Emergency Protective Orders

Kentucky law has long allowed a person who is the victim of “domestic violence” to seek a protective order.  This order can require the “abuser” to vacate a shared residence, to have no contact with the “victim”, to restrict the places the abuser can visit and place the offender on a global positioning device.  This protection has been available for many years to family members, members of a married or formerly married couple, members of an unmarried couple who currently live together or formerly lived together, or have a child in common.   Recently, the Kentucky General Assembly expanded the definition of “members of an unmarried couple” to include people who are or have previously been in a dating relationship.  The amended statute describes a “dating relationship” as one of “a romantic or intimate nature.”  It goes on to list several factors that the courts may look at to determine whether a couple is in such a relationship.  These are:

1.       Whether the parties had an expectation of affection

2.       The frequency and type of interaction between the persons

3.       The duration and continuity of the relationship

4.       If the relationship has existed in the last three (3) years.

The statute specifically excludes a casual acquaintance or those relationships that are “ordinary fraternization in a business or social context.”   There is no clear rule as to when a dating relationship exists and will have to be determined by the court on a case-by-case basis.  Before this law, however, members of an unmarried couple had to live together or have a child in common in order to qualify for protection under the law.  This statute greatly expands the coverage of the courts ability to protect victims of violence.    This law will go into effect on January 1, 2016.

Relationship is only one of the three areas that the Court must inquire to determine whether or not to issue a protective order.  The other two (Residency and Danger of Violence) remain unchanged.  The Court must find that you are either a resident of Kenton County or have fled here to escape violence and, further, that there is an immediate and present danger of domestic violence.  This means physical injury, sexual abuse, assault or the threat or infliction of fear of imminent physical injury, sexual abuse or assault.   

If you are currently in or previously have been in a dating relationship, and the other party is subjecting you to actual violence or threats or violence, then you will soon be able to ask the courts of the county you are in to issue protective orders to assist you. 

Please click on the attached document below to view the qualifications for obtaining an EPO



Attached Files

Posted May 27, 2015 at 07:06 AM