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Legal Information: Indiana

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
May 24, 2016

Can I get my order for protection enforced in Indiana? What are the requirements?

Yes. Your order for protection can be enforced in Indiana as long as:

  • It was issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, harassing behavior, sexual violence, or it was issued to prevent another person from coming near you or contacting you.*
  • The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case. (In other words, the court had the authority to hear the case.)
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
    • In the case of ex parte temporary and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled before the temporary order expires.**

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

* 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
** 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b)

Can I have my out-of-state protection order changed, extended, or canceled in Indiana?

No.  Only the state that issued your protection order can change, extend, or cancel the order. You cannot have this done by a court in Indiana.

To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will have to file a motion or petition in the court where the order was issued.  You may be able to request that you attend the court hearing by telephone rather than in person, so that you do not need to return to the state where the abuser is living.  To find out more information about how to modify a restraining order, go to the Restraining Orders page for the state where your order was issued or contact a local domestic violence direct service provider.  You can find lawyers and advocates on our IN Places that Help page.

If your order does expire while you are living in Indiana, you may be able to get a new one issued in Indiana but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred in Indiana.  To find out more information on how to get an order for protection in Indiana, visit our IN Orders for Protection page.

I was granted temporary custody with my protection order. Will I still have temporary custody of my children in IN?

Yes.  As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,* Indiana can enforce a temporary custody order that is a part of a protection order.

To have someone read over your order and tell you if it meets this legal standard, contact a lawyer in your area.  To find a lawyer or legal aid program in your area, please visit the IN Finding a Lawyer page under the Places that Help tab at the top of this page.

* The federal laws are the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980.