Need for non-violent orders?

July 23, 2008
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On Tuesday, tragedy struck in Indianapolis when a man allegedly murdered two people – his ex-wife and her boyfriend – and then reportedly turned the gun on himself. The man had a history of violence, according to police and news reports, and the ex-wife had a non-violent contact order against her ex-husband for past threats and violent action toward her, including the threat he would kill her and himself.

However, don’t all people essentially have a non-violent contact order for each other as part of a civilized society that seeks to punish those who hurt others unnecessarily? And legally, are these court orders even in line with Indiana Code 34-26-5, the Indiana Civil Protective Order Statute?

The legal director of the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence raises these issues, adding the ICADV, along with attorneys at Baker & Daniels working pro bono, filed a notice of appeal for two such orders on Tuesday.

Considering the non-violent contact order didn’t prevent violence against a woman who had the foresight to file for a protective order, it could be said that it didn’t do anything, or at least it didn’t do enough to protect her this time. Some may also argue that all protective orders are just a piece of paper anyway, or may claim there are instances when people abuse the system when they file such orders without enough proof of an abusive or threatening situation.

But why would judges issue these so-called non-violent orders in at least two counties in Indiana – Marion and Lake? Is there a need to have the option of non-violent contact orders for certain circumstances, or not? We hope to get answers to these questions for a future article, and as always, welcome input from the legal community. Post comments about this issue here, or send an e-mail to rberfanger@ibj.com.
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  1. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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