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Colorado

Local Resources

Stalking often occurs along with other crimes, like domestic violence and sexual assault. While there are no state coalitions for victims of stalking, many domestic violence and sexual assault programs are able to provide assistance. Many of the resources can be confusing to navigate, victim advocates are available to talk to you about address confidentiality and your states criminal stalking laws. Victim advocates can also assist you with safety planning, keeping a log of stalking incidents, and how to be safe when using technology. Find services and/or an advocate in your county using the following links:

Address Confidentiality

Address confidentiality programs allow victims of stalking, sexual assault, domestic violence, or other types of crime to receive mail at a substitute address, which keeps their actual address private and prevents offenders from locating the victim through public records. Mail is sent to the legal substitute address, often a post office box, and then forwarded to the victim’s actual address. The substitute address can be provided whenever the victim’s address is required by a public agency.

Click here for more information on the Address Confidentiality Program in Colorado.

Protection Orders

A protective order is a legal order issued by a state court that requires one person to stop harming and/or contacting another. Each state may have several types of protective orders: civil protective orders, criminal protective orders, or restraining orders, and they may have different names (for example, in Pennsylvania, there are “protection from abuse” orders). Some protective orders are specific to domestic and interfamilial violence, while others are broader, covering stalking, harassment, sexual assault, and other types of misconduct. An individual can get a protection order when the perpetrator is proven to have acted with intent to cause the victim emotional distress or fear for his/her safety, even when the perpetrator has not been charged or convicted. They permit the victim to call the police to have the abuser arrested if the abuser violates any part of the order.

Click here for more information on protection orders in Colorado.

Criminal Stalking Laws

Criminal stalking laws define when a perpetrator may be charged with the crime of stalking, and what infractions are required to bring such a charge. The laws usually define various misdemeanor and felony offenses that correlate with the severity of the transgression. Based on police investigation, a state prosecutor will determine what charges to bring against an offender, and will then file charges against the perpetrator (formally known as an indictment). A trial typically follows, and the defendant may be offered a plea agreement. The criminal statute will also delineate potential punishments, if the perpetrator is convicted, which may include probation, house arrest, and incarceration, among others. Restitution may be requested and awarded to the victim by court order following a conviction, usually at a sentencing hearing.

Click here for more information on criminal stalking laws in Colorado.

National Resources

  • VictimConnect Resource Center - Confidential information, support and referrals for victims of crime via telephone, chat and text including safety planning and crime reporting.
  • WomensLaw.org - State-specific legal information related regarding protection orders, custody, divorce, state gun laws and more. WomensLaw.org also operates an email hotline where victims, their family/friends and advocates can write to ask legal questions.

Address Confidentiality

The Colorado State Address Confidentiality Program assists crime victims who have relocated. Click here to find help with your application in your county. Click here to learn more about what the program in your state covers.

Contact Information

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Protection Orders

13-14-104.5. Procedure for temporary civil protection order

(1) 

(a) Any municipal court of record, if authorized by the municipal governing body; any county court; and any district, probate, or juvenile court shall have original concurrent jurisdiction to issue a temporary or permanent civil protection order against an adult or against a juvenile who is ten years of age or older for any of the following purposes:

(I) To prevent assaults and threatened bodily harm;

(II) To prevent domestic abuse;

(III) To prevent emotional abuse of the elderly or of an at-risk adult;

(IV) To prevent sexual assault or abuse; and

(V) To prevent stalking.

(b) To be eligible for a protection order, the petitioner does not need to show that he or she has reported the act that is the subject of the complaint to law enforcement, that charges have been filed, or that the petitioner is participating in the prosecution of a criminal matter.

(2) Any civil protection order issued pursuant to this section shall be issued using the standardized set of forms developed by the state court administrator pursuant to section 13-1-136.

(3) Venue for filing a motion or complaint pursuant to this section is proper in any county where the acts that are the subject of the motion or complaint occur, in any county where one of the parties resides, or in any county where one of the parties is employed. This requirement for venue does not prohibit the change of venue to any other county appropriate under applicable law.

(4) A motion for a temporary civil protection order shall be set for hearing at the earliest possible time, which hearing may be ex parte, and shall take precedence over all matters, except those matters of the same character that have been on the court docket for a longer period of time. The court shall hear all such motions as expeditiously as possible.

(5) Any district court, in an action commenced under the "Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act", article 10 of title 14, C.R.S., shall have authority to issue temporary and permanent protection orders pursuant to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section. Such protection order may be as a part of a motion for a protection order accompanied by an affidavit filed in an action brought under article 10 of title 14, C.R.S. Either party may request the court to issue a protection order consistent with any other provision of this article.

