A new law goes into effect on January 1, 2016 in Kentucky that will permit the filing of new protective orders, and it is becoming more clear about which courts will hear these cases.
The new protective orders, called IPOs (for interpersonal protection order), will allow individuals who are in a dating relationship or believe they are being stalked to file a petition for relief. Presently, EPOs (emergency protective orders – which can become a DVO, or a domestic violence order, if a family court determines long-term protection is needed) only offer protection to those that are married, living together, or share a child.
While Jefferson Family Courts hear EPO/DVO cases, the dispute recently has been about what courts were going to hear these new cases – family court or Jefferson District court. The Chief Justice of Kentucky has said the cases will initially be heard in district court. These new orders can restrict communication between individuals and include a 500 foot separation barrier similar to EPOs and DVOs.
The Domestic Violence Intake Center in the Hall of Justice will handle the intake of all protective order cases.