These instructions are to help you
represent yourself in court. Legal words and court documents can be
confusing. The more you know, the more comfortable you will be when you
fill out the necessary court forms and come to court. These instructions will give you some useful information and instructions on filling
out the necessary forms.
Every case is different and this instruction
sheet is to be used as a guide only; if you think you need more help you
may want to get an attorney. You can also go to a
Court Service Center or contact the
Connecticut Network for Legal
find additional information at the Law Libraries.
Court staff can answer procedural questions and help you understand the
legal process, but cannot give you legal advice.
To apply for a Restraining Order
you have to fill out the following 2 forms:
If you are seeking temporary
custody of children, you must also fill out an:
The person who fills out the
Application for Relief From Abuse is called the “Applicant”. The
person the Application is filed is called the “Respondent.”
There are no court fees for the Application.
Once you finish your paperwork,
you must take it to the Clerk’s office. Do not sign these forms
until you are in front of a court clerk or a notary public. The
Application and Affidavit will be reviewed by a Judge. Once the
Judge makes a decision on your Application, the Clerk’s Office
will process the papers and return them to you. The date you
have to come back to court for your hearing will be on the order
form. The paperwork must be given immediately to a State
Marshal, so that he or she may deliver the paperwork to the
Respondent. You will be given a State Marshal Commission form to
fill out called the Restraining Order Service
Instructions/Profile (SMC-1). This form helps the State Marshal
find the Respondent. The Clerk’s Office or the Court Service
Center can give you a
list of State
Marshals. At certain court locations, a State Marshal will
be at the courthouse at specific times during the day to help
you with getting the papers delivered to the Respondent.
If your Application was granted,
be sure to keep a copy of the paperwork with you at all times
and keep another copy in a safe place. The court will send a
copy of the order to the police department.
You must be in court on the date
of the hearing if you want the court to give you a restraining
order or, if the court already gave you a temporary restraining
order, to keep it in place. The respondent may also be in court.
If you think you need more security when you are in court for
your restraining order hearing, contact the Clerk's Office or
the Court Service Center in the court where your hearing is
On the day of your hearing be
sure to come to court early because it can take 10 to 20 minutes
to get into the courthouse since everyone must go through a
metal detector. Be sure to bring copies of your forms and any
evidence to support your claim. Go to your assigned courtroom
and wait for instructions. If you are not sure where to go,
check with the Clerk’s Office or Court Service Center.
The orders are usually good for
six months after the hearing, but the judge can decide to make
the orders good for a longer or shorter amount of time. You
should contact the police department immediately if the
Respondent violates any order issued.