Obtaining a Protective Order at Home
If you need to ESCAPE this reading:
In this post, I want to jump right to the point as time may be limited depending on who is reading this...
You can still obtain a Protective Order (PO) if you or your child(ren) are experiencing abuse, harassment, and stalking - even if you are living with your abuser. A petition for a PO can be filed online, for free at https://www.in.gov/judiciary/selfservice/2352.htm There is a red ESCAPE button you can hit that takes you to a new and different page should you be interrupted. You do not have to have an attorney or advocate to file one, but it can help if you are confused.
When you file for one, you can ask to receive electronic notifications (text message or email) of approval of the order, when the abuser is served, and other events in the case. This allows you immediate and possibly private notification of these matters. If you have any questions on how to obtain or file a PO, do not hesitate to contact my office, an attorney, or an advocate. We are here to help!
If you have some time and are in a safe place to read this some more, I have outlined some additional information on protective orders, that is helpful to understanding terms, the 2 kinds of POs, and other issues.
2 Kinds of Protective Order:
Ex Parte Order for Protection - is issued without a hearing, usually because the Court has deemed there is an immediate and currently a very dangerous situation which would result in immediate harm or death to the person/child(ren). This Order is effective immediately and can be heard by the court at a later date.
Order for Protection - is issued AFTER the Court holds a hearing on the Petition for Order of Protection. You will receive notice of a hearing date and must attend, present evidence, and then the Court decides whether to issue an order. This may happen because there in not an immediate threat of harm or death, in the Court's opinion, or they want to hear more evidence as to the claims.
Petitioner: the person who files for the PO
Respondent: the person accused of inflicting the abuse/harm who is a FAMILY member or LIVES in the house of the Petitioner. OR a person who has stalked, harassed, or committed a sexual offense against the Petitioner.
Family member or Household Member is: married spouses, divorced spouses, current dating or have dated, involved sexually, have a child together, or related by blood or adoption, related by marriage.
A judge can order the Respondent to be immediately removed from the home.
A judge can order the Respondent to give use of the home, car, or other personal items that are necessary and to pay certain fees, expenses, bills, and child support.
A PO can protect an animal/pet
Make sure you include any cases you and the Respondent have been involved in on the Petition for PO - (divorce, paternity, guardianship, adoption, custody).
If/when you get the PO make multiple copies for you to give to your employer, children's school, landlord, keep on in your car, in your home.
Since you can file online now, you DO NOT need to make all the copies as stated in the instructions online. Currently (04/11/2020) online is the best and fastest way to get a PO.
If you feel like your life or your children's lives are in immediate damage, please call 911 or your local police department then file a PO.