CHAPTER 815a

FAMILY MATTERS

Table of Contents

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

Sec. 46b-15a. Foreign order of protection. Full faith and credit. Enforcement. Affirmative defense. Child custody provision. Registration.

Sec. 46b-15b. Duties of Superior Court re applicants for restraining orders in domestic violence situations.

Sec. 46b-15c. Powers of court in family relations matter re taking out-of-court testimony when one party is subject to a protective order, restraining order or standing criminal protective order. Videoconference hearings permitted. Oaths. Cross-examination.

Sec. 46b-16. Petition to Superior Court for ex parte order re temporary care and custody of child when parent arrested for custodial interference. Duration of order.

Secs. 46b-17 to 46b-19. Reserved


Sec. 46b-15. Relief from physical abuse, stalking or pattern of threatening 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, 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. 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 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-142, 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.

(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; P.A. 12-114, S. 1; June 12 Sp. Sess. P.A. 12-2, S. 97.)

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; P.A. 12-114 amended Subsec. (a) to add provision re pattern of threatening as described in Sec. 53a-62, amended Subsecs. (c) and (d) to change maximum duration of order from 6 months to 1 year, amended Subsec. (e) to add provision re clerk of court to send copy of order to school at which victim is enrolled, and made technical changes; June 12 Sp. Sess. P.A. 12-2 amended Subsec. (e) to substitute “technical high school” for “regional vocational technical school”.

See Sec. 51-5c re automated registry of protective orders.

Section requires a continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury. 104 CA 20; Id., 26.

Cited. 44 CS 235.

Subsec. (b):

Trial court did not exceed its statutory authority when it ordered alcohol abuse counseling since it could reasonably have concluded that such counseling was necessary for the protection of the family, and did not exceed its statutory authority by extending restraining order to protect adult daughter since section allows orders appropriate for the protection of other persons as the court sees fit. 127 CA 586.

Sec. 46b-15a. Foreign order of protection. Full faith and credit. Enforcement. Affirmative defense. Child custody provision. Registration. (a) For the purposes of this section, “foreign order of protection” means any protection order, as defined in 18 USC 2266, as from time to time amended, or similar restraining or protective order issued by a court of another state, the District of Columbia, a commonwealth, territory or possession of the United States or an Indian tribe.

(b) A valid foreign order of protection that is consistent with 18 USC 2265, as from time to time amended, shall be accorded full faith and credit by a court of this state and may be enforced as if it were the order of a court in this state. A foreign order of protection shall be presumed valid if such order appears authentic on its face. The fact that a foreign order of protection has not been entered into the automated registry of protective orders maintained pursuant to section 51-5c, the Connecticut on-line law enforcement communication teleprocessing system maintained by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection or the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computerized index of criminal justice information shall not be grounds for refusing to enforce such order in this state.

(c) A law enforcement officer shall enforce a foreign order of protection in accordance with its terms and the law of this state, and shall arrest any person suspected of violating such order and charge such person with a violation of section 53a-223b. Nothing in this subsection shall affect the responsibility of a law enforcement officer to make an arrest pursuant to section 46b-38b.

(d) It shall be an affirmative defense in any action seeking enforcement of a foreign order of protection or any criminal prosecution involving the violation of a foreign order of protection that such order is not consistent with or entitled to full faith and credit pursuant to 18 USC 2265, as from time to time amended.

(e) A child custody provision in a foreign order of protection may be enforced in this state if such provision (1) complies with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, and (2) is consistent with the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980, 28 USC 1738A, as from time to time amended.

(f) A foreign order of protection may be registered in this state by sending to the Superior Court in this state: (1) A letter or other document requesting registration; (2) two copies, including one certified copy, of the foreign order of protection sought to be registered and a statement under penalty of perjury that, to the best of the knowledge and belief of the petitioner, the order has not been modified; and (3) the name and address of the person seeking registration, except if the disclosure of such name and address would jeopardize the safety of such person.

(g) On receipt of the documents required in subsection (f) of this section, the registering court shall: (1) Cause the foreign order of protection to be filed as a foreign judgment, together with one copy of any accompanying documents and information, regardless of their form; and (2) cause the foreign order of protection to be entered in the automated registry of protective orders maintained pursuant to section 51-5c, together with any accompanying information required or permitted to be contained in the registry of protective orders pursuant to the procedures adopted by the Chief Court Administrator under section 51-5c.

