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Judges order protective order extension recalculated

June 11, 2014

Finding a 28-year extension of a protective order to be unreasonable, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the trial court to determine a “reasonable extension.”

The appellate court granted rehearing in In the Matter of the Petition for Temporary Protective Order: A.N. v. K.G., 49A04-1212-PO-649, to address A.N.’s argument that while she had no objection to extending the protective order in place against her, she did not agree to the specific term imposed by the trial court.

K.G. had a protective order in place against A.N. who was not to directly or indirectly contact him or three other people. A trial judge found A.N. violated the protective order, and the Court of Appeals affirmed in January. The judge also decided to extend the protection order until November 2040.

The Civil Protection Order Act provides that the modification of an order for protection is effective for two years after the issue date unless another date is ordered by the court. But, the Act doesn’t provide any guidelines for reviewing a trial court’s discretionary relief that extends beyond the two-year term. The appeals court also pointed out it hasn’t had an opportunity yet to formulate appropriate standards.

“As an order for protection can impose significant restrictions on a respondent’s freedom of movement and other rights, the extension must be equally supported by a court’s conclusion that such additional time, in excess of the statutorily two-year approved extension, is necessary to protect the petitioner and to bring about a cessation of the violence or the threat of violence,” Judge Patricia Riley wrote.

“Absent findings in the present case, we find that the twenty-eight year extension of the protective order is unreasonable.”

The rest of the original opinion is affirmed.

 

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