affidavit made under oath which includes a brief statement of the conditions from which relief is sought. Upon receipt of the application the court shall order that a hearing on the application be held not later than fourteen days from the date of the order. The court, in its discretion, may make such orders as it deems appropriate for the protection of the applicant and such dependent children or other persons as the court sees fit. In making such orders, the court, in its discretion, may consider relevant court records if the records are available to the public from a clerk of the Superior Court or on the Judicial Branch's Internet web site. Such orders may include temporary child custody or visitation rights, and such relief may include, but is not limited to, an order enjoining the respondent from (1) imposing any restraint upon the person or liberty of the applicant; (2) threatening, harassing, assaulting, molesting, sexually assaulting or attacking the applicant; or (3) entering the family dwelling or the dwelling of the applicant. Such order may include provisions necessary to protect any animal owned or kept by the applicant including, but not limited to, an order enjoining the respondent from injuring or threatening to injure such animal. If an applicant alleges an immediate and present physical danger to the applicant, the court may issue an ex parte order granting such relief as it deems appropriate. If a postponement of a hearing on the application is requested by either party and granted, the ex parte order shall not be continued except upon agreement of the parties or by order of the court for good cause shown. If a hearing on the application is scheduled or an ex parte order is granted and the court is closed on the scheduled hearing date, the hearing shall be held on the next day the court is open and any such ex parte order shall remain in effect until the date of such hearing.

(c) Every order of the court made in accordance with this section shall contain the following language: “This order may be extended by the court beyond one year. In accordance with section 53a-107, entering or remaining in a building or any other premises in violation of this order constitutes criminal trespass in the first degree. This is a criminal offense punishable by a term of imprisonment of not more than one year, a fine of not more than two thousand dollars or both.”

(d) No order of the court shall exceed one year, except that an order may be extended by the court upon motion of the applicant for such additional time as the court deems necessary. If the respondent has not appeared upon the initial application, service of a motion to extend an order may be made by first-class mail directed to the respondent at the respondent's last-known address.

(e) The applicant shall cause notice of the hearing pursuant to subsection (b) of this section and a copy of the application and the applicant's affidavit and of any ex parte order issued pursuant to subsection (b) of this section to be served on the respondent not less than five days before the hearing. The cost of such service shall be paid for by the Judicial Branch. Upon the granting of an ex parte order, the clerk of the court shall provide two copies of the order to the applicant. Upon the granting of an order after notice and hearing, the clerk of the court shall provide two copies of the order to the applicant and a copy to the respondent. Every order of the court made in accordance with this section after notice and hearing shall be accompanied by a notification that is consistent with the full faith and credit provisions set forth in 18 USC 2265(a), as amended from time to time. Immediately after making service on the respondent, the proper officer shall send or cause to be sent, by facsimile or other means, a copy of the application, or the information contained in such application, stating the date and time the respondent was served, to the law enforcement agency or agencies for the town in which the applicant resides, the town in which the applicant is employed and the town in which the respondent resides. The clerk of the court shall send, by facsimile or other means, a copy of any ex parte order and of any order after notice and hearing, or the information contained in any such order, to the law enforcement agency or agencies for the town in which the applicant resides, the town in which the applicant is employed and the town in which the respondent resides, within forty-eight hours of the issuance of such order. If the victim is enrolled in a public or private elementary or secondary school, including a technical high school, or an institution of higher education, as defined in section 10a-55, the clerk of the court shall, upon the request of the victim, send, by facsimile or other means, a copy of such ex parte order or of any order after notice and hearing, or the information contained in any such order, to such school or institution of higher education, the president of any institution of higher education at which the victim is enrolled and the special police force established pursuant to section 10a-156b, if any, at the institution of higher education at which the victim is enrolled.

(f) A caretaker who is providing shelter in his or her residence to a person sixty years or older shall not be enjoined from the full use and enjoyment of his or her home and property. The Superior Court may make any other appropriate order under the provisions of this section.

