ESCAPE If you are the victim of domestic or sexual violence, or if you believe you or your children are in danger of being harmed by someone in your life, there is help for you. Throughout the state of Indiana, hundreds of trained advocates work every day to help victims find safety, and in many situations a protection order can be a useful tool.
What to Expect When Filing for a Protection Order
Indiana has an online system to petition for protection orders, which means that you can seek assistance in the security and privacy of an advocate's office while the advocate prepares and files the petition electronically. The advocate will interview you to discover the necessary information for the court filing and will allow you to review and edit the forms before they are submitted to the court. While an original signature is needed on the papers filed with the court, most agencies will deliver the signed forms to the clerk’s office on your behalf.
Enforcement of Protection Orders
Because all protection orders in Indiana are to be filed electronically—as mandated in 2009 by the Indiana General Assembly—police officers and FBI agents in the field have access to the most current information about these orders. This includes identification of the protected party or parties, identification and description of the respondent (defendant), whether a firearm restriction was ordered, and other important details.
When an order of protection is granted to you, you are advised to keep a copy with you at all times. However, that may not always happen. Now that the information is available to law enforcement electronically, this means that if you have a protection order filed in one county, and you travel to another county (or another state), if it becomes necessary for you to seek police assistance, local officers can access your protection order information even if you don't have a copy of it with you.
Protection Order Notifications and Online Search
In addition to the courts and law enforcement having online access to protection order information, a protection order search is now available on this website. Information about the victim is not included in the online records, but information about the respondent (defendant) and the order are. In addition, when you file a protection order, you can ask to be notified electronically—by text message and/or email—of events in the case, such as approval of the order by the court and service of the order on the respondent.
For help finding an advocate or shelter, or for more information about domestic violence, visit the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) website or call their 24-hour statewide hotline at 1.800.332.7385.
For detailed contact information for advocate organizations and shelters throughout the state, see the ICADV website.
The following organizations are users of Indiana's advocate access to file petitions for protection orders online.
Indiana's Protection Order Registry and its advocate access features were developed by Court Technology.