(6) At the time a protection order is requested pursuant to this section, the court shall inquire about, and the requesting party and such party's attorney shall have an independent duty to disclose, knowledge such party and such party's attorney may have concerning the existence of any prior protection or restraining order of any court addressing in whole or in part the subject matter of the requested protection order. In the event there are conflicting restraining or protection orders, the court shall consider, as its first priority, issues of public safety. An order that prevents assaults, threats of assault, or other harm shall be given precedence over an order that deals with the disposition of property or other tangible assets. Every effort shall be made by judicial officers to clarify conflicting orders.

(7)

(a) A temporary civil protection order may be issued if the issuing judge or magistrate finds that     an imminent danger exists to the person or persons seeking protection under the civil protection order. In determining whether an imminent danger exists to the life or health of one or more persons, the court shall consider all relevant evidence concerning the safety and protection of the persons seeking the protection order. The court shall not deny a petitioner the relief requested because of the length of time between an act of abuse or threat of harm and the filing of the petition for a protection order.

(b) If the judge or magistrate finds that an imminent danger exists to the employees of a business     entity, he or she may issue a civil protection order in the name of the business for the protection of the employees. An employer is not be liable for failing to obtain a civil protection order in the name of the business for the protection of the employees and patrons. 

(8) Upon the filing  of a complaint duly verified, alleging that the respondent has committed acts that would constitute grounds for a civil protection order, any judge or magistrate, after hearing the evidence and being fully satisfied therein that sufficient cause exists, may issue a temporary civil protection order to prevent the actions complained of and a citation directed to the respondent commanding the respondent to appear before the court at a specific time and date and to show cause, if any, why said temporary civil protection order should not be made permanent. In addition, the court may order any other relief that the court deems appropriate. Complaints may be filed by persons seeking protection for themselves or for others as provided in section 26-3.1-102 (1) (b) and (1) (c), C.R.S.

(9) A copy of the complaint, a copy of the temporary civil protection order, and a copy of the citation must be served upon the respondent and upon the person to be protected, if the complaint was filed by another person, in accordance with the rules for service of process as provided in rule 304 of the rules of county court civil procedure or rule 4 of the Colorado rules of civil procedure. The citation must inform the respondent that, if the respondent fails to appear in court in accordance with the terms of the citation, a bench warrant may be issued for the arrest of the respondent, and the temporary protection order previously entered by the court made permanent without further notice or service upon the respondent.

(10) The return date of the citation must be set not more than fourteen days after the issuance of the temporary civil protection order and citation. If the petitioner is unable to serve the respondent in that period, the court shall extend the temporary protection order previously issued, continue the show of cause hearing, and issue an alias citation stating the date and time to which the hearing is continued. The petitioner may thereafter request, and the court may grant, additional continuances as needed if the petitioner has still been unable to serve the respondent.

(11)

(a) Any person against whom a temporary protection order is issued pursuant to this section, which temporary protection order excludes the person from a shared residence, is permitted to return to the shared residence one time to obtain sufficient undisputed personal effects as are necessary for the person to maintain a normal standard of living during any period prior to a hearing concerning the order. The person against whom a temporary protection order is issued is permitted to return to the shared residence only if the person is accompanied at all times by a peace officer while the person is at or in the shared residence.

(b) When any person is served with a temporary protection order issued against the person excluding the person from a shared residence, the temporary protection order must contain a notification in writing to the person of the person's ability to return to the shared residence pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (11). The written notification shall be in bold print and conspicuously placed in the temporary protection order. A judge, magistrate, or other judicial officer shall not issue a temporary protection order that does not comply with this section.

(c) Any person against whom a temporary protection order is issued pursuant to this section, which temporary protection order excludes the person from a shared residence, may avail himself or herself of the forcible entry and detainer remedies available pursuant to article 40 of this title. However, such person is not entitled to return to the residence until such time as a valid writ of restitution is executed and filed with the court issuing the protection order and, if necessary, the protection order is modified accordingly. A landlord whose lessee has been excluded from a residence pursuant to the terms of a protection order may also avail himself or herself of the remedies available pursuant to article 40 of this title.

