Step 2: Fill out the necessary forms.
The clerk will provide you with the forms that you need to file and the clerk may help you fill out the forms if you request help. You can also access the forms on our Indiana Download Court Forms page. On the petition, you are the “Petitioner” and the abuser is the “Respondent.” You will fill out two main forms:
- Petition for an order for protection – This form is used to tell the judge why you need protection, to describe what happened, and to list every kind of relief you are asking for. It is not confidential. The abuser will see it. When you are asked to put your address on the form, only put a safe mailing address – it doesn’t have to be your actual home address. If you prefer, you can enroll in the Attorney General’s Address Confidentiality Program and use that address instead. If you are staying at a shelter, give a post office box, not a street address.
- Confidential form - This is the form used by the clerk to record important information about the people involved in the case. The information on this form is confidential according to state law. The only people who will have access to it are law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and court and clerk staff. This form must be submitted with the petition at the time the case is filed.
Carefully fill out the forms. On the petition for an order for protection, write about the incidents of violence, including the use or threatened use of any weapons. Use descriptive language - words like “slapping,” “hitting,” “grabbing,” “threatening,” “choking,” etc. - that fits your situation. Include details and dates, if possible. Be specific. If you are including a threat that the abuser said, try to use the exact words that s/he used instead of summarizing the threat.
Take all of your completed forms to the clerk’s office. Don’t sign and date the petition until you are in front of the clerk since photo ID may be required to notarize your signature. The clerk will bring your petition to a judge.
If you need assistance filling out the form, a domestic violence organization or lawyer may be able to provide you with help. See our Indiana Places that Help page for the location of an organization near you.