Under the Indiana Civil Protection Order Act (IC 34-26-5), courts can issue orders to protect people from domestic or family violence, stalking, or a sex offense. These court orders are called "Orders for Protection". There are two kinds of Orders for protection – an Ex Parte Order for Protection, which is issued without a hearing, and an Order for Protection Issued After a Hearing. Orders for Protection normally last two years, unless the judge decides on a different duration.
The person asking for the Order is called the "Petitioner." The Petitioner needs to file a petition on a court of record, against the other person, called the "Respondent." There are two different kinds of petitions a person can file: one kind allows a person to seek protection for himself or herself, and another kind allows a petitioner to ask for protection on behalf of a child.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: In order to file a case, you must have the Respondent’s
Correct date of birth or social security number;
Correct, current address.
Who can get a court order under this law?
The Indiana Civil Protection Order Act was passed to promote the protection and safety of all victims of domestic or family violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and to prevent future violence against such victims, In order to apply for protection under this law, a Petitioner needs to have been a victim of:
Domestic or family violence;
A sex offense.
"Domestic or family violence" means one or more of the following acts was committed by a family or household member:
*Attempting to cause, threatening to cause, or actually causing physical harm to another family or household member;
*Placing a family or household member in fear of physical harm;
*Causing a family or household member to involuntarily engage in sexual activity by force, threat of force, or duress – in other words, forcing someone to engage in a sexual act against the person’s will; and,
*Stalking and sex offenses are included in the definition.
The Respondent must be either a:
* Family or household member of the petitioner; or,
* Person who has committed stalking or a sex offense against the petitioner.
A "family or household member" is someone who has one of these kinds of relationships with the petitioner:
* The Petitioner and Respondent are now married to each other, or used to
be married to each other ("current or former spouse");
* The Petitioner and Respondent are now dating each other, or used to date each other;
* The Petitioner and Respondent are now engaged in a sexual relationship with each other, or used to be in a sexual relationship with each other;
* The Petitioner and the Respondent have a child in common;
* The Petitioner and Respondentare related by blood or adoption (for example, they are a brother and sister with the same parents);
* The Petitioner and Respondent are now related to each other by marriage,
* Or used to be related to each other by marriage (for example, they are step-brother and a step-sister);
*The Petitioner and Respondent are now, or used to be, in one of these kinds of relationships:
One of them was the other’s guardian;
* One of them was the other’s ward;
* One of them was the other’s custodian;
One of them was the other’s foster parent; or,
* A similar relationship
"Stalking" is defined by Indiana Law (IC 35-45-10-1) as: "a knowing or 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. "The term "course of conduct" means 2 or more incidents.
As used in the stalking law, "harassment" means: "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. Harassment does not include statutorily or constitutionally protected activity, such as lawful picketing pursuant to labor disputes or lawful employer-related activities pursuant to labor disputes."
As used in the stalking law, "impermissible contact" includes (but is not limited to):
"knowingly or intentionally following or pursuing the victim."
A "sex offense" means one of the following crimes under Indiana Law (IC 35-42-4):
* Criminal deviate conduct;
* Child molesting;
* Child exploitation;
* Vicarious sexual gratification;
* Child solicitation;
* Child seduction;
* Sexual battery; or,
* Sexual misconduct with a minor.
In order for a person to ask for an Order for Protection because he or she was a victim of stalking or a sex offense, it is not necessary for criminal charges to actually be filed. However, a victim of one of these kinds of crimes should always seek help from the police or sheriff and the prosecutor.
Forms to request a protective order may be obtained online at: