Orders For Protection
If you are experiencing these types of abuse in a relationship and you are fearful, one form of legal protection available to you in Indiana is an Order for Protection. An Order for Protection is a court order keeps the abuser away from you and from contacting you in any way.
You can apply for this protection on your own as an emergency safety measure or we, or a local domestic violence shelter, can assist you with the application process. Information, forms and local agencies can be found at Indiana judiciary website. Depending on your situation, you can ask for additional protection such as asking to have the restrained person: stay away from your workplace, school and home; be evicted from a joint home; be restricted in his or her parenting time with affected children; and be prohibited from possession a firearm. If you are the person who has left a joint home, you can also ask for a law enforcement escort to the home to retrieve basic belongings.
Once you apply for a protection order and the court agrees that you have grounds for protection, the court can grant on order as early as the same during business hours and without a hearing (an ex parte order of protection). Sometimes, the court finds there are not sufficient grounds to issue an order or the court may set a hearing within thirty (30) days to hear more information from both sides before making a decision. Certain relief may not be granted without a hearing, and other types of relief require that a hearing be set within thirty (30) days. Finally, the person against whom an ex parte order of protection is issued has the right to request a hearing. Therefore, although a hearing is not always necessary, it may become necessary if the court finds insufficient grounds in the petition; if the restrained person requests it; or if certain relief is requested.
Violations of a protection order are criminal violations called “Invasion of Privacy” and the restrained person can be arrested. Indiana maintains a database of orders of protection, which law enforcement should be able to access in order to confirm that a proective order is in place, in the event that you call with a complaint. It is always a good idea to keep a copy of the order with you, however. You also have the option of pursuing a contempt of court action against the offender in the civil protection case, in addition to the criminal violations.
Even if you have a protection order, you need to remain vigilant about your safety.
Disclaimer: This summary is not intended to be comprehensive, and should not be construed as legal advice for your particular situation. Nothing in this website is intended to serve as or substitute for legal representation.