The Jefferson County Attorney's Office was one of the first prosecutor's offices in the country to devote a special division solely to the prosecution of domestic violence cases. The county attorney's office also created the VINE network to advise victims of domestic violence of the current status of the defendant's incarceration and learn the status of the receipt of emergency protective orders.