What You Need to Know About Obtaining a Protective Order?

The Indiana Civil Protection Order Act was enacted for the following purpose, “(1) protection and safety of all victims of domestic or family violence in a fair, prompt, and effective manner; (2) protection and safety of all victims of harassment in a fair, prompt, and effective manner; and (3) prevention of future domestic violence, family violence, and harassment.” A protection order can be a useful tool for victims of domestic or family violence. While all relationships and family dynamics are different, when simply “working things out” cannot be achieved or it is no longer a safe situation for the people involved, a protective order may be considered; when issued it may prevent violent behavior by the respondent and offer some relief to the victim(s). This blog explores the scope of protective orders and the necessary steps to obtain a protective order.

If you are someone who has been victim of domestic violence, family violence, stalking, sex offense, or repeated acts of harassment, then you would be able to file a petition for an order for protection. Furthermore, a protection order can be filed on behalf of a child as long as the individual filing is the parent or guardian. The first thing to note is that a petition for an order for protection must be filed in the county where the petitioner resides, respondent resides, or where the violence or harassment occurred. A petition for an order for protection requires that the petitioner establish the allegations in the petition, thus listing out and detailing events to support your petition that a threat exists. In addition to detailing the events, you may also attach images to the petition which further illustrate your claims. Do not be discouraged if your timeline of events is over a long period of time; a lapse of time between an act of violence or harassment cannot be the sole reason for a court to deny relief.

Upon filing a petition for an order for protection, the case will be added to the Indiana protective order registry. After filing a petition for an order for protection, the court may issue an order for protection ex parte or set the matter for hearing. A court may issue an ex parte order for protection, meaning that the court does not hold a hearing before the issuance of the order. Further, it is required that the court must hold a hearing no later than thirty (30) days after the petition for an order for protection is filed. The hearing will allow both parties involved to be heard before the presiding judge. There are various types of relief available to the petitioner upon issuance of a protective order such as enjoining the respondent from threatening to commit acts of violence against petitioner. Furthermore, relief available prohibits the respondent from committing a handful of acts against the petitioner, for example harassing or contacting the petitioner. There is also relief that allows the petitioner to have exclusive possession, care, custody, or control of any minor child or animal; and possession and use of the residence, automobile, and other essential personal effects, regardless of the ownership. 

In the event that circumstances change such that a petitioner needs to dismiss the case concerning the protective order, there are specific steps the petitioner must take. If the petitioner wishes to dismiss the protective order then they must file a written requests for dismissal with a court or the petitioner can make an oral request in open court on the record.

Given these points, there are clear requirements that must be established in order to successfully file a petition for an order for protection. Once granted, the order for protection can provide an ample amount of relief for the petitioner. While the steps to obtain and maintain a protective order seem troublesome and complex, a skilled attorney can assist in this process and alleviate the stressors associated.

Ciyou & Associates, P.C. have experienced attorneys who are well versed in the practice of protective order law throughout Indiana. We are here to assist you in seeking a protective order (or defending against same). This blog post was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C., and this blog is not intended as specific legal advice or a solicitation for services, as this is an advertisement. 


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