Interest Groups

Harrassment is Now Covered in the Indiana Civil Protection Order Act - Insurance Coverage

Insurance Coverage

Posted on: Nov 1, 2019

By Megan Wells, Duffin Hash & Coates LLP

This year has brought new changes to the Indiana Civil Protection Order Act, most notably harassment is now covered by IC 34-26-5 along with family/partner violence, sexual assault and stalking. Pursuant to the IC 34-26-9(g) there is a now a judicial mandate, upon a showing of harassment by a preponderance of the evidence, the court shall grant the relief necessary to stop the violence or threat of violence.

It is important that we know exactly how the law defines harassment. IC 34-6-2-51.5 states that it as “conduct directed toward a victim that includes, but is not limited to, repeated or continuing impermissible contact: (1) that would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress; and (2) that actually causes the victim to suffer emotional distress.” And IC 35-45-10-3 defines "impermissible contact" to include following or pursuing the victim, communication with the victim in person or by telephone or electronic means and posting on social media if the post is directed to or refers to the victim directly or indirectly.

One notable difference is that no ex-parte orders for protection are permitted for harassment claims. The court must set all of these petitions for hearing within 30 days and the relief can include allowing the parties to occupy the same location if legitimate or necessary. 

This new development is likely to create a flood of new petitions requesting an Order of Protection and some confusion when it comes to enforcement both for the litigants and for law officers.

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