Victim Services

Unit 4: Legal Aspects

Protective Orders

Protective Order filing assistance

  • Available to students, staff, or faculty, who are victims of domestic violence or family violence, sexual assault or sex offense, or stalking.
  • Assistance in typing the forms to be filed with the Delaware County Clerk's Office.
  • Accompaniment to court with student, staff, or faculty, for the protective order hearing.

Link to the Indiana Protective Order Forms:

Protective Orders-Common Considerations and Questions-Indiana
1. Is there a fee to file for a protective order?
• There is no fee associated with filing a protective order. Many potential petitioners have been given the wrong information because in the previous years there was a filing fee.

2. When a client telephones or comes into the office for a protective order, what must the client need to have in order for the protective order to be filed?
• Current Address for respondent
• Date of Birth for respondent
• Victim of either domestic or family violence, stalking, or sex offense.

3. When will a hearing be set for the final protective order?
• If the court determines a hearing should be set for a protective order, it is set within two-four weeks after the petitioner has filed the protective order.
• The court may combine the protective order hearing along with any divorce hearings pending which could interfere with the above-mentioned timeframe.

4. How long is a protective order effective once the judge granted?
• The judge can grant a protective order for as long or as short as he/she deems necessary with the timeframe not to exceed two years.
• A permanent protective order does not mean permanent, it is for two years.

5. Who is the petitioner? Who is the Respondent?
• Petitioner: Person requesting protection.
• Respondent: Person whom the petitioner is asking for protection from.

6. Can a married woman or man get a protective order?
• Yes, a married person can file a protective order, and there does not need to be a divorce pending. This does become a little more difficult than that of the “average” protective order due to several more factors to consider, such as children, communicable property, and child support.

7. If only one name is on the lease, and it is the respondent’s name, can a protective order be granted?
• Yes, however the petitioner will need to find a safe place to reside, and then file for the protective order. The petitioner cannot force the defendant to move from the residence if the petitioner’s name is not on the lease-unless special circumstances have been worked out with the leasing agent.

8. Can a protective order be granted if there is dissolution of marriage/divorce pending?
• Yes, a protective order can be granted in addition to the court imposing a “TRO”, also known as temporary restraining order. A temporary restraining order is a court order restraining both parties from selling or destroying communicable property while the divorce is pending. It does not “protect” the petitioner from harm or abuse, and is not registered with the Delaware County dispatch as a protection order is.

9. What agency do we refer to if the client wants a Divorce, but cannot afford one, if the client considers himself or herself to be a victim of domestic violence?
• A Better Way collaborates with Indiana Legal services. 747-9107

10. What three things MUST we remind the client to do after filling out the protective order?
• Call the Delaware County Clerk’s office to check on the status of their filing to see if there is a court date.
• Document! Document! Document!
• Call our office if any police reports are filed, or if they are requesting an advocate present at the protective order hearing.

11. If the client is living in a confidential location and the respondent isn’t aware of this location, what do we put as the petitioner’s address?
• It is very important to make sure to ask the petitioner if the respondent is aware of their address, if he/she is not then make sure to put “SEE CONFIDENTIAL PAGE” in each section, which would normally require you to type their address.
• We do not want to be responsible for “giving” the respondent their address, everything typed into the protective order is considered public record EXCEPT the confidential page.

12. If the petitioner would like to include children on the protective order, and there is a custody order that allows the respondent to visit the children, what do you advise the petitioner?
• The petitioner has a right to include the children if he/she feels the children are in danger, or something has happened to cause reasonable fear of harm to the children. However, we must inform the clients that the judge may not go against a previous court order unless the petitioner can verify and show the court there is a significant reason to keep the respondent from the children.

13. Which courts are protective orders typically held?
• Depending on the monthly court calendar.
• If divorce is pending, the protective order hearing most likely heard in the corresponding court.

14. Can a petitioner request that a protective order hearing be held in a specific court?
• Yes, the petitioner can request that a specific court hear his/her case.
• The Delaware County Clerk’s office may not be able to place the case in the specific court if the court’s calendar is congested.

Office of Victim Services
1500 W. Neely
Health Center, Room 205
Muncie, IN 47306

Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Phone: 765-285-7844
Fax: 765-285-9063
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