What types of order for protections are there? How long do they last?
An order for protection is a civil court order intended to provide protection from domestic/family violence, harassment, stalking, or a sex offense. There are two types of orders:
Ex parte orders for protection: An ex parte order can be issued as soon as you file your petition, without the abuser being present or notified beforehand, if you are the victim of domestic/family violence. However, the court can not issue an ex parte order based only on harassment.1 Either party (you or the abuser) then has 30 days from the date the abuser is served with the ex parte order to request a hearing on the ex parte order for protection. The court will notify both parties by mail of the date and time of the hearing. In some cases, the judge will order a hearing to take place within 30 days from when the petition is filed even if neither party requests it.2 If no hearing is requested, the ex parte order for protection can last for two years after the date it was given unless another date is ordered by the court.3
Final orders for protection: A final order for protection is one that is issued after a court hearing in which you and the abuser both have the right to attend a hearing and present evidence (i.e., testimony, witnesses, etc.). You must attend that hearing even if the abuser does not. You can still get a final order even if the abuser does not attend, as long as s/he was served with notice of the hearing. If you do not go to the hearing, your ex parte order may expire and you may have to start the process over again. If you are given a final order after a hearing, it will generally last for two years, unless otherwise stated.3 Orders may also be extended beyond the two years. See How do I change or extend the order?
Please refer to the Indiana Courts website to download the necessary forms and get more information about orders for protection. You may also find the court forms you need on our Indiana Download Court Forms page.
1 IC § 34-26-5-9(a), (b)
2 IC § 34-26-5-10(a), (b)
3 IC § 34-26-5-9(f)