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How to Get an Order of Protection

How to Get an Order of Protection

An order of protection is a legal tool used by victims to establish and maintain their safety from a mental and/or physical abuser. Often referred to as restraining orders, their purpose is to act as a preventative measure to ease, eliminate, and mitigate further harm or threat to an individual. Protection orders are the result of a simple process as long as you meet the basic requirements. The team of experienced lawyers at Trapp Law, LLC can help.

Cost

Filing a protective order requires no cost and specialists guide you through the process. It’s helpful to know the date of birth or address of the respondent – the person you are filing the protective order against.

Filing for an Order

You can obtain a petition during normal business hours at the county courthouse in the county where you live, or where the abuser lives, or where the abuse took place. Tell the civil court clerk you want to file a petition for an order for protection. The clerk will give you the forms. Fill out a non-confidential petition, as well as a standardized confidential form. Some counties may require that you go to a particular type of court or a particular division in a courthouse.

Carefully fill out the forms. Write about the incidents of violence, use or threatened use of any weapons using descriptive language that fit 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 he used instead of summarizing the threat.

If possible, review these documents carefully with the assistance of a clerk or an advocate. Remember that you are signing this legal petition under oath, confirm all of the information is accurate.  Do not sign and date the petition until you are in front of the clerk. Have photo identification to verify your identity. The clerk will bring your petition to a judge.

Minors

If you are a minor, your parent, legal guardian, or another representative may file a petition for an order for protection for you on your behalf. As with an adult, a minor has to prove their eligibility for an order. You may file an order for protection against a minor. As long as you meet the requirements to file for an order for protection, it is irrelevant if the abuser is a minor. However, the court may transfer the matter to another court that handles cases against juveniles if the case is set down for a hearing.

Qualifying Relationship

When filing the protective order against someone, a qualifying relationship with the individual is necessary. A “qualifying relationship” is comprised of but not limited to a husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, blood or marriage, a victim of sexual offense(s), or stalking connection to the accused.

Legal Representation in Indianapolis

Although a lawyer is not necessary to file for an order for protection, it may be to your advantage to seek legal counsel. This is especially important if the abuser has obtained a lawyer.  If the abuser does not have a lawyer, it is wise that you contact a domestic violence program or lawyer to protect your legal rights.

If you cannot afford a lawyer but want one to help you with your case, ask the court staff for information available on legal assistance and domestic violence organizations.

Enforcement

After the documents are complete, the clerk will file the order with the court and the judge will rule on the case, usually the same day. If the grants the order, an officer of the court will serve the respondent and you will receive a copy. A temporary order of protection usually lasts from the date the order is issued by a judge through the hearing date for the matter. Permanent orders of protection can last several years depending upon the severity of the case. Contact the police immediately if the respondent violates the order.