Protective Order 101: How to Obtain a Protective Order

How do I get a protective order? If you or your child is a victim of domestic or family violence, stalking, or a sex offense, you can petition for a protective order under Ind. Code 34-26-5. In many counties, the Clerk’s office at the county courthouse has a form for this petition. Your petition will then be reviewed by a judge.

If you fill the form out yourself, or have a non-attorney advocate help you fill out the form, the judge will hold you to the same standard as if an attorney prepared the form. Many petitions are denied simply because the form was filled out incorrectly. The terms “domestic or family violence,” “stalking,” and “sex offense” have very specific definitions. If the allegations in your petition do not fit these specific definitions, your petition will be denied.

Domestic or family violence means, except for an act of self-defense, the occurrence of at least one (1) of the following acts committed by a family or household member:

(1) Attempting to cause, threatening to cause, or causing physical harm to another family or household member.
(2) Placing a family or household member in fear of physical harm.
(3) Causing a family or household member to involuntarily engage in sexual activity by force, threat of force, or duress.
(4) Beating, torturing, mutilating, or killing a vertebrate animal without justification with the intent to threaten, intimidate, coerce, harass, or terrorize a family or household member.

Stalking means a knowing or an intentional course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another person that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened.

A “sex offense” is only those criminal offenses listed in Ind. Code 35-42-4: rape, child molesting, child exploitation, vicarious sexual gratification, child solicitation, child seduction, sexual battery, and sexual misconduct with a minor.

If your petition is granted, the court will issue a Protective Order. If the abuser violates the Order, contact law enforcement – a violation of a protective order is the criminal offense of Invasion of privacy under Ind. Code § 35-46-1-15.1.

Once the Order is served on the abuser, they have 30 days to request a hearing. You are not required to have an attorney at this hearing, but again, the judge will hold you to the same standard as if you had an attorney.

The lawyers at Camden & Meridew, P.C. are experienced in the areas of tax law, family law, litigation, consumer law, criminal law, and bankruptcy. If you would like to speak to an attorney who can help you obtain or defend a protective order please call Julie Camden at 317-770-0000 or complete our online contact form today.

This website supplies general information about the law but it is provided for informational purposes only. This content does not create an attorney-client relationship and more importantly is not meant to constitute legal advice. You should not act on any of the information contained herein without first consulting an attorney.