What protections can I get in an order for protection due to domestic violence?
An ex parte order for protection (without notice to the abuser and without a hearing) can:
1. Prohibit the abuser from committing, or threatening to commit, acts of domestic or family violence, stalking, or sex offenses against you and your family or household members. Note: Although you may be able to add your children onto your order as “protected parties,” this only means that the respondent cannot threaten violence or commit any acts of violence against them. It generally does not interfere with the an existing parenting time or custody order although you may have to exchange the children through a third party. If there is no existing custody order, the court may deny parenting time until such an order is established.
2. Prohibit the abuser from harassing or annoying you through:
a) Telephone, email, text message, etc.
b) direct contact (face to face)
c) indirect contact (sending messages to you through another person).
3. Order the abuser to stay away from:
a) your residence
b) your school
c) your work and
d) other places where you and your family or household members usually go.
4. Remove the abuser from your residence, regardless of who owns the residence.
5. Order possession and use of the home, an automobile, and other important personal items (such as critical medications or household items that you need), regardless of who actually owns these items. Note: the court can order a law enforcement officer to accompany you to the home to ensure that you are safely put back into the home (if you had left) and that you can get your automobile, and important personal items. The officer can also supervise your or the abuser’s removal of personal belongings.
6. Order other relief necessary to provide for your safety and the safety of your family or household members on the petition.1
Note: If you request and/ or the judge orders numbers 4, 5, and/or 6 in the list above, the judge must then hold a hearing within 30 days to give the abuser the right to object to those parts of the order. The judge must also order a hearing within 30 days if you request that any of the relief listed below in numbers 2, 3, 4 and/or 5 be included in your final order for protection.2
A final order for protection (issued after a hearing) can:
1. Give you everything mentioned in the list above.
2. Order the abuser to pay you money for various expenses, including:
a. Court costs
b. Attorney fees
c. Rent/mortgage payments on your residence
d. Child support and maintenance
e. Medical expenses
f. Counseling and/or shelter
g. Repair or replacement of damaged property.
3. Make a parenting time arrangement, which can include the following to ensure your safety or your child’s safety:
a. Requiring supervised parenting time between the abuser and your child or
b. Denying parenting time altogether to the abuser.
4. Prohibit the abuser from possessing firearms, ammunition, or deadly weapons.
5. If the abuser owns a firearm, ammunition, or a deadly weapon, the judge may order him to surrender those items to a local law enforcement agency for the time that you have your order for protection or until such date that is ordered by the court.
6. Pay the costs and expenses that come with the use of a GPS tracking device (if appropriate).3
1 IC § 34-26-5-9(b)
2 IC § 34-26-5-10(b)
3 IC § 34-26-5-9(c)