PROTECTIVE ORDERS

In Elkhart County, protective order paperwork is available to victims of domestic or family violence, stalking or a sex offense. If you are interested in obtaining an Order of Protection, the first step is to contact our Victim Assistance Services to obtain necessary paperwork to start the process. You will then schedule an appointment to meet with an advocate in person to prepare your request for electronic filing with the courts. There is no filing fee for a protective order, and criminal charges do not actually have to be filed. Victims can request protective orders against more than one person, but each protective order is a separate court case.

 

Protective Orders Against a Juvenile

If a juvenile is under 18 and still lives at home, any court of record can hear the petition; if a hearing results, the case may be transferred to juvenile court.

Definitions

Petitioner - a person applying for a protective order
Respondent - family or household member of the petitioner or a person who allegedly stalked or committed a sex offense against the petitioner
Family or household member - a person with one of these relationships with the petitioner

  • Married or used to be married (current or former spouse)
  • Currently or formerly dating
  • Currently or formerly engaged in a sexual relationship
  • Have a child together
  • Related by blood or adoption
  • Currently or formerly related by marriage
  • Currently or formerly one party was the guardian, ward, custodian or foster parent of the other party or a had similar relationship
  • A minor child (under age 18) of a person in one of the types of relationships described above
  • Other - no family/household relationship

Stalking - "A knowing or 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." "Course of conduct" means two or more incidents (Indiana law IC 35-45-10-4-1).

Harassment (as used in the stalking law) - "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."

Impermissible contact (as used in the stalking law) includes but is not limited to "knowingly or intentionally following or pursuing the victim."

Sex offense - one of the following crimes (Indiana law IC 35-42-4):

  • Rape
  • Criminal deviate conduct
  • Child molesting, exploitation, solicitation or seduction
  • Vicarious sexual gratification
  • Sexual battery
  • Sexual misconduct with a minor