(g) When a motion for contempt is filed for violation of a restraining order, there shall be an expedited hearing. Such hearing shall be held within five court days of service of the motion on the respondent, provided service on the respondent is made not less than twenty-four hours before the hearing. If the court finds the respondent in contempt for violation of an order, the court may impose such sanctions as the court deems appropriate.

(h) An action under this section shall not preclude the applicant from seeking any other civil or criminal relief.

Credits
(1981, P.A. 81-272, § 2; 1986, P.A. 86-337, § 7; 1987, P.A. 87-567, § 4, eff. July 1, 1987; 1991, P.A. 91-6, § 1, eff. Feb. 21, 1991; 1991, P.A. 91-381, § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; 1995, P.A. 95-193, § 1; 1996, P.A. 96-180, § 158, eff. June 3, 1996; 1997, P.A. 97-126, § 1; 1999, P.A. 99-186, § 4; 2000, P.A. 00-196, § 24; 2001, P.A. 01-130, §§ 11, 12; 2002, May 9 Sp.Sess., P.A. 02-7, § 77, eff. Aug. 15, 2002; 2002, P.A. 02-127, § 7; 2002, P.A. 02-132, § 54, eff. Jan. 1, 2003; 2003, P.A. 03-202, § 4; 2005, P.A. 05-152, § 3; 2006, P.A. 06-152, § 2; 2007, P.A. 07-78, § 1; 2010, P.A. 10-36, § 4, eff. July 1, 2010; 2010, P.A. 10-144, §§ 1, 2; 2011, P.A. 11-152, § 1; 2012, P.A. 12-114, § 1; 2012, June 12 Sp.Sess., P.A. 12-2, § 97; 2013, P.A. 13-3, § 36; 2013, P.A. 13-194, § 2.)

<Section effective Jan. 1, 2015. See, also, section effective until Jan. 1, 2015.>

(a) Any family or household member, as defined in section 46b-38a, who has been subjected to a continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury, stalking or a pattern of threatening, including, but not limited to, a pattern of threatening, as described in section 53a-62, by another family or household member may make an application to the Superior Court for relief under this section.

(b) The application form shall allow the applicant, at the applicant's option, to indicate whether the respondent holds a permit to carry a pistol or revolver or possesses one or more firearms or ammunition. The application shall be accompanied by an affidavit made under oath which includes a brief statement of the conditions from which relief is sought. Upon receipt of the application the court shall order that a hearing on the application be held not later than fourteen days from the date of the order. The court, in its discretion, may make such orders as it deems appropriate for the protection of the applicant and such dependent children or other persons as the court sees fit. In making such orders, the court, in its discretion, may consider relevant court records if the records are available to the public from a clerk of the Superior Court or on the Judicial Branch's Internet web site. Such orders may include temporary child custody or visitation rights, and such relief may include, but is not limited to, an order enjoining the respondent from (1) imposing any restraint upon the person or liberty of the applicant; (2) threatening, harassing, assaulting, molesting, sexually assaulting or attacking the applicant; or (3) entering the family dwelling or the dwelling of the applicant. Such order may include provisions necessary to protect any animal owned or kept by the applicant including, but not limited to, an order enjoining the respondent from injuring or threatening to injure such animal. If an applicant alleges an immediate and present physical danger to the applicant, the court may issue an ex parte order granting such relief as it deems appropriate. If a postponement of a hearing on the application is requested by either party and granted, the ex parte order shall not be continued except upon agreement of the parties or by order of the court for good cause shown. If a hearing on the application is scheduled or an ex parte order is granted and the court is closed on the scheduled hearing date, the hearing shall be held on the next day the court is open and any such ex parte order shall remain in effect until the date of such hearing.

