Common Questions About Protective Orders

Common Questions About Protective Orders in Kentucky

What are some common questions about protective orders that our clients often ask? We thought it might be helpful to simply list some of these questions and provide a brief answer. It is important to note from the outset that the subject of a protective order suggests not only an urgent family matter, but an element of risk of harm to a parent, partner or child. This is why it is important to seek the advice and counsel of an experienced family law attorney when considering or evaluating the impact of protective orders.

  1. What does IPO mean?
    1. Interpersonal Protective Order.
  2. What does EPO mean?
    1. Emergency Protective Order.
  3. These are for situations where there is an immediate and present concern, correct?
    1. Absolutely.
  4. What is the difference?
    1. The kind of relationship involved.
    2. IPO’s pertain to dating relationships
    3. EPO’s pertain to domestic relationships: married persons, persons with whom you live or lived, and people within two levels of kinship .. grandparents and grandchildren.
    4. IPO’s pertain to people who have had dating relationships of a romantic or intimate nature.
  5. Are there similarities?
    1. Yes, they both require an immediate and present danger of physical injury, sexual abuse, stalking, assault or the threat or infliction of fear of imminent physical injury, sexual abuse or assault.  
  6. Another of the common questions about protective orders we asked is: What are examples of where a parent seeks an IPO involving a minor child would be appropriate as opposed to a motion in a custody or divorce case?
    1. One example of an appropriate case for IPO as opposed to a motion in a custody or divorce case would be where a former boyfriend or girlfriend is stalking the child.
    2. If the children involved are part of a blended family and not in a dating relationship, then the appropriate solution is in custody or divorce cases in all likelihood.
  7. If it involves two children in a dating relationship, does the Court consider how likely it is to occur again since parents and school officials have influence with the children.
    1. Yes, the juvenile court, which is uniquely suited to these matters, should consider whether these acts may occur again if it involves two children.
    2. It’s true that children may also be more likely to change their behavior upon intervention than adults. 
    3. Children, unlike adults, are not free agents with complete freedom of movement. 
    4. At school, school personnel provide supervision and can control children’s behavior. 
    5. At home, parents supervise children.
  8. What is a dating relationship?
    1. For an IPO you must have a dating relationship with the person from whom you are seeking protection and there must be an immediate and present danger of Dating Violence and Abuse.  
    2. A dating relationship relationship between individuals who have or have had a relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. 
    3. This does not include a casual acquaintance or ordinary fraternization in business or social context. 
    4. The Court will look at the following factors to determine if a dating relationship exists:
      1. Declaration of romantic interest
      2. Expectation of affection
      3. Attendance at social outings as a couple
      4. Frequency, duration and type of interaction
      5. Length and recency of the relationship
      6. Any other factor which would lead a reasonable person to understand that a dating relationship exist.
  9. What has to be proven for stalking at a minimum?
    1. We have to prove that an individual intentionally engaged in two or more acts directed at the victim that seriously alarmed, annoyed, intimidated, or harassed the victim, that served no legitimate purpose, and would have caused a reasonable person to suffer substantial mental distress, and that these acts may occur again. KRS 508.130 and KRS 456.060. 
    2. Additionally, the individual must prove that there was an implicit or explicit threat by the perpetrator that put the victim in reasonable fear of sexual contact, physical injury, or death. KRS 508.150.
  10. What’s the standard of proof?
    1. This needs to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, which means more likely than not or more than 50%. It’s not the lowest standard in the law but it is far less than criminal law requires which is beyond a reasonable doubt.

These are some of the most common questions about protective orders here in Shepherdsville and throughout Kentucky. The subject of a protective order is a serious matter. If you are considering a protective order or have been served with a protective order related matter you will need the advice and counsel of an experienced, proven family law attorney at the Law Offices of John Schmidt & Associates, PLLC.

We invite you to contact us or call the Law Offices of John Schmidt & Associates PLLC today at (502) 509-1490 to schedule an appointment to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate these issues.