Indiana Restraining Orders

  1. Indiana Civil Protection Order Act ("CPOA")

    1. Introduction

      Indiana’s Civil Protection Order Act (“CPOA”)1 authorizes issuance of an order for protection where a petitioner shows violence by a family or household member, stalking, or a sex offense has occurred.2 If a victim of nonconsensual publication of intimate photographs or videos is also a victim of domestic, stalking, or a sex offense, he or she may seek a restraining order against the person publishing such materials on these bases.

      A petition for a restraining order may be brought in addition to any other civil claims the petitioner may have against the person publishing such materials. There are no court fees when a petition files a request for a restraining order.3

    2. Text of Statute(s)

        IND. CODE §§ 34-26-5-1 et seq.

    1. Ind. Code § 34-26-5. 

    2. See Parkhurst v. Van Winkle, 786 N.E.2d 1159, 1161–62 (Ind. Ct. App. 2003) (indicating that CPOA provides that, for purposes of CPOA, "domestic or family violence" also includes stalking and sex offenses and that there is no requirement that the alleged stalking or sex offense be committed by a family or household member). 

    3. Ind. Code § 34-26-5-16. 

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  2. CPOA – Protection Orders for Domestic Violence

    1. Additional Information for Protection Orders

      The Indiana Legislature has indicated that the CPOA “shall be construed to promote the: (1) protection and safety of all victims of domestic or family violence in a fair, prompt, and effective manner; and (2) prevention of future domestic and family violence.”1

      If a petitioner alleges that domestic or family violence has occurred, a court may issue or modify a protective order ex parte (without a hearing and without a response from the other side).2 If a restraining order is issue ex parte, the court may, upon request, set a hearing to occur no later than 30 days receiving such a request.3 A court cannot deny a request for a protective order based on domestic violence based solely on the lapse of time in between the act of domestic violence and the petition for a restraining order.4

      1) Additional Statutory Text

      “Domestic or family violence” means, except for an act of self-defense, the occurrence of at least one (1) of the following acts committed by a family or household member:

        (1) Attempting to cause, threatening to cause, or causing physical harm to another family or household member.

        (2) Placing a family or household member in fear of physical harm.

        (3) Causing a family or household member to involuntarily engage in sexual activity by force, threat of force, or duress.

        (4) Beating (as described in Ind. Code § 35-46-3-0.5(2)), torturing (as described in Ind. Code § 35-46-3-0.5(5)), mutilating (as described in Ind. Code § 35-46-3-0.5(3)), or killing a vertebrate animal without justification with the intent to threaten, intimidate, coerce, harass, or terrorize a family or household member.

      For purposes of Ind. Code § 34-26-5, domestic and family violence also includes stalking (as defined in Ind. Code § 35-45-10-1) or a sex offense under Ind. Code § 35-42-4, whether or not the stalking or sex offense is committed by a family or household member.5

    2. Cases

      Research is ongoing. A search of Indiana law on these issues did not reveal any cases that are factually relevant or analogous to WMC’s target situations.

    3. Practice Pointers

      Courts are authorized to tailor protective orders in the case of protective orders issued as a result of domestic violence.6

    1. Ind. Code § 34-26-5-1; Aiken v. Stanley, 816 N.E.2d 427, 430 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004). 

    2. Ind. Code § 34-26-5-9. 

    3. Ind. Code § 34-26-5-10. 

    4. Ind. Code § 34-26-5-13. 

    5. Ind. Code § 34-6-2-34.5. 

    6. See Moore v. Moore, 904 N.E.2d 353, 358 (Ind. Ct. App. 2009) (“Generally, a trial court has discretion to grant protective relief according to the terms of the CPOA. However, a finding by the trial court that domestic or family violence has occurred sufficient to justify the issuance of an order for protection means that the respondent represents a credible threat to the safety of the petitioner. Therefore, upon a showing of domestic or family violence by a preponderance of the evidence, the trial court shall grant relief necessary to bring about a cessation of the violence or the threat of violence.”) (internal citations and quotations omitted). 

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  3. CPOA – Protection Orders for Stalking

    1. Additional Statutory Text

      For purposes of Ind. Code § 34-26-5, domestic and family violence also includes stalking (as defined in Ind. Code § 35-45-10-1) or a sex offense under Ind. Code § 35-42-4, whether or not the stalking or sex offense is committed by a family or household member.1

      “Stalk” means a knowing or an intentional course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another person that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened. The term does not include statutorily or constitutionally protected activity.2

      “Harassment” means conduct directed toward a victim that includes but is not limited to repeated or continuing impermissible contact that would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress and that actually causes the victim to suffer emotional distress. Harassment does not include statutorily or constitutionally protected activity, such as lawful picketing pursuant to labor disputes or lawful employer-related activities pursuant to labor disputes.3

      “Impermissible contact” includes but is not limited to knowingly or intentionally following or pursuing the victim.4

    2. Cases

      Research is ongoing. A search of Indiana law on these issues did not reveal any cases that are factually relevant or analogous to WMC’s target situations.

    3. Practice Pointers

      To obtain a protective order under the CPOA, the petitioner must establish by a preponderance of the evidence at least one of the allegations in the petition.5

    1. Ind. Code § 34-6-2-34.5. 

    2. Ind. Code § 35-45-10-1. 

    3. Ind. Code § 35-45-10-2. 

    4. Ind. Code § 35-45-10-3. 

    5. Andrews v. Ivie, 956 N.E.2d 720, 723 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011). 

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