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Kentucky Protective Orders Laws

If you're a victim of domestic violence or stalking, it's wise to get a protective order. Also known as an order of protection or protection order, these help victims of domestic violence protect themselves from their abusers.

Continue reading to learn more about protective orders in Kentucky.

Protective Orders and Related Laws

Protective orders are court orders that direct a person named in the document to stay away from the person seeking the protection. If someone violates a protective order, they can be fined or imprisoned. In some cases, protective orders can have additional restrictions concerning child custody matters and gun ownership. In addition to protecting abused spouses and exes, protective orders may also be used to save children from harm and keep stalkers away.

Protective Orders and Related Laws in Kentucky

State-issued protective orders can function a little differently, depending on the jurisdiction. The table below highlights the specifics of Kentucky's protective orders statutes.

Code Section

Kentucky Revised Statutes 403.735, et seq.: Domestic Violence and Abuse

Kentucky Revised Statutes Title XLII. Miscellaneous Practice Provisions § 456.010: Dating Relationships and Related Violence

Activity Addressed by Order

Protective orders address many types of activities. The following are examples of the types of activities addressed by protective orders:

  • Prohibiting the person named in the order from contacting the person who is seeking the order
  • Excluding the person named in the order from a dwelling
  • Awarding temporary custody of a child
  • Laying out or maintaining the terms of child support
  • Requiring the person named in the order to attend counseling or therapy sessions
  • Awarding possession of pets
  • Prohibiting the person named in the order from disposing of or damaging property

Duration of Order

Emergency protection orders expire in six months, while hearings for them must be set within 14 days. Emergency protection orders may be extended.

General protection orders may remain in effect for a maximum of three years. The person requesting the order may request unlimited extensions. Each reissuance may last for a period of up to one year.

Penalty for a Violation of Order

Violations of an order are treated as contempt of court. However, if the violation is intentional, it's treated as a Class A misdemeanor.

Who May Apply for Order

The following are examples of the types of people eligible for pursuing a protective order:

  • Family member or unmarried couple member who is a resident of the state or who has fled to this state to escape domestic violence and abuse
  • Anyone in a "dating relationship," which means any relationship between people who have or have had a romantic or intimate relationship
  • Victims of stalking or sexual assault

Can Fees Be Waived?

There are no filing fees.

Order Transmission to Law Enforcement

A copy is sent to the appropriate law enforcement agency within 24 hours, while a copy is also sent to the appropriate agency for entry of domestic violation records into the Law Information Network of Kentucky.

Civil Liability for Violation of Order

Contempt of court

Protection orders and harassment restraining orders are not a perfect deterrent for every harmful scenario. However, they can protect a victim of domestic violence by providing some criminal recourse if an abuser violates an order. Also, if you have a valid protection order issued by Kentucky, federal protection order law mandates that other states honor and enforce that order, and vice versa.

Consider Speaking with an Attorney About Protective Orders

Getting a protective order and making sure it's enforced can be a difficult and frightening process. You can contact a Kentucky domestic violence attorney in your area if you would like legal advice regarding a domestic violence or protective order matter. You can also visit FindLaw's Orders of Protection and Restraining Orders section for additional articles and information on this topic.

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