What is a Civil Protection Order?

What is a civil protection orderWhat is a civil protection order (CPO).   A CPO in the District of Columbia is a court order that says you must stay away from another individual for one year. It is also referred to as a restraining order. At Rollins and Chan Law Firm, we are are attorneys who handle civil protection order cases in the District of Columbia.  we aggressively defend or pursue civil protection orders in the District of Columbia. Below is the process.  There are specific rules that                                                   must be followed in CPO cases.


Served with Temporary Protective Order? What Happens Next

A judge issues a temporary protection order (TPO) in DC Superior Court after the Petitioner makes an allegation of domestic violence. You, the respondent, will not be at that hearing.  Serving the petition on you is required before the case can proceed.   Also referred to as a restraining order.

14 days later

A civil protection order or final order is issued by a judge after one of the following happens:

  • there is a court hearing where you and your accuser appear and present evidence to the judge. (The standard of proof is a preponderance of the evidence)
  • You consent with admissions
  • You consent without admissions
  • You reach a civil agreement to dismiss the case.

What are the Consequences of a CPO

Other Consequences of a CPO in the District of Columbia. Although a CPO is public in nature, it may have severe collateral consequences.   For example, if the respondent is on probation or parole, allegations contained in the petition, if proven in an evidentiary hearing have criminal elements to it, it may impact the respondent’s probation/parole status. Also, such an order is relevant in any future custody case. In the District of Columbia, there is a presumption of joint custody.   There is a presumption that both parents are fit and capable of assuming custody of any minor children. However, if there is a CPO entered against one party, the presumption is rebutted. That means the respondent will never stand equal footing with the Petitioner relating to the custody of the children. If you consent to a  CPO, this presumption is not rebutted. The respondent maintains his ability to seek joint and legal custody of the children.

Do I need to hire an Attorney?

The consequences of a CPO against you can have implications such as the ability to own a firearm. It can have implications for professional licenses and job implications. 

  • Do you have the ability to draft a civil agreement? One of the alternatives we seek is a civil agreement between the parties. Putting the right language in the civil agreement is something an experienced civil protection lawyer can do. 
  • Do you have the ability to try a case?
  • Have you ever tried a case? Most people have seen law and order – this is not law order. Advocating for oneself in a courtroom is not as easy as it sounds.
So How Much Will This Cost Me?

We consider ourselves some of the most efficient lawyers in the DC metropolitan area. We pride ourselves on some of the lowest fees for legal services. All of our civil protection order cases are flat fees because we know clients do not want to be charged for every text message and every conversation.