New Expungement of Protection Order Laws

The Indiana legislature has once again expanded the expungement laws in the state and are now allowing individuals to petition to expunge protection orders pursuant to Indiana Code 34-26-7.5 et seq.

First, a protection order is a tool that is used by the courts in an effort to protect an alleged victim of domestic or family violence, a sexual offense, or stalking. With the protection order, the court can order someone not to contact another person via phone, text, or social media; to turn over weapons to the local sheriff during the time of the order of protection (someone subject to a protection or no contact order is generally not allowed to carry or possess on their person or in their home a firearm), or give possession or use of a car, home, and other essential personal property. These orders typically last for two years, unless otherwise specified and must be petitioned for again in order to renew.

The Indiana Protection Order Registry connects Indiana courts issuing these protection and no-contact orders to the Indiana State Police system called the Indiana Data and Communication System or IDACS as well as the FBI’s National Crime Information Center or NCIC. These databases report to state and national databanks, report to police officer’s when running a criminal background check, and notify victims that their order has been issued, served, or when they are about to expire. The protective order registry is also a publicly search-able database where anyone can search the records to see if someone has or had an outstanding protective order against them. This search can be conducted here: https://mycourts.in.gov/porp

What is the New Expungement Law?

The new expungement law for protection orders applies to a person named as the subject of a protection order and if one of the following applies:

  • A protection order was issued to the plaintiff, but is subsequently terminated due to the :
    • Dismissal of the petition before a court hearing on the protection order;
    • Denial of the protection order under the order of the court; or
    • Failure of the plaintiff to appear to the court hearing on the protection order.
  • A protection order was reversed or vacated by an appellate court.

This expungement statute applies to an Indiana civil protection order under IC 34-26-5 and includes an order for protection and an order for protection ex parte.

At any time after a court dismisses or denies an order for protection following issuance of an order for protection ex parte, the subject of the protection order may petition to expunge the protection order with the court that issued or denied the protection order and in the cause the protection order was issued under.

What is Included in a Petition for Expungement?

The petition for expungement must include particular personal information, the relevant dates associated with the protection order, and certified copies of the order for protection or ex parte order, the order denying an order for protection, or the opinion from the appellate court reversing or vacating an order for protection. The petitioner may also provide any additional information to assist the court such as letters of recommendation, character references, employment references, or any other documentation to reflect your current status.

An attorney from Banks & Brower can communicate with the prosecuting attorneys on your behalf, petition for expungement according to state rules, and provide the courts with all necessary information and documentation surrounding your case. We can make sure your expungement request falls into the right hands at the right time, optimizing your odds of success. We’ll work with the courts to request early filing, if applicable, to expedite the expungement process. Our Indianapolis expungement attorneys will do everything we can to clear your record. To learn more, contact us at 317-870-0019 or email us at info@banksbrower.com to request a free consultation.