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Know the Laws: Indiana

UPDATED May 24, 2016

Enforcing an Out-of-State Order in Indiana

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If you are planning to move to Indiana or are going to be in Indiana for any reason, your protection or restraining order can be enforced.

General rules for out-of-state orders in Indiana

back to topCan I get my order for protection enforced in Indiana? What are the requirements?

Yes. Your order for protection can be enforced in Indiana as long as:

  • It was issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, harassing behavior, sexual violence, or it was issued to prevent another person from coming near you or contacting you.*
  • The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case. (In other words, the court had the authority to hear the case.)
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
    • In the case of ex parte temporary and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled before the temporary order expires.**
Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

* 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
** 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b)

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back to topCan I have my out-of-state protection order changed, extended, or canceled in Indiana?

No.  Only the state that issued your protection order can change, extend, or cancel the order. You cannot have this done by a court in Indiana.

To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will have to file a motion or petition in the court where the order was issued.  You may be able to request that you attend the court hearing by telephone rather than in person, so that you do not need to return to the state where the abuser is living.  To find out more information about how to modify a restraining order, go to the Restraining Orders page for the state where your order was issued or contact a local domestic violence direct service provider.  You can find lawyers and advocates on our IN Where to Find Help page.

If your order does expire while you are living in Indiana, you may be able to get a new one issued in Indiana but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred in Indiana.  To find out more information on how to get an order for protection in Indiana, visit our IN Orders for Protection page.

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back to topI was granted temporary custody with my protection order. Will I still have temporary custody of my children in IN?

Yes.  As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,* Indiana can enforce a temporary custody order that is a part of a protection order.

To have someone read over your order and tell you if it meets this legal standard, contact a lawyer in your area.  To find a lawyer or legal aid program in your area, please visit the IN Finding a Lawyer page under the Where to Find Help tab at the top of this page.

* The federal laws are the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980.

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Registering your out-of-state order in Indiana

back to topWhat is the National Crime Information Center Registry? Who has access to it?

The National Crime Information Center Registry (NCIC) is a nationwide, electronic database that contains protective order information that is used by law enforcement agencies in the U.S, Canada, and Puerto Rico.  It is managed by the FBI and state law enforcement officials.  This database helps law enforcement officers track protective orders across state lines and allows law enforcement to identify orders from other states.

All law enforcement officials have access to it, but the information is encrypted so outsiders cannot access it.

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back to topHow do I register my order for protection in Indiana?

To register your protection order in Indiana, you need to fill out a Registration of Foreign Protection Order Form (PO-0119) and bring the form along with a certified copy of your order to the clerk at the court where you live.  The clerk will send the information to the local law enforcement agency for entrance into the Indiana Data and Communications System (IDACS) as well as the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Registry.*

If you need help registering your protection order, you can contact a local domestic violence organization in Indiana for assistance.  You can find contact information for organizations in your area here on our IN Where to Find Help page.

* IC §§ 5-2-9-6; 34-26-5-17

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back to topDo I have to register my Order for Protection in Indiana in order to get it enforced?

No.  Indiana state law gives full protection to an out-of-state protection order as long as you can show the officer a copy of the order that appears to be valid.*  The order does not have to be entered into the state or federal registry in order to be enforced by an Indiana police officer, but the officer does need to believe that it is a valid (real) order.**

* IC § 34-26-5-17
** IC §§ 34-26-5-17(e),(g)(1)

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back to topWill the abuser be notified if I register my protection order?

Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies to all U.S. states and territories, the court is not permitted to notify the abuser when a protective order has been registered or filed in a new state unless you specifically request that the abuser be notified.*  However, you may wish to confirm that the clerk is aware of this law before registering the order if your address is confidential.

However, remember that there may be a possibility that the abuser could somehow find out what state you have moved to.  It is important to continue to safety plan, even if you are no longer in the state where the abuser is living.  We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Staying Safe page.  You can also contact a local domestic violence organization to get help in developing a personalized safety plan. You will find contact information for organizations in your area on our IN State and Local Programs page.

* 18 USC § 2265(d)

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back to topWhat if I don't register my protection order? Will it be more difficult to have it enforced?

Neither federal nor IN state law require that you register your protection order in order to get it enforced, so it should not be more difficult to get your protection order enforced even if you do not register it in Indiana.  A police officer is required to enforce your order as long as you can show the officer a copy of the order that appears to be valid.*  This is why we highly recommend having at least one paper copy of your order at all times.

If you are unsure about whether registering your order is the right decision for you, you may want to contact a local domestic violence organization in your area.  An advocate there can help you decide what the safest plan of action is for you in Indiana.  To see a list of local domestic violence organizations in IN, go to IN Where to Find Help.

* IC §34-26-5-17(c),(e),(g)

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back to topDoes it cost anything to register my protection order?

No.  There is no fee for registering your protection order in Indiana.*

* IC §34-26-5-16

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