A protective order is a court order that orders a person to have no contact or communication with the person requesting the order. There are TWO types of Protective Orders in KY:
- Emergency Protective Order (EPO) & Domestic Violence Order (DVO) (Created by KRS chapter 403)
- Must be Family Members (a spouse or ex-spouse, grandparent, grandchild, parent/stepparent, child/stepchild OR part of an unmarried couple that live or have lived together and have a child in common
- Temporary Interpersonal Protective Order (TIPO) } Interpersonal Protective Order (IPO) (Created by KRS chapter 456)
- In a Dating Relationship (have or have had a romantic or intimate relationship OR a victim of stalking or sexual assault (no relationship is required)
Protective order cases are different from criminal cases. Protective orders are intended to prevent future acts of violence or abuse.
Temporary Protective Orders
The court may issue an emergency protective order (EPO) in domestic violence cases or a temporary interpersonal protective order (TIPO) in dating violence and stalking/ sexual assault cases. These are short-term orders intended to stop violence and abuse by placing restrictions on the respondent’s actions until a hearing may be held by the court, usually within 14 days.
Long-Term Protective Orders
Domestic violence orders (DVO) and interpersonal protective orders (IPO) can last up to three years. These orders are intended to stop violence and abuse by placing restrictions on a respondent after a court hearing.
You can request protection for yourself, your children and/or other persons who you believe may need protection.
Where do I file a petition for a protective order?
To file a petition for a protective order, visit the Office of the Circuit Court Clerk in your county of residence or in the county where you are currently residing if you left your home to get away from the abuse. There is an Office of Circuit Court Clerk in every Kentucky county. For contact information for all 120 Offices of the Circuit Court Clerk, visit https://courts.ky.gov/courts/clerks and select a county.
You can obtain a protective order 24 hours a day.
There are no fees or costs for filing a petition.
How do I fill out the petition?
You will be asked to provide information about you and the respondent. It is important to provide as much information about the respondent as possible – such as date of birth, Social Security number and address – so that he or she may be served with any order that may be issued. Your address and date of birth will be kept confidential. You will be asked to list any children you and the respondent have in common and you can request that these children be protected by any order that may be issued. Under “Motion for Relief,” you can request the protection that you believe is appropriate for your situation. You will be asked to swear that the information you provided is true.
What happens after the petition is filed?
The petition will be immediately submitted to a judge or a trial commissioner for review. If a judge issues an EPO, TIPO or a summons, a hearing will be scheduled within 14 days to determine whether a long-term order is needed. You will receive something that shows you the date and time for your hearing. Law enforcement will then attempt to serve the protective order or summons on the respondent. A protective order does not go into effect until the respondent is served with a copy of the order or is notified about the protective order by law enforcement. A protective order (EPO/TIPO) is effective until the court hearing is held, usually within 14 days.
What should you bring to the hearing?
This may be the only hearing in the case, so you will need to bring any witnesses you may have and any documents that may be evidence of what has happened, such as police reports, photos and medical records. If you are asking for child support, bring pay stubs and tax returns if possible. All of this information will be made part of the court record.
What can happen at the hearing?
At a full hearing, the court hears testimony from you, the respondent and any other witnesses. The court may dismiss the case or issue a DVO or IPO (domestic violence order or interpersonal protective order), which may include any of the following terms:
- Order the respondent to have no contact with you or other persons except as directed by the judge.
- Order the respondent not to go near a specified residence, school or place of employment of the petitioner.
- Order the respondent not to abuse or threaten you.
- Order the respondent not to damage or dispose of your property.
- Order the respondent to leave your residence.
- Grant temporary custody of children.
- Grant child support.
- Order counseling.
- Anything else needed to eliminate future acts of violence.
You should carefully read all orders you receive. If you have questions about what your order means, contact your attorney (if you have one), a local domestic violence program or a victim’s advocate.
What if the respondent violates the protective order?
A protective order can be enforced in any Kentucky county. Other states may enforce the order, but it should be registered in any state where you move to or plan to stay for an extended period of time. If the respondent violates the protective order, your options may include:
- Calling the police, who may be able to arrest the respondent.
- Going back to the court that issued the protective order to ask that the respondent be held in contempt for violating the order.
- Going to the county attorney’s office to see if the respondent can be charged with a crime for violating the protective order.
How do I change or extend a protective order?
If you need to change the terms of a protective order, you must file a motion to amend with the Office of the Circuit Court Clerk in the county where you obtained your protective order. Either party can file a motion to amend an order. A judge will then review the motion and make a decision. Only the judge can change some or all of the terms of an order. If you wish to have the protective order extended past its expiration date, you must file a motion with the court giving your reason(s) for the request. The motion must be filed before the order expires.
If you are in need of a filing, defending or amending a Protective Order, contact the O’Bryan and O’Bryan Law Office today. Using the form on this page will direct your submission to one of our lawyers who can help. You can also call our office at 502-448-8400 to speak to an attorney today.