ILNews

Non-violent orders challenged

Rebecca Berfanger
January 1, 2008
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The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence with the assistance of pro bono attorneys in Baker & Daniels' Indianapolis office filed notice of appeal July 22 for two non-violent contact orders issued in Marion County. The non-violent distinction means that the respondent can have contact with the petitioner as long as it isn't violent contact.

Earlier on the same day in Indianapolis, Carl Wills allegedly killed his ex-wife, April Wills, her boyfriend, and then killed himself. Records show that Carl had a history of violence and had previously threatened to kill himself and April, who had a non-violent contact order against him based on previous violent events involving Carl.

"Essentially, we are all under a 'non-violent protection order' as citizens of a civilized society," ICADV Legal Director Kerry Hyatt Blomquist said.

The ICADV is appealing the non-violent contact orders because, Blomquist said, these types of orders are not authorized by Indiana Code Section 34-26-5, the Indiana Civil Protective Order Statute. Non-violent contact orders also do not prevent the respondent from owning firearms, which a statutory protective order would.

Lake and Marion counties are among the few Indiana counties that administer non-violent contact orders, according to a recent informal study done by the ICADV.

"We hope courts stop ordering them before they get even more popular," Blomquist said.

The Indiana Lawyer is reporting on non-violent contact orders for the Aug. 6-19, 2008, edition.
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