Protective Orders are frequently sought in domestic relations matters ranging from paternity to divorce and sometimes reaching to third parties. They are quasi-civil in nature, meaning that they are not handled by prosecutors as most criminal matters are; However, violation of a protective order does carry with it the potential for a criminal charge, arrest and prosecution.
Frequently protective orders are sought in relationships that have become hostile and are filed in conjunction with other court filings, such as a dissolution, or to establish paternity, or contempts. Most courts in Indiana will consolidate the protective order with the other matters, so that they are heard by the same Judge (or Magistrate).
If your significant other has made threats of physical harm against you, or has physically harmed you, or placed you in fear of physical harm, these are reasons to seek a protective order. The fear must be reasonable, meaning an average person would consider the threats or contact are meant to place a person in fear.
The purpose of a protective order is to stop the abuse or harassment of a party, in the form of either verbal or physical abuse. For example, no abusive phone calls or harassing phone calls, such as calling multiple times a day.
It is important to remember that a Protective Order is a piece of paper and if you are truly in fear of serious harm from a significant other, the best advice is to first and foremost make sure you are somewhere safe.
A court may grant a protective order without a hearing (exparte), or set the request for a protective order for a hearing, or deny the request for a protective order.
We hope that you have found this information to be helpful. This is not intended to be legal advice. As part of our practice, CIYOU & DIXON, P.C. frequently handles matters involving protective orders and helps clients determine if they are necessary. This blog post was written by Attorney, Julie Dixon.