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Are you in Indiana and urgently need to know how to file a restraining order? This article will guide you swiftly through the legal steps – determining eligibility, getting the right forms, and submitting your petition – to safeguard against domestic violence, stalking, or harassment. Straight to the point, each section will lead you closer to the protection you deserve.
For more on obtaining a restraining order in Indiana, please read our other article.
- The filing process for a restraining order in Indiana includes obtaining the necessary forms, submitting the petition (with no fees), and possibly seeking legal help.
- Individuals in Indiana can file for a restraining order against family or household members or anyone who has committed harassment, stalking, or a sex offense.
- In emergencies, a temporary ex parte order can be granted without the presence of the respondent.
Who Is Eligible For A Restraining Order?
In Indiana, you can be eligible for an order of protection against a family or household member who commits acts of domestic violence or family violence against you or a child. You can also get an order against anyone who committed harassment, stalking, or a sex offense against you, regardless of the relationship.
How Do You File A Protective Order?
You must file for the protective order at the local county clerk’s office or online through the local county clerk’s website. Typically, forms can be found online; however, it may be best to consult a lawyer before filing to ensure no information is missing so that a lawyer can explain and prepare you for the court process.
Can I File A Temporary Restraining Order?
Yes, a temporary restraining order, known as an ex parte order, can be issued as soon as you file your petition. The Women’s Law website outlines what protections a victim can receive from a temporary restraining order.
“A temporary ex parte order for protection, which is issued without notice to the abuser, can:
- prohibit the respondent from committing or threatening to commit acts of domestic violence against you and any specific family or household members listed on the order;
- prohibit the respondent from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting, or communicating with you (either directly or indirectly);
- remove and exclude the respondent from your home, regardless of who owns the home where you are living;
- order the respondent to stay away from your home, school, workplace, and specific places where you usually go;
- order the respondent to stay away from specific places where any of your family or household members who are included in the order usually go;
- give you sole possession, care, custody, or control of any animal owned, possessed, kept, or cared for by you, the respondent, a minor child of you or the respondent, or any other family or household member;
- prohibit the respondent from removing, transferring, injuring, concealing, harming, attacking, mistreating, threatening to harm, or otherwise getting rid of an animal;
- give you the possession and use of the home, an automobile, and other essential personal items, regardless of who owns them;
- order a law enforcement officer to:
- accompany you to the home to make sure that you can safely get into the home and get possession of an automobile, animal, and other essential personal items; or
- supervise your or the respondent’s removal of personal belongings and animals; or
- order anything else necessary to keep you and any family or household members on the order safe.”
This information and more can also be found on the Indiana Courts website.
How Long Does It Take To Get An Order Of Protection?
If you are the victim of domestic or family violence, a temporary ex parte order can be issued as soon as you file your petition without the respondent present or notified. This does not apply in the case of harassment.
Either party (you or the respondent) then has 30 days from the date the abuser is served with the order to request a hearing on the order for protection. In some cases, the judge will order a hearing within 30 days of filing the petition, even if neither party requested it.
If neither of the parties request a hearing, the order for protection will last two years after the given date unless the court orders another date.
What Happens If The Victim Violates The Order?
The victim will not be criminally prosecuted, but the alleged abuser will still be in violation of the order even if the victim contacts the alleged abuser first. The respondent could be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor for violating a protective order involving domestic or family violence. If the courts find the abuser guilty of violating the order, they could face up to a year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000, in addition to probation. The courts could also elevate the crime to a Level 6 felony if there are similar prior convictions, extending jail time to one and a half years.
If you need help setting up a mediation or want an Indiana O’Flaherty Law Attorney to be your advocate through the process, please reach out to us. To request a consultation with an Iowa Family Law Lawyer, call our office at (630) 324-6666. You can also fill out our confidential contact form, and we will get back to you shortly.