CHAPTER 815a
FAMILY MATTERS

Table of Contents

Sec. 46b-15. Relief from physical abuse by family or household member. Application. Court orders. Duration. Copies. Expedited hearing for violation of order. Other remedies.

      Sec. 46b-15. Relief from physical abuse by family or household member. Application. Court orders. Duration. Copies. Expedited hearing for violation of order. Other remedies. (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, 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. 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 order shall not be continued except upon agreement of the parties or by order of the court for good cause shown.

      (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 six months. 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 six months, 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 his or her 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.

      (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.

      (P.A. 81-272, S. 2; P.A. 86-337, S. 7; P.A. 87-567, S. 4, 7; P.A. 91-6, S. 1, 3; 91-381, S. 3, 7; P.A. 95-193, S. 1; P.A. 96-180, S. 158, 166; P.A. 97-126, S. 1; P.A. 99-186, S. 4; P.A. 00-196, S. 24; P.A. 01-130, S. 11, 12; P.A. 02-127, S. 7; 02-132, S. 54; May 9 Sp. Sess. P.A. 02-7, S. 77; P.A. 03-202, S. 4; P.A. 05-152, S. 3; P.A. 06-152, S. 2; P.A. 07-78, S. 1; P.A. 10-36, S. 4; 10-144, S. 1, 2; P.A. 11-152, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 86-337 amended Subsec. (a) by substituting "family or household member as defined in section 46b-38a" for "adult person"; amended Subsec. (b) by adding "such order may include temporary child custody or visitation rights" and providing that order shall not be continued except upon agreement of parties or good cause; amended Subsec. (e) by requiring that court provide two copies of order to applicant, a copy to family division, a copy to individual to whom order is directed and certified copy to appropriate law enforcement agency within 48 hours of issuance and that family division provide registry of protective orders and inform peace officers of status of orders; and amended Subsec. (g) by adding provision re expedited hearing for motion for contempt for violation of restraining order; P.A. 87-567 amended Subsec. (e), adding "and restraining" before "orders"; P.A. 91-6 amended Subsec. (e) by adding "clerk of the" before "court", changing "file with" to "send to" and deleting provision re registry of protective and restraining orders by family relations division; P.A. 91-381 added "threatening, harassing" to Subsec. (b)(2), and amended Subsec. (e) to require applicant to serve notice of hearing, copy of application and of any ex parte order upon respondent not less than 5 days before hearing and to require clerk of the court to provide copies of ex parte order to applicant and family division and send certified copy of ex parte order and order after notice and hearing to law enforcement agency, deleting those provisions from their previous locations in Subsec. (b); P.A. 95-193 amended Subsecs. (a) and (b) by changing time limit on court orders from 90 days to 6 months; P.A. 96-180 made technical change in Subsec. (c) changing fine from $1,000 to $2,000 in accordance with P.A. 92-256, effective June 3, 1996; P.A. 97-126 amended Subsec. (e) by adding requirement that court order contain specific language re jurisdiction, notice and hearing, and validity and enforceability of order; P.A. 99-186 amended Subsec. (a) by adding "or person in, or has recently been in, a dating relationship who has been subjected to a continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury by the other person in such relationship"; P.A. 00-196 made technical change in Subsec. (e); P.A. 01-130 amended Subsec. (b) to require application form to 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 and to make a technical change, and amended Subsec. (e) to make technical changes and replace requirement that the clerk send a certified copy of the order to the "appropriate law enforcement agency" with requirement that the clerk send a copy of the order to the law enforcement agency for the town in which the applicant resides, to the law enforcement agency for the town in which the respondent resides if different than the town in which the applicant resides and, if requested by the applicant, to the law enforcement agency for the town in which the applicant is employed if different than the town in which the applicant resides; P.A. 02-127 amended Subsec. (e) to provide for the serving of a copy of the applicant's affidavit on the respondent, to add provision requiring that state marshal, immediately after making service on the respondent, provide a true and attested copy to the law enforcement agency for the town in which the applicant resides and if the respondent does not reside in such town, that marshal transmit by facsimile a true and attested copy to the law enforcement agency for the town in which the respondent resides, to remove the phrase "upon the request of the applicant" re the sending of a certified copy to the town in which the applicant is employed within 48 hours, and to provide for the transmission of a copy by facsimile to the law enforcement agency for the town in which the applicant is employed if the applicant is employed in a town different than the town in which the applicant or the respondent resides; P.A. 02-132 amended Subsec. (e) by deleting provisions re copy of order provided to the Family Division, replacing provisions re sending certified copy of order to law enforcement agency with provisions re sending copy of or information contained in order to law enforcement agency by facsimile or other means and deleting provision re sending of order upon request of the applicant, effective January 1, 2003; May 9 Sp. Sess. P.A. 02-7 amended Subsec. (e) to require the judicial branch to pay for the cost of serving the hearing notice and a copy of the application and of any ex parte order, effective August 15, 2002; P.A. 03-202 amended Subsec. (e) by replacing references to "state marshal" with references to "proper officer"; P.A. 05-152 amended Subsec. (e) by replacing provision requiring proper officer to provide a true and attested copy of ex parte order, affidavit and cover sheet with provision requiring proper officer to send or cause to be sent a copy of the application and by revising provisions re law enforcement agencies to which copies of applications, orders and information are to be sent; P.A. 06-152 amended Subsec. (e) by adding provision re sending information contained in application to law enforcement agencies by facsimile or other means; P.A. 07-78 amended Subsec. (b) by adding provision re court's authority to make such orders as it deems appropriate for the protection of any animal owned or kept by the applicant; P.A. 10-36 amended Subsec. (b) to replace "The court, in its discretion, may make such orders as it deems appropriate for the protection of any animal" with "Such order may include provisions necessary to protect any animal", effective July 1, 2010; P.A. 10-144 amended Subsec. (b) to make technical changes and permit court to consider relevant court records available to public from clerk or web site, and amended Subsec. (e) to delete "certified" re copies of order and replace requirement re specific language in order re jurisdiction, notice, hearing and validity and enforceability of order with requirement that order be accompanied by notification consistent with full faith and credit provisions in 18 USC 2265(a); P.A. 11-152 amended Subsec. (a) to add "stalking or a pattern of threatening", and delete provisions re person in, or who has recently been in, a dating relationship.

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