Those faced with the threat or fear of violence may seek legal orders to prevent the accused person from continued contact or to establish distance between the respondent and the person filing the order.
Protective orders take several forms and must involve a court petition to seek protection through the use of particular language that restrains the accused’s behavior with it comes to interactions, visits, communications or mandated physical boundaries.
Types of protective orders
When it comes to restraining orders, there are two primary types available for potential petitioners in the state of Kentucky.
- Domestic violence: These orders prevent the accused person from continuing to follow, contact, threaten or monitor the petitioner and his or her immediate family without their consent. Family violence protective orders are appropriate when the accused person has committed assault, battery, criminal damage, trespassing or other felonies against or related to the petitioner.
- Interpersonal: This order is for those in a dating relationship who have never lived together or had children together. The qualifications for this order are otherwise similar.
These protective orders require various documents provided by the petitioner, documented evidence to prove the relationship, and an explanation as to why they believe the threat of violence is significant enough to require an order. Those who file with the court clerk can be either a minor or an adult, and the order can be for an abuser who is a minor or adult. The judge then considers the petition and may grant a temporary ex parte order (EPO). The EPO is then served to the abuser. The final step is a full court hearing, which is the only way to prevent the order from expiring. The abuser need not show up to have the judge issue the final Domestic Violence Order or Interpersonal Protective Order.
Common protective order provisions
Protective orders generally limit the behavior and movements of the accused through legal limits, but the extent of those limits depends on various terms and provisions outlined in the order.
Petitioners can request stay-away provisions that require the accused to remain at a determined distance from the petitioner and her or his family or complete no-contact conditions to prevent all communication, including through a third party.
Appropriate legal remedies are generally determined through witness testimony, established evidence and consultation to understand the severity of the threat to the petitioner’s safety.