(P.A. 99-186, S. 7; P.A. 00-196, S. 47; P.A. 03-98, S. 1; P.A. 11-51, S. 134.)

History: P.A. 00-196 made technical change in Subsec. (f); P.A. 03-98 added new Subsecs. (a) to (e) re foreign order of protection, redesignated existing Subsecs. (a) and (b) as new Subsecs. (f) and (g), making conforming and technical changes therein and, in Subsec. (g), adding provision re entry of foreign order of protection in automated registry of protective orders, and deleted former Subsecs. (c) to (f) re foreign protective order registration, hearing and confirmation; pursuant to P.A. 11-51, “Department of Public Safety” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection” in Subsec. (b), effective July 1, 2011.

See Sec. 51-5c re automated registry of protective orders.

Sec. 46b-15b. Duties of Superior Court re applicants for restraining orders in domestic violence situations. The Superior Court shall provide any person who applies for a restraining order in a domestic violence situation with information on steps necessary to continue such order beyond the initial period and shall provide an applicant with information on how to contact domestic violence counselors and counseling organizations.

(P.A. 02-127, S. 2.)

Sec. 46b-15c. Powers of court in family relations matter re taking out-of-court testimony when one party is subject to a protective order, restraining order or standing criminal protective order. Videoconference hearings permitted. Oaths. Cross-examination. (a) In any court proceeding in a family relations matter, as defined in section 46b-1, the court may, within available resources, upon motion of the attorney for any party, order that the testimony of a party or a child who is a subject of the proceeding be taken outside the physical presence of any other party if a protective order, restraining order or standing criminal protective order has been issued on behalf of the party or child, and the other party is subject to the protective order, restraining order or standing criminal protective order. Such order may provide for the use of alternative means to obtain the testimony of any party or child, including, but not limited to, the use of a secure video connection for the purpose of conducting hearings by videoconference. Such testimony may be taken in a room other than the courtroom or at another location outside the courthouse or outside the state. The court shall provide for the administration of an oath to such party or child prior to the taking of such testimony in accordance with the rules of the Superior Court.

(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit any party’s right to cross-examine a witness whose testimony is taken in a room other than the courtroom pursuant to an order under this section.

(c) An order under this section may remain in effect during the pendency of the proceedings in the family relations matter.

(P.A. 08-67, S. 1; P.A. 10-144, S. 11.)

History: P.A. 08-67 effective July 1, 2008; P.A. 10-144 amended Subsec. (a) to substitute “standing criminal protective order” for “standing criminal restraining order”.

Sec. 46b-16. Petition to Superior Court for ex parte order re temporary care and custody of child when parent arrested for custodial interference. Duration of order. (a) When (1) a parent or relative has been arrested for violation of section 53a-97 or 53a-98 or arrested pursuant to chapter 964 for an offense of intentional interference of the lawful custody of a child under the laws of another state or territory, and (2) a child has been in the care of such parent or relative, the legal custodian of the child or the Department of Children and Families may petition the superior court or probate court which has venue over the matter for immediate temporary custody of the child.

(b) If the court finds that there is a substantial likelihood that the child will be removed from the jurisdiction of the court prior to a hearing to determine custody, an order of temporary custody may be issued ex parte by the court granting the temporary care and custody of the child to a suitable person or agency pending a hearing to determine custody pursuant to chapter 815j or 815p. Such hearing shall be held not more than five days from the issuance of the ex parte order or less than three days from the return of service, whichever is later.

(c) If the parent or relative arrested for violation of section 53a-97 or 53a-98 is in custody of the state, the state shall produce such parent or relative for the hearing to determine custody of the child pursuant to chapter 815j or 815p.

(d) The sole duty of the Department of Children and Families under this section shall be to provide care for the child during the period of custody pending determination of the custodial rights of the parents or guardians.

(P.A. 86-311, S. 2; P.A. 93-91, S. 1, 2; P.A. 03-19, S. 102.)

History: P.A. 93-91 substituted commissioner and department of children and families for commissioner and department of children and youth services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 03-19 made technical changes in Subsecs. (b) and (c), effective May 12, 2003.

Secs. 46b-17 to 46b-19. Reserved for future use.

Note: Chapters 815b to 815d, inclusive, are also reserved for future use.