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Navigating Protective Orders in Indiana: A Legal Perspective by Mario Massillamany

Protective orders are a crucial legal tool designed to safeguard individuals from harm or harassment. In the state of Indiana, these orders are taken very seriously and can significantly impact the lives of those involved. As a seasoned defense attorney at Massillamany Jeter & Carson LLP, I have had extensive experience both obtaining and challenging protective orders on behalf of our clients. In this article, I aim to shed light on the legal process surrounding protective orders in Indiana and the strategies employed when fighting against them.

Understanding Protective Orders

A protective order, also known as a restraining order, is a court-issued order aimed at preventing one person from contacting or engaging in harmful behavior toward another individual. These orders are typically sought in situations involving domestic violence, stalking, or threats. In Indiana, there are two primary types of protective orders: No Contact Orders (NCOs) and Orders of Protection (OOPs).

  1. No Contact Orders (NCOs): NCOs are often issued in cases of alleged domestic violence. They prohibit the accused individual from having any contact with the protected person, including in-person meetings, phone calls, or electronic communication.
  2. Orders of Protection (OOPs): OOPs are typically sought in cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. They encompass broader restrictions and may include provisions regarding child custody, property access, and firearm possession.

Obtaining Protective Orders

To obtain a protective order in Indiana under the Indiana Protection Order Act (the “Act”), Ind. Code § 34-26-5, an individual must file a petition with the court. The process involves the following steps:

  1. Filing the Petition: The petitioner submits a written request detailing the alleged abuse and the need for protection.
  2. Court Hearing: A hearing is scheduled where both parties have the opportunity to present evidence and testimony.
  3. Judge’s Decision: The judge reviews the evidence and decides whether to issue the protective order.

Fighting Protective Orders

As defense attorneys, we often find ourselves on the other side of these proceedings, defending individuals against allegations that can be life-altering. Here are some strategies we employ when challenging protective orders:

  1. Thorough Investigation: We meticulously investigate the allegations, gathering evidence, and witnesses to present a strong counter-argument.
  2. Cross-examination: During the court hearing, we cross-examine witnesses to challenge the credibility of the petitioner’s claims.
  3. Legal Defenses: We explore potential legal defenses, such as false allegations, lack of evidence, or self-defense, depending on the circumstances.
  4. Compliance with Court Orders: If a protective order is issued, we guide our clients on complying with its terms to avoid legal repercussions.


Protective orders serve a vital role in protecting vulnerable individuals from harm, and the legal process surrounding them is complex. At Massillamany Jeter & Carson LLP, we understand the profound impact these orders can have on our clients’ lives. Our experience in both obtaining and challenging protective orders in Indiana allows us to provide the dedicated legal representation our clients deserve, ensuring that their rights are protected throughout the process.