Victims of domestic or family violence, stalking or a sex offense may requesta civil protective order against the alleged perpetrator, called the Respondent. In the case of domestic or family violence, the victim and the Respondent must have one of the following types of relationships: current or former spouses; individuals that have dated or had a sexual relationship; individuals related by blood, adoption, marriage or other established legal relationship; individuals who have a child together or are the child of any type of relationship previously described. A common misunderstanding relates to the fact that protective orders are issued in civil courts, which differ from no contact orders filed in the criminal courts. A protective order is an action filed and being pursued by the person wishing to be protected, whereas no contact orders are brought by the county/state and is a criminal complaint involving the perpetrator being charged with a crime.
A protective order may be issued ex parte, meaning without a hearing, or after a hearing. A hearing must be held within 30 days if there is a request for the following: to evict the Respondent from the victim’s home; for possession of personal property; to establish rules for parenting time; to request that Respondent pay child support or attorney fees; or to forbid the Respondent from possessing a firearm, ammunition or deadly weapon. Once issued, protective orders normally last for 2 years and can be extended if necessary. During this time period, the Respondent may be restrained from committing further acts of abuse or threats of abuse to the victim, prohibited from having a gun and/or restrained from any contact with the victim or other protected person or places. Indiana recently created and implemented a statewide Protection Order Registry which allows local, state and national law enforcement to have access to protective orders within minutes.
When a protective order is in place, communication between parties is generally prohibited. I can play a significant role in facilitating parenting time schedules, financial arrangements or other pertinent matters related to both parties. We understand that issues relating to protective orders can be a stressful and emotional time in one’s life, and our staff is equipped to provide the compassion and prompt attention needed to alleviate further conflict.