What does Protective Order do?
- Be ordered to have no contact or communication with you, your children, or others who might need protection.
- Stop any further acts of domestic violence.
- Be ordered to not dispose of or damage any property.
- Stay away from your home, school, workplace, or other places you may likely be.
- Vacate shared residence.
- If children are involved, temporary custody and support can be awarded. In addition, you may ask for other relief you feel is necessary.
Types of protective orders
Temporary interpersonal protective orders (TIPO)
- People who are, or have been, in a dating relationship.
- People who have been sexually assaulted.
- People who have been stalked on more than two occasions.
Emergency protective orders (EPO)
- Family members (e.g., spouses, ex-spouses, parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren)
- Couples who live together or have formerly lived together
- Couples who have children together
How to file a protective order
No attorney or fee is required. There is no cost to you for filing protective orders.
You can file a petition at your local Clerk’s office or after hours at your local domestic violence shelter or designated location. If you flee your home county, you may file in the county you flee to for safety. A protective order is not a criminal charge. It is a court order, signed by a judge, designed to prevent further acts of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
The person who files the petition is the petitioner and the person the petition is filed against is the respondent. If you are under the age of 18, an adult family member may file the petition for you.
You will be asked to describe the most recent acts of abusive or threatening behavior that have prompted you to file the petition. You can request the protection that you believe is appropriate for you.
If the judge signs the temporary protection order, you will receive a copy of the order. You must keep the order with you at all times. A protective order (EPO/TIPO) is effective until the court hearing is held usually within 14 days. A court date will be set for the judge to hear your case. You must be present at the hearing. Once you file a protection order it cannot be dropped until you appear in court for the hearing.
If you are in immediate danger or if there is an emergency call 911
All services are free and confidential
Find a shelter near you
DOVES of Gateway provides services to the Gateway counties of Rowan, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan and Bath.
All Kentucky counties are covered by one of the 15 sister shelters of ZeroV, Kentucky’s coalition of domestic violence shelters and services.
Can I change my Protective Order?
You must go to the Clerk’s office and tell them you want to change something in your protective order. They will help you write down the change(s) you want.
For example, you and the respondent may want to try to “work things out”, but your protective order restricts contact. You can ask that the no contact or communication be removed from your Protective Order. You will have another court hearing and will get to explain the change you want made to judge.
If the judge changes the order, the rest of the order is still good.
What will happen in court?
You and the respondent will be asked to appear before the judge. You can bring witnesses or evidence, such as medical records or police reports to prove that the abuse happened. Phone logs, texts, emails, or screen shots of social media posts may also be helpful. During the court hearing the judge will read the petition that you wrote and will ask you if everything is accurate and if you would like to change anything.
Then, the judge will ask the respondent if what you said in the petition is true. Both you and the respondent will be allowed to tell your side of the story. If the judge feels that the abuse occurred a more permanent order can be ordered either a Domestic Violence Order (DVO) or an Interpersonal Protective Order (IPO) can be issued for up to three (3) years.
What do I do if my abuser violates the Protective Order?
If the respondent violates the Protective order. You should report this violation immediately. If you are in danger call 911. There are options to report a violation to the court.
You can go to the Clerk’s office and tell them that the respondent broke the order. They will help write down what happened and in what ways the respondent broke the order. Within two weeks you will have to go before the judge. If the judge determines that the respondent violated the order, they can be put in jail for up to one year.
You may also go to the local County Attorney and tell them that the respondent broke the Protection Order. The County Attorney will then request the judge to order that your abuser be arrested. Your abuser can post bail and get out of jail. A hearing will be set, which could take several months. At the hearing, the judge may decide if the abuser broke the protective order. If it is found that the abuser broke the order, they may be sent to jail for up to one year.
You can also go to your local domestic violence shelter/ after-hours location to fill out a form saying the abuser broke the DVO/IPO. The form will be sent to the judge and if it is signed, a court date will be set to determine if the respondent was in violation of the DVO/IPO.
How will I know when the respondent has been served with the protection order?
You will receive a phone call or email letting you know the respondent has received the court paperwork and when you should come to court.