Legal Information: Kentucky

Restraining Orders

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April 20, 2022

Am I eligible for an interpersonal protective order?

You may file for an interpersonal protective order due to:

An adult may also file on behalf of a minor who qualifies for an interpersonal protective order. The law doesn’t specifically say that the adult has to be the minor’s parent or guardian.1

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.”2

In addition, if someone is criminally convicted of any degree of rape, sodomy, or sexual abuse against you or for a criminal attempt, conspiracy, facilitation, or solicitation to commit any degree of rape, sodomy, or sexual abuse, an interpersonal protective order will automatically be issued on your behalf by the court that entered the judgment of conviction unless you request otherwise. In that case, the order can be effective for up to ten years, with the ability to renew it for up to ten years at a time.3

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

1 KRS §§ 456.030(1); 456.010(1), (6), (7), (8)
2 KRS § 456.010(1)
3 KRS § 510.037

How will a judge determine what qualifies as a "dating relationship"?

The judge may look at the following factors to decide if your relationship with the abuser comes under the legal definition of 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.1

1 KRS § 456.010(1)

Can a minor file for an interpersonal protective order?

The law says that an adult can file on behalf of a minor victim.1 The law is silent on whether the adult has to be the child’s parent or guardian. The law also doesn’t specifically say that a minor cannot file on his/her own. If you are a minor who wants to file your own petition without an adult helping you or if you want an adult to file for you who is not your parent or guardian, you may want to call your local courthouse to ask if this is possible.

1 KRS § 456.030(1)(d)

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