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Protective Order Law

An Order of Protection is also known as a Protective Order. It is an order you get from the court that tells someone to stop having contact with you. Once granted, the police will have a copy of the Order of Protection, and will be able to respond quickly to assist you if you are being contacted by the person you have obtained an order against. You can call the police anytime you are hurt or in danger, but having an Order of Protection will help the police in responding to your call.

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Police car at night with flashing blue lights
The Basics of Protective Orders

The Indiana Civil Protection Order Act (ICPOA), is the law that governs protective orders. This law was updated in 2019. It has long been available to protect victims of threatened and actual violence while ensuring the rights of the accused through procedural safeguards. Understanding the bases for a protective order and how the protective order process works is key to ensuring you are protected. The best way to do that is to work with an experienced Indiana protective order attorney.

Indiana Protective Order Basics

There are several types of orders that protect alleged victims from abuse or violence:

  • Protection orders entered under the Indiana Civil Protection Order Act
  • No-contact orders, which are entered in an ongoing criminal proceeding

Either of these orders may be appropriate and effective in protecting a victim of violence, however, The Indiana Civil Protection Order Act, found at Indiana Code chapter 34-26-5, is focused on the protection and safety of victims and preventing future violence. The Act sets out the procedure and requirements for obtaining a protective order and assuring the protection of victims by means of a civil lawsuit.

Under the ICPOA, the person who seeks a protective order is the petitioner and can include the victim of:

  • Family or domestic violence
  • Stalking
  • A sex offense
  • Assault or battery from a non-family member or domestic partner
  • A person who is or has been subjected to repeated acts of harassment

The respondent is the person against whom the protective order is filed. This person may be one of the following:

  • A family or household member of the petitioner
  • A person who is alleged to have threatened or caused physical harm such as by battery, stalking, harassment, or the commission of a sex offense against the petitioner
  • A person who is alleged to have threatened or caused harm to a vertebrate animal of the petitioner.

A family or household member under the Act can include:

  • a person you are or were married to;
  • a person you are or were dating;
  • a person you are or were having a sexual relationship with;
  • a person who is related to you by blood or adoption;
  • a person who is or was related to you by marriage;
  • a person who has or did have an established legal relationship as a guardian, ward, custodian, or foster parent;
  • a person who has a child in common; AND
  • a minor child of any of the above relationships.
The Protection Order Process in Indiana

When a petition is filed, a judge can do one of two things:
Hold a hearing, or Issue a protective order ex parte (temporarily without a hearing)

Protective orders begin as a standard petition form used in the local court system but are customizable to your specific circumstance. A judge can tailor the protection order to prohibit or require certain behavior. Without a hearing, a protective order might include any of the following:

  • The respondent is prohibited from committing, or threatening to commit, acts of domestic violence or family violence, stalking, or sex offenses against the petitioner or the petitioner’s family or household members
  • The respondent cannot harass, annoy, phone, contact, or communicate with the petitioner
  • The respondent must stay away from the petitioner’s home, school, or workplace
  • The respondent must stay away from where the petitioner’s family or household members regularly go

A judge can also order one of the following immediately, but then a hearing must be held within 30 days:

  • The respondent is evicted from the petitioner’s home
  • The respondent must give possession and use of a shared home, vehicle, or personal items (including an animal) to the petitioner
  • The respondent cannot take action against an animal

Finally, the court must hold a hearing before it can order certain things:

  • A protection order that affects parenting time
  • An order to pay attorney fees, rent or mortgage payments, child support or maintenance, medical expenses, or GPS tracking device costs
  • An order prohibiting a respondent from possessing firearms, ammunition, or deadly weapons, or ordering the surrender of one

Regardless of the contents, an Indiana protection order is effective for two years unless a different duration is stated in the order. After the two year order has expired the petitioner has the right to ask for the petition to be reordered or extended if they still feel threatened or could be threatened.

Defending Against Protective Order Allegations

There are always two sides to every story. This is also true with a protective order. If you’ve been falsely accused in a protective order petition or a protective order petition has been entered against you, an experienced attorney at Salzmann Law LLC can help protect your rights. A protective order being entered against a person can have drastic effects on ones life and it is important to have effective representation to present evidence properly in your defense.

Some of the consequence of having a protective order entered against you include:

  • Not being able to Live in the family home
  • Not being able to going to work if the alleged victim works at the same place
  • Not being able to possess a firearm
  • Not being able to possess the family pet
Expungement of Protective Orders

Under Indiana Code chapter 35-38-9, expungement of an Indiana protective order is possible if the following is true. An expungement attorney can help you expunge protective orders that fall in the following categories:

  • The petition for a protection order was dismissed before a court hearing
  • The protection order was denied after a court hearing
  • The petitioner did not appear for a court hearing
  • The protection order was reversed or vacated on appeal
The Indiana Protection Order Registry

The Indiana Protection Order Registry, commonly called the Protective Order Registry, is a result of cooperation between the Indiana Supreme Court, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, and the Indiana State Police. The Indiana protective order registry links protective orders issued by courts with the Indiana State Police’s Indiana Data and Communication System (IDACS) and the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC). All courts are required to participate in the POR.

The Protection Order Registry offers benefits today that victims in prior years did not have. The POR allows records to be available to law enforcement wherever the victim goes. This allows better protection of victims and permits quicker response time by law enforcement.

Indiana Protective Order Search

The POR is a searchable public database. An online search conducted using a respondent’s name or case number will find any protective order or no-contact order filed in Indiana courts under that respondent’s name or case number. This search will show all petitions that have been filed regardless of the outcome of the case. This is a public search data base and can be used by anyone.

For Experienced Help With Protective Order or Defense Against Protective Orders

If you need help with a protective order, call Salzmann Law LLC today to discuss your legal needs and schedule a free initial consultation.