Restraining and Protective Orders

In Indiana, the violation of a Temporary Restraining Order or a Protective Order, is addressed under Indiana Code: 35-46-1-15.1, as a Class B misdemeanor “Invasion of Privacy”.The offense can be a Class A misdemeanor with a prior unrelated conviction.

The Crime is an exception to the normal misdemeanor rule, which means that an officer need not witness the violation to make an immediate arrest, but simply needs probable cause to believe that the offense has occurred. These orders often give a tool to law enforcement to help quell disturbances.

In addition, recent changes in the law; allow out of state orders to be enforced in Indiana.

Many people request information regarding restraining/protective orders so here are some guidelines:

Where can you file?

Application is made in the form of an affidavit, in the Superior Court or Circuit Court, at the Dearborn County Courthouse. You can call the Courthouse Monday through Friday 8AM-4:30PM, for further details regarding filing fees.

The Dearborn County Sheriff’s Department can not issue restraining Orders. We only enforce them.

Who can file?

Any person over 18 years of age, is permitted to file the affidavit on behalf of his family or him/herself.

When do I qualify?

In very general terms; When you have received threats from a person(s) to cause you bodily harm or death, or threats to do damage to your property, or when you have actually been harmed physically, or your property has been damaged, and it is likely to occur again.

If you have questions regarding your specific circumstances, call the courts and inquire as to whether you qualify for the order, or refer your questions to an attorney. We do not decide who can file an affidavit.

What happens after I file?

The Judge will decide whether a Protection Order will be issued under Indiana law.  A hearing may or may not be necessary depending on the facts in your affidavit.  They will decide if your affidavit and application should be granted. If an order of protection is granted, it becomes effective immediately. The courts will forward a copy of the order to the Law Enforcement agency where the protected person lives, and to the location where the restrained party resides. A copy of the order will be served on the respondent, as soon as the courts provide that copy to the law enforcement agency.  After service on the person, that person may request a hearing and appear in Court to testify before the judge. You would also receive notice of the hearing and then have an opportunity to testify before the Judge.  If the restrained party violates this order, call the Sheriff Department or Police Department where you live and report the facts which lead you to believe the order has been violated.


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The Indiana VINE system is a service through which victims of crime can use the telephone or Internet to search for information regarding the custody status of their offender and to register to receive telephone and e-mail notification when the offender’s custody status changes. The VINE toll-free number for the Indiana VINE system is 1-866-959-VINE (866-959-8463). This service is provided to assist Victims of Crime who have a right to know about their offender’s custody status.

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