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What is a Civil Protection Order?

A Civil Protection Order (“CPO”) is a court order directing an individual not to have contact with and to stay away from another person.

 

The CPO process starts with an individual (called the Petitioner) filing a written document called a petition with the Clerk of Court. The Petitioner asks that the Court order another person (called the Respondent) to stay away.

 

The case is set for a prompt court proceeding called an ex parte hearing. If the Petitioner can prove that the order is legally proper, the Court will issue an ex parte CPO directing the Respondent to stay away. This can occur before the Respondent has notice of the court case.

 

At the time an ex parte CPO is issued, the Court sets the case for a full hearing with both sides present. The full hearing is usually 10 to 14 days after the ex parte hearing. At the time of the full hearing, the Court makes a decision based on all the evidence on whether or not to issue a final order.  If the Court issues a CPO it can last up to 5 years.

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