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Criminal Stalking Laws

C.R.S. 18-3-601. [Formerly 18-9-111 (4) (a)] Legislative declaration. (2010)
(1)  The general assembly hereby finds and declares that:

 (a)  Stalking is a serious problem in this state and nationwide;

(b)  Although stalking often involves persons who have had an intimate relationship with one another, it can also involve persons who have little or no past relationship;

(c)  A stalker will often maintain strong, unshakable, and irrational emotional feelings for his or her victim, and may likewise believe that the victim either returns these feelings of affection or will do so if the stalker is persistent enough. Further, the stalker often maintains this belief, despite a trivial or nonexistent basis for it and despite rejection, lack of reciprocation, efforts to restrict or avoid the stalker, and other facts that conflict with this belief.

(d)  A stalker may also develop jealousy and animosity for persons who are in relationships with the victim, including family members, employers and co-workers, and friends, perceiving them as obstacles or as threats to the stalker's own "relationship" with the victim;

(e)  Because stalking involves highly inappropriate intensity, persistence, and possessiveness, it entails great unpredictability and creates great stress and fear for the victim;

(f)  Stalking involves severe intrusions on the victim's personal privacy and autonomy, with an immediate and long-lasting impact on quality of life as well as risks to security and safety of the victim and persons close to the victim, even in the absence of express threats of physical harm.

(2)  The general assembly hereby recognizes the seriousness posed by stalking and adopts the provisions of this part 6 with the goal of encouraging and authorizing effective intervention before stalking can escalate into behavior that has even more serious consequences.

C.R.S. 18-3-602.  Stalking - penalty - definitions - Vonnie's Law. (2012)

(1) A person commits stalking if directly, or indirectly, through another person, the person knowingly:

 

(a) Makes a credible threat to another person and, in connection with the threat, repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, or places under surveillance that person, a member of that person's immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship; or

(b) Makes a credible threat to another person and, in connection with the threat, repeatedly makes any form of communication with that person, a member of that person's immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship, regardless of whether a conversation ensues; or

(c) Repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, places under surveillance, or makes any form of communication with another person, a member of that person's immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to suffer serious emotional distress and does cause that person, a member of that person's immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship to suffer serious emotional distress. For purposes of this paragraph (c), a victim need not show that he or she received professional treatment or counseling to show that he or she suffered serious emotional distress.

(2) For the purposes of this part 6:

(a) Conduct "in connection with" a credible threat means acts that further, advance, promote, or have a continuity of purpose, and may occur before, during, or after the credible threat.

(b) "Credible threat" means a threat, physical action, or repeated conduct that would cause a reasonable person to be in fear for the person's safety or the safety of his or her immediate family or of someone with whom the person has or has had a continuing relationship. The threat need not be directly expressed if the totality of the conduct would cause a reasonable person such fear.

(c) "Immediate family" includes the person's spouse and the person's parent, grandparent, sibling, or child.

(d) "Repeated" or "repeatedly" means on more than one occasion.

(3) A person who commits stalking:

(a) Commits a class 5 felony for a first offense except as otherwise provided in subsection (5) of this section; or

(b) Commits a class 4 felony for a second or subsequent offense, if the offense occurs within seven years after the date of a prior offense for which the person was convicted.

(4) Stalking is an extraordinary risk crime that is subject to the modified presumptive sentencing range specified in section 18-1.3-401 (10).

(5) If, at the time of the offense, there was a temporary or permanent protection order, injunction, or condition of bond, probation, or parole or any other court order in effect against the person, prohibiting the behavior described in this section, the person commits a class 4 felony.

(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter or diminish the inherent authority of the court to enforce its orders through civil or criminal contempt proceedings; however, before a criminal contempt proceeding is heard before the court, notice of the proceedings shall be provided to the district attorney for the judicial district of the court where the proceedings are to be heard and the district attorney for the judicial district in which the alleged act of criminal contempt occurred. The district attorney for either district shall be allowed to appear and argue for the imposition of contempt sanctions.

(7) A peace officer shall have a duty to respond as soon as reasonably possible to a report of stalking and to cooperate with the alleged victim in investigating the report.

(8)

(a) When a person is arrested for an alleged violation of this section, the fixing of bail for the crime of stalking shall be done in accordance with section 16-4-103 (2) (d), C.R.S., and a protection order shall issue in accordance with section 18-1-1001(5).

(b) This subsection (8) shall be known and may be cited as “Vonnie's law.”

(9) When a violation under this section is committed in connection with a violation of a court order, including but not limited to any protection order or any order that sets forth the conditions of a bond, any sentences imposed pursuant to this section and pursuant to section 18-6-803.5, or any sentence imposed in a contempt proceeding for violation of the court order shall be served consecutively and not concurrently.

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