If you are a victim in a pending criminal case you can request a No-Contact Order (NCO) from the Prosecutor’s Office; however, all such orders must be approved by a Judge. A No-Contact Order is typically issued at the time of the initial hearing, and sometimes before, and is immediately enforceable without requiring the victim to file a petition or appear at a hearing. It is an order in a pending criminal case following an arrest that the prosecutor oversees, applies to violent crimes, and is enforceable for the duration of criminal proceedings. A violation of a No-Contact Order is grounds for revocation of the defendant’s bond or probation. In addition, a violation of a No-Contact Order may also be punished by filing a separate charge of Invasion of Privacy, a Class B misdemeanor.
If you are a victim and have questions about a No-Contact Order, please contact Angela Capps, the Victim Assistance Coordinator, by telephone at (812) 948-5422.
Emergency Protective Orders
In Floyd County, an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) prohibits one or more individuals (termed “respondents”) from directly or indirectly contacting the petitioner, and from threatening, abusing, or harassing any member of the petitioner’s household. All such respondents must be over 18 years of age. Protective orders enable law enforcement officers to intervene at the earliest possible opportunity when threatening, harassing, or otherwise violent behavior occurs in domestic situations.
Violations of an active protective order should be reported to your local law enforcement agency as soon as possible after the offending behavior. If a police officer determines that there is probable cause that the protective order has been violated, the respondent may be arrested for Invasion of Privacy, a Class B Misdemeanor. However, this charge is automatically enhanced to a Class A Misdemeanor if the respondent has been convicted of a prior unrelated Invasion of Privacy charge. If the violation consists of Battery or Intimidation, Stalking or Trespass, additional criminal charges may be filed.
The judge can create various exceptions, or modifications, as conditions of the Protective Order, such as allowing contact for the purpose of child support or visitation. A judge can also order a number of conditions as part of the protective order, such as ordering a respondent to vacate a residence, pay child support, or not to possess firearms.
Under Indiana Law, protective orders are available for 1) victims of family or domestic violence, 2) stalking, or 3) sex offenses. If an individual falls within one of these categories, you can petition for a protective order in the county where the petitioner currently or temporarily resides, the county where the respondent resides, or the county where an offense occurred.
If a divorce is pending, the application for the protective order should be applied for in the court with jurisdiction over the divorce case.
In Floyd County an individual may apply for a protective order in the Floyd County Clerk’s Office, which is located in the City-County Building, during the hours between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Protective order applications are available in the Clerk’s office; there is no filing fee.
For a judge to approve a protective order, the petitioner must allege that the respondent has attempted to cause, threatened to cause, or is causing physical harm to the petitioner, or that the respondent is actually placing the petitioner in fear of physical harm. Protective orders are enforceable after they have been served upon the respondent by a law enforcement agency. Once a petition for a protective order is filed, the Court usually sets the matter for a hearing. The petitioner (victim) must appear in court on the date set by the Court. The respondent will be ordered to appear; however, because the respondent did not request the protective order they have the choice not to attend, and the Court will proceed without them. If the respondent waives their right to appear, the respondent will generally not be given another opportunity to respond and the petition is generally granted as requested by the petitioner.
The duration of a protective order is usually two years. However, the judge has the discretion to issue a protective order for as little time or as much time as determined appropriate. The petitioner can renew the protective order near the time that the order is scheduled to expire. A protective order may only be renewed one time. After one renewal, the petitioner may apply for a new protective order.
The Floyd County Prosecutor’s Office does not assist with protective orders. Protective orders are civil in nature and may not be handled by the Prosecutor’s Office.