(c) Any ex parte restraining order entered under subsection (b) of this section in which the applicant and respondent are spouses, or persons who have a dependent child or children in common and who live together, may include, if no order exists, and if necessary to maintain the safety and basic needs of the applicant or the dependent child or children in common of the applicant and respondent, in addition to any orders authorized under subsection (b) of this section, any of the following: (1) An order prohibiting the respondent from (A) taking any action that could result in the termination of any necessary utility services or necessary services related to the family dwelling or the dwelling of the applicant, (B) taking any action that could result in the cancellation, change of coverage or change of beneficiary of any health, automobile or homeowners insurance policy to the detriment of the applicant or the dependent child or children in common of the applicant and respondent, or (C) transferring, encumbering, concealing or disposing of specified property owned or leased by the applicant; or (2) an order providing the applicant with temporary possession of an automobile, checkbook, documentation of health, automobile or homeowners insurance, a document needed for purposes of proving identity, a key or other necessary specified personal effects.

(d) At the hearing on any application under this section, if the court grants relief pursuant to subsection (b) of this section and the applicant and respondent are spouses, or persons who have a dependent child or children in common and who live together, and if necessary to maintain the safety and basic needs of the applicant or the dependent child or children in common of the applicant and respondent, any orders entered by the court may include, in addition to the orders authorized under subsection (b) of this section, any of the following: (1) An order prohibiting the respondent from (A) taking any action that could result in the termination of any necessary utility services or services related to the family dwelling or the dwelling of the applicant, (B) taking any action that could result in the cancellation, change of coverage or change of beneficiary of any health, automobile or homeowners insurance policy to the detriment of the applicant or the dependent child or children in common of the applicant and respondent, or (C) transferring, encumbering, concealing or disposing of specified property owned or leased by the applicant; (2) an order providing the applicant with temporary possession of an automobile, checkbook, documentation of health, automobile or homeowners insurance, a document needed for purposes of proving identity, a key or other necessary specified personal effects; or (3) an order that the respondent: (A) Make rent or mortgage payments on the family dwelling or the dwelling of the applicant and the dependent child or children in common of the applicant and respondent, (B) maintain utility services or other necessary services related to the family dwelling or the dwelling of the applicant and the dependent child or children in common of the applicant and respondent, (C) maintain all existing health, automobile or homeowners insurance coverage without change in coverage or beneficiary designation, or (D) provide financial support for the benefit of any dependent child or children in common of the applicant and the respondent, provided the respondent has a legal duty to support such child or children and the ability to pay. The court shall not enter any order of financial support without sufficient evidence as to the ability to pay, including, but not limited to, financial affidavits. If at the hearing no order is entered under this subsection or subsection (c) of this section, no such order may be entered thereafter pursuant to this section. Any order entered pursuant to this subsection shall not be subject to modification and shall expire one hundred twenty days after the date of issuance or upon issuance of a superseding order, whichever occurs first. Any amounts not paid or collected under this subsection or subsection (c) of this section may be preserved and collectable in an action for dissolution of marriage, custody, paternity or support.

(e) Every order of the court made in accordance with this section shall contain the following language: (1) “This order may be extended by the court beyond one year. In accordance with section 53a-107 of the Connecticut general statutes, entering or remaining in a building or any other premises in violation of this order constitutes criminal trespass in the first degree. This is a criminal offense punishable by a term of imprisonment of not more than one year, a fine of not more than two thousand dollars or both.”; and (2) “In accordance with section 53a-223b of the Connecticut general statutes, any violation of subparagraph (A) or (B) of subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 53a-223b constitutes criminal violation of a restraining order which is punishable by a term of imprisonment of not more than five years, a fine of not more than five thousand dollars, or both. Additionally, any violation of subparagraph (C) or (D) of subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 53a-223b constitutes criminal violation of a restraining order which is punishable by a term of imprisonment of not more than ten years, a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars, or both.”.

(f) No order of the court shall exceed one year, except that an order may be extended by the court upon motion of the applicant for such additional time as the court deems necessary. If the respondent has not appeared upon the initial application, service of a motion to extend an order may be made by first-class mail directed to the respondent at the respondent's last-known address.

