Kentucky law defines "domestic violence and abuse" as the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between "family members" or "members of an unmarried couple"
• Physical injury
• Sexual abuse
• Assault or
• Putting someone fear of immediate physical injury, sexual abuse, or assault.
* Destruction of physical property alone is not considered domestic violence, unless it is combined with threatening behavior.
You can seek court protection from acts of domestic abuse done to you or your minor child by any of the following people:
• a current or former spouse
• a parent or step-parent
• your child or step-child
• a grandparent
• a boyfriend / girlfriend who you currently or formerly live(d) with "as a couple"
• a boyfriend / girlfriend who you have a child with (regardless of whether you ever lived together) or if the child is the victim, a child can file against any person living in the same household with the child regardless of the relationship between the child and the abuser. (In other words, the child does not need to be related to the person in any way).
* Note: The definition does NOT include a boyfriend / girlfriend who you do NOT have a child with and have NEVER lived with.*
* If you are a minor (under 18) trying to get a protective order against someone in your family, you will need an adult family member to file for an order on your behalf.
An emergency protective order (EPO) can do the following:
• order the abuser to have no contact with you (including face-to-face, telephone, written, electronic, through a third party, etc.);
• order the abuser to not commit acts of domestic violence and abuse against you;
• order the abuser to not sell or destroy any of your property or any property you share with him/her;
• order the abuser to not come within a specified distance of the residence, school, or place of employment of you, your child, your family member, or the member of an unmarried couple protected in the order;
• order the abuser to stay away from you or your child (for a distance of up to 500 feet)
• order the abuser to leave the home you share;
• give you temporary custody of your child or children; and/or
• provide you with any other protection necessary to eliminate future domestic violence.*
A domestic violence order (DVO) can do the following:
•order everything that an EPO can order - listed above; and, additionally:
award you temporary child support; and/or
order that either or both of you receive counseling services available in the community.
* Whether a judge orders any or all of the above depends on the facts of your case.
Note: EPOs and DVOs cannot order the abuser to wear a GPS device - this can only be ordered after a court determines that the abuser has committed a substantial (serious) violation of a domestic violence order.
To file an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) contact the Hart County Circuit Clerk's Office at 270-524-5181 during normal office hours.
After Hours Dial 9-1-1
Justin Baird Hart County Attorney
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