Indianapolis Civil Protective Order Lawyer
Domestic violence is sadly a common problem in Indiana. Many people live in fear of violence–or threats of violence–from someone close to them. In other cases, individuals are the target of other terrorizing behaviors, such as stalking, that place their personal safety at risk.
The legal system offers help to people targeted by such acts by authorizing Indiana judges to issue civil protective orders. Also known as a protection or restraining order, these legal decrees carry serious consequences if the subject of the order violates its terms. So whether you are the person seeking such relief, or the person accused of engaging in domestic violence or stalking, it is important to work with a qualified Indianapolis civil protective order lawyer who will help protect your rights during this process. At Rigney Law LLC, our attorneys understand how to gather and present the necessary evidence in protective order cases and we strive to obtain the best possible results for our clients.
Indiana Judges Can Issue Temporary Protective Orders Without a Hearing
Under Indiana law, a person requesting a civil protective order (the petitioner) must present evidence that the individual they are seeking the order against (the respondent) has physically harmed them or placed them in fear of physical harm. This can include a family or household member who has committed an act of domestic violence. But it can also apply to a respondent who has stalked or committed a sexual offense against the petitioner. If the alleged victim is a minor, their parent, guardian, or other legal representative may file for a protective order on their behalf.
One aspect of civil protective orders that is often difficult to understand is that such orders may be issued ex parte. This means that while normally both sides to a legal dispute would have a chance to present their case before a court rules, a judge can issue a civil protective order after hearing from just the petitioner. Such ex parte orders are considered valid and enforceable once they are actually served on the respondent.
Now, ex parte civil protective orders are temporary. The court must hold a hearing within 30 days and afford the respondent a chance to present their case. Following such a hearing, the court can still decide to affirm the original protective order. Only now the order is considered final, which in Indiana means it will last 2 years by default, unless the judge decides on a different duration. (For sexual or repeat violent offenders, a civil protective order may last indefinitely.)
Contact Rigney Law Today
Civil protective orders are a serious matter. They typically prohibit or severely restrict the respondent’s ability to contact or communicate with the petitioner or their family. In many cases, this includes staying away from the petitioner’s residence or workplace. Violation of such orders can lead to criminal charges and possible jail time.
So if you are involved in a situation where you either need to seek or defend against a civil protective order, it is imperative that you receive sound legal advice. If you need representation from an Indianapolis civil protective order lawyer, contact Rigney Law LLC today to schedule a consultation.