The Indiana Civil Order Protection Act focuses on rapid intervention where domestic violence occurs and/or stalking and/or certain sex offenses. This allows a trial court to review a petition alleging such offenses and issue an ex parte order (without a hearing based on the petition). As a general constitutional principle, due process requires a hearing with all parties present before a court issues an order such as this.
To protect victims, and minimize abuse of the process, the policy of the “Indiana Civil Protection Order Act…aims to provide prompt resolutions to protective order petitions.” Thus when these are granted on an ex parte basis, they are set for hearing quickly or there is a right to ask for a hearing within 30 days.
Where the protective order is granted on an ex parte basis, the question sometimes arises whether to challenge it? For the party subject to such an order, it may have significant practical implications, such as if the parties work at the same place, encounter each other on a daily basis, or otherwise life would cause violation in normal course of affairs.
With a hearing, if the protected person prevails, the other has the domestic protective order issued against them for up to two years. Such a protective order Brady disqualifies the person, meaning he or she cannot purchase or possess firearms. Doing so is a violation the Gun Control Act and a felony. Thus, for persons, such as police officers, this has the potential to interfere with his or her livelihood.
So the bottom line is if you have a protective order hearing or one is set, you need to be prepared. Often this is difficult because of the vague nature of the allegations. This may require you depose potential witnesses et cetera to make your case. This takes time, and a continuance may be necessary. However, these are somewhat disfavored in these cases except for good cause. If this is your situation, make your decision to retain counsel and challenge the protective order immediately to protect your rights.
This blog post is written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. It is for general educational purposes. It is not intended to be a solicitation for legal services. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys are located in Indianapolis, but defend and otherwise handle protective order issues, such as on appeal, throughout Indiana.