Indiana uses protection orders in cases of domestic abuse or violence. Having a protection order entered against you can negatively effect your ability to find work, own a firearm and freedom of movement. The judge can order you to pay spousal and child support, or even order you to pay an ex-spouse's rent or mortgage. If you think that a protection order filed against you is improper, you can fight it.
Read the protection order you were served. The judge granted the original protection order after hearing ex parte allegations. Depending upon the type of orders the judge made, in some cases the judge is required to schedule a hearing. The order will tell you if the judge has scheduled a hearing. If the judge has not, you can still request a hearing within 30 days of the date on the order. Ask the court clerk for the proper form or download it from the Indiana Courts website (see Resources).
Go to court at date and time of the hearing.
Listen to the evidence that the petitioner presents. You have the right to cross-examine any witnesses that the petitioner calls. Be careful to remain respectful of the witnesses. If you yell and scream at the petitioner, the judge is more likely to believe the petitioner needs a protection order.
Present your own evidence and any witnesses at the conclusion of the petitioner's case. Do not present evidence merely to attack the petitioner or question her character. Focus on reasons why a protection order is not appropriate.
Sum up your evidence and position during a closing argument. This is your chance to tell the judge your story and why you do not believe that a protection order is appropriate. At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant a protection order.
The rules of evidence apply in protection order hearings. Consider hiring an attorney to defend you.