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, stalking, or a sex offense. There are two types of orders:
Ex parte orders for protection: Ex parte orders are generally issued as an emergency response as soon as you file your petition, without the abuser being present or notified beforehand. For the order to be effective, the abuser has to be served with the order. Either party (you or the abuser) then has 30 days from the date the abuser is served with the order to request a hearing on the ex parte order for protection. (In cases where certain types of relief are requested or granted, such as excluding the abuser from the home or taking away the abuser's firearms, the judge can order a hearing to take place within 30 days from when the petition is filed even if neither party requests it.) The hearing, in most circumstances, must be held within 30 days after the request for a hearing is filed or ordered by the judge. The court will notify both parties by first class mail of the date and time of the hearing.1 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.2
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 be present and present evidence (i.e., testimony, witnesses, etc.) in court. 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.2 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 IN Download Court Forms page.
1 IC § 34-26-5-10
2 IC § 34-26-5-9(e)