If you're the victim of domestic violence or stalking, it's wise to get an order of protection. Also known as a protective order or restraining order, these help you protect yourself from your abuser.
Continue reading to learn more about protective orders laws in Indiana.
Protective Orders Laws
Protective orders are court-ordered documents that require the person named in the order to stay a certain distance away from the person seeking the order. They are used to protect victims of many kinds of abuse, but they may also be used to protect someone from a stalker.
34-26-5-1, et seq.
Activity Addressed by Order
Protective orders address many kinds of activities. The following are examples of activities addressed by protective orders:
- Prohibiting an abuser from making contact with their victim
- Excluding an abuser from a dwelling
- Enforcing child support
- Delineating custody arrangements or the maintenance of them
- Requiring the abuser to go to counseling
- Requiring the abuser to refrain from disturbing the peace of the petitioner (the victim)
- Prohibiting the abuser from damaging the petitioner's (the victim's) property
- Ordering possession of the victim's property
- That the abuser pays the victim's attorney fees
Duration of Order
In cases where an ex parte (or emergency) order is issued, a hearing must be held within 30 days of when that order is issued.
Typically, orders of protection last one to two years, with the possibility that the petitioner may request that a court extend the length of the order.
Penalty for a Violation of Order
Confinement in jail, prison, and/or fine
Who May Apply for Order
The following are examples of those eligible for orders of protection:
- Someone that has been abused by a family or household member
- The victim of a stalker
- The victim of a sex crime
- Someone who has been subjected to harassment
- A parent, guardian, or representative may file for an order on behalf of a child that has been victimized by a family or household member
- A parent, guardian, or representative may also file for an order on behalf of a child that has been victimized by a stalker or who has been the victim of a sex crime, harassment, or grooming for sexual activity
Can Fees Be Waived?
There are no fees for filing for a protective order.
Order Transmission to Law Enforcement
A copy of the order is transmitted by the end of the same business day to each law enforcement agency designated by the petitioner. Some orders must be entered into the Indiana Data and Communication System (IDACS).
Civil Liability for Violation of Order
The curbing of domestic violence is a top priority in Indiana, and survivors of domestic violence (as well as those that feel threatened) have numerous options to protect themselves from further harassment and abuse.
Although protection orders are not a perfect deterrent to every harmful scenario, they can provide a victim with some criminal recourse if an abuser violates an order. Indiana has emergency protection orders, which are put in place to give the threatened person more time to request a longer-term order. Also, if you have a valid protection order issued by one state, federal protection order law requires other states to honor and enforce that order.
Learn More About Indiana Protective Order Laws from a Lawyer
It can be confusing and scary to be the victim of stalking or assault. Your best option may be an order of protection, typically enforced with strict consequences for noncompliance. Penalties typically include jail time. Or if you're the subject of a protective order, you'll want to learn about how that will affect your life.
If you're a victim of domestic violence and you'd like to learn more about protective orders, contact a domestic violence attorney in Indiana today. If you're the subject of a protective order in the state, it may be wise to contact a criminal defense attorney near you.