En Español
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or (TTY) 1-800-787-3224

Know the Laws: Kentucky

Interpersonal Protective Orders

Print this page
View by Section

Basic info and definitions

back to topWhat is an interpersonal protective order?

An interpersonal protective order is a civil court order that protects you from an abuser if you are a victim of:

However, if the person who has sexually assaulted or stalked you is a family member or an intimate partner with whom you live(d), have a child, or married, you would file for a protective order based on domestic violence instead.  Please see Protective Orders / Domestic Violence Orders for more information.

* KRS § 456.030(1)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topWhat is the legal definition of dating violence and abuse, sexual assault, and stalking?

Dating violence and abuse means any of the following if the behavior occurs between people who are in or have been in a dating relationship:

  • physical injury;
  • serious physical injury;
  • stalking;
  • sexual assault; or
  • putting someone in fear of immediate physical injury, serious physical injury, sexual abuse, or sexual assault.*

Sexual assault means an act of rape, sodomy, or sexual abuse in any degree (which you can find on our KY Statutes page - see Chapter 510) or incest.**  The sexual assault does not have to be committed by someone with whom you are (or have been) in a dating relationship.

Stalking is defined as the actions described in the crimes of stalking in the first degree or stalking in the second degree.***  The stalking does not have to be committed by someone with whom you are (or have been) in a dating relationship.

* KRS § 456.010(2)
** KRS § 456.010(6)
*** KRS § 456.010(7)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topWhat types of interpersonal protective orders are there? How long do they last?

There are two types of interpersonal protective orders:

Temporary interpersonal protective orders
The judge will review your petition for an interpersonal protective order immediately after you file in court.*  If the judge finds that there is an immediate and present danger of dating violence and abuse, sexual assault, or stalking, the judge can issue an ex parte temporary interpersonal protective order.**  The judge will also schedule a hearing for a final interpersonal protective order within 14 days (assuming that the judge believes from reading your petition that dating violence and abuse, sexual assault, or stalking has occurred).*

Final interpersonal protective orders
A final interpersonal protective order can only be issued only after the abuser has an opportunity to attend a court hearing in which you and the abuser both have a chance to present evidence, witnesses, testimony, etc.  If after a hearing, the judge finds that dating violence and abuse, sexual assault, or stalking has occurred, the judge can issue a final interpersonal protective order that can last up to three years.***  The order may also be renewed – see Can an order be extended? for more information.

* KRS § 456.040(1)(a)
** KRS § 456.040(2)(a)
*** KRS § 456.060(1),(3)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topHow can an interpersonal protective order help me?

In a temporary or final interpersonal protective order, the judge can order that the abuser not:

  • commit any acts of dating violence and abuse, stalking, or sexual assault;
  • contact you or any other person identified by the judge;
  • throw away or damage any of your property;
  • come within 500 feet of you and any other person identified in the order; and/or
  • come within a specific distance of your home, school, workplace, or other place you go to frequently. (Note: When asking the judge to restrict the abuser from a place to which you frequently go, the judge will first hear testimony from you and the abuser about the location and only restrict the abuser from areas where there is a specific, definite danger to you or another person protected by the order.)*

The judge can also order any other conditions that s/he believes would prevent future acts of dating violence and abuse, stalking, or sexual assault, but the judge cannot order that you (the petitioner) do any particular actions.**  In dating violence and abuse cases, the judge can order that you and/or the abuser receive counseling services available in the community.***

* KRS § 456.060(1)(a),(2)(a),(b)
** KRS § 456.060(1)(b)
*** KRS § 456.060(1)(c)

Did you find this information helpful?

Who can get an interpersonal protective order

back to topAm I eligible for an interpersonal protective order?

You may file for an interpersonal protective order if you are a victim of:

You may also file on behalf of a minor who qualifies for an interpersonal protective order if you are an adult (even if you are not related to the parent/guardian of the minor).*

To file based on dating violence and abuse, there must have been “dating relationship,” which the law defines as “a relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.”***

Note: If the person who has sexually assaulted or stalked you is a family member or an intimate partner with whom you live(d) or have a child, or s/he is a current/former spouse, you would file for a protective order based on domestic violence instead.  Please see Protective Orders / Domestic Violence Orders for more information

* KRS § 456.030(1)
** See KRS §§ 456.030(1), 456.010(1),(6),(7)
*** KRS § 456.010(1)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topHow will a judge decide if I was in a dating relationship with the abuser?

The judge may look at the following factors to decide if your relationship with the abuser was a dating relationship:

  • whether you expressed a romantic interest in one another;
  • whether the relationship was characterized by an expectation of affection;
  • your attendance at social outings as a couple;
  • the frequency and type of interaction between you and the abuser, including whether you have been involved together over time and continuously during the course of the relationship;
  • the length of the relationship and how long ago it ended (if applicable); and
  • other signs of a substantial connection that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a dating relationship existed.*

* KRS § 456.010(1)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topCan a minor file for an interpersonal protective order?

Yes.  A minor can file on his/her own or  an adult can file for an interpersonal protective order on behalf of a minor victim of dating violence and abuse, sexual assault, or stalking.*  The adult who files it for the minor does not have to be his/her parent or guardian.

* KRS § 456.030(1)(d)

Did you find this information helpful?

Steps for getting an interpersonal protective order

back to topWhat are the steps for getting an interpersonal protective order?

The steps to get an interpersonal protective order are similar to the steps to get a domestic violence protective order, but you may fill out different forms.  If you have any questions, you can call the clerk of court.  You can find the contact information for your clerk on the KY Courthouse Locations page.

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topWhere can I file for an interpersonal protective order?

You can file a petition for an interpersonal protective order in the county where you live or a county to which you have fled in order to escape dating violence and abuse, stalking, or sexual assault.*

* KRS § 456.030(2)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topCan an interpersonal protective order be extended?

Yes.  When your final order is about to expire, you can apply in court for it to be renewed (reissued) for a period of up to 3 years.  There is no specific limit to the number of times that you can apply to renew your order.  However, if the order was never violated since it was issued, this may be considered by the judge when deciding whether or not to reissue the order.* 

* KRS § 456.060(3)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to top