(g) The applicant shall cause notice of the hearing pursuant to subsection (b) of this section and a copy of the application and the applicant's affidavit and of any ex parte order issued pursuant to subsection (b) of this section to be served on the respondent not less than five days before the hearing. The cost of such service shall be paid for by the Judicial Branch. Upon the granting of an ex parte order, the clerk of the court shall provide two copies of the order to the applicant. Upon the granting of an order after notice and hearing, the clerk of the court shall provide two copies of the order to the applicant and a copy to the respondent. Every order of the court made in accordance with this section after notice and hearing shall be accompanied by a notification that is consistent with the full faith and credit provisions set forth in 18 USC 2265(a), as amended from time to time. Immediately after making service on the respondent, the proper officer shall send or cause to be sent, by facsimile or other means, a copy of the application, or the information contained in such application, stating the date and time the respondent was served, to the law enforcement agency or agencies for the town in which the applicant resides, the town in which the applicant is employed and the town in which the respondent resides. The clerk of the court shall send, by facsimile or other means, a copy of any ex parte order and of any order after notice and hearing, or the information contained in any such order, to the law enforcement agency or agencies for the town in which the applicant resides, the town in which the applicant is employed and the town in which the respondent resides, within forty-eight hours of the issuance of such order. If the victim is enrolled in a public or private elementary or secondary school, including a technical high school, or an institution of higher education, as defined in section 10a-55, the clerk of the court shall, upon the request of the victim, send, by facsimile or other means, a copy of such ex parte order or of any order after notice and hearing, or the information contained in any such order, to such school or institution of higher education, the president of any institution of higher education at which the victim is enrolled and the special police force established pursuant to section 10a-156b, if any, at the institution of higher education at which the victim is enrolled.

(h) A caretaker who is providing shelter in his or her residence to a person sixty years or older shall not be enjoined from the full use and enjoyment of his or her home and property. The Superior Court may make any other appropriate order under the provisions of this section.

(i) When a motion for contempt is filed for violation of a restraining order, there shall be an expedited hearing. Such hearing shall be held within five court days of service of the motion on the respondent, provided service on the respondent is made not less than twenty-four hours before the hearing. If the court finds the respondent in contempt for violation of an order, the court may impose such sanctions as the court deems appropriate.

(j) An action under this section shall not preclude the applicant from seeking any other civil or criminal relief.

Credits
(1981, P.A. 81-272, § 2; 1986, P.A. 86-337, § 7; 1987, P.A. 87-567, § 4, eff. July 1, 1987; 1991, P.A. 91-6, § 1, eff. Feb. 21, 1991; 1991, P.A. 91-381, § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; 1995, P.A. 95-193, § 1; 1996, P.A. 96-180, § 158, eff. June 3, 1996; 1997, P.A. 97-126, § 1; 1999, P.A. 99-186, § 4; 2000, P.A. 00-196, § 24; 2001, P.A. 01-130, §§ 11, 12; 2002, May 9 Sp.Sess., P.A. 02-7, § 77, eff. Aug. 15, 2002; 2002, P.A. 02-127, § 7; 2002, P.A. 02-132, § 54, eff. Jan. 1, 2003; 2003, P.A. 03-202, § 4; 2005, P.A. 05-152, § 3; 2006, P.A. 06-152, § 2; 2007, P.A. 07-78, § 1; 2010, P.A. 10-36, § 4, eff. July 1, 2010; 2010, P.A. 10-144, §§ 1, 2; 2011, P.A. 11-152, § 1; 2012, P.A. 12-114, § 1; 2012, June 12 Sp.Sess., P.A. 12-2, § 97; 2013, P.A. 13-3, § 36; 2013, P.A. 13-194, § 2; 2014, P.A. 14-217, § 120, eff. Jan. 1, 2015.)

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