Protective Orders (commonly called “PO’s”) are governed under what is known as the Indiana Civil Protective Order Act. PO’s can be invaluable tools for individuals who find themselves in dangerous situations, such as victims of domestic violence, or minors in an abusive household. But, can anyone obtain a PO? Are there any limitations? Will you need an attorney? In this blog, we provide a brief overview of protective orders, who can obtain a PO, and why you should consider seeking legal counsel for assistance.
The first thing to look at when considering filing for a PO is whether you qualify under the relevant statutory code. That is, pursuant to the Civil Protective Order Act, only certain individuals are allowed to file for a PO, and the Act provides a specific list of individuals who qualify. First, a person who is, or has been, a victim of domestic or family violence may file for a PO against a family or household member who committed the act of domestic or family violence.1 Second, a victim of stalking or a sex offense can obtain a PO against the perpetrator. Third, a person who is, or has been, subjected to harassment may file for a PO against the person committing the harassment.2 Finally, a parent or guardian can file for a PO on behalf of a minor child who has been subject to domestic or family violence, or a victim of stalking.
In addition, there are three (3) basic grounds for obtaining a protective order: being a victim of domestic or family violence; being a victim of stalking; or being a victim of harassment. Domestic or family violence is defined by several different acts, for example: attempting to cause, threatening to cause, or causing physical harm to another family or household member. Stalking is defined as 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. Finally, harassment is defined as conduct directed toward a victim that includes but is not limited to repeated or continuing impermissible contact that would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress and that actually causes the victim to suffer emotional distress.
Ultimately, whether or not you can obtain a PO will depend on very specific facts and circumstances of your case. Protective orders are unique and very complex when analyzing your situation under the above parameters for a PO, but where granted, have significant implications. Give this, you should seek skilled legal counsel to help navigate the complex and murky waters of protective orders. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys handle all facets of protective orders and practice throughout the State of Indiana. This blog post is written by Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. advocates. This blog is not intended as specific legal advice or a solicitation for services. It is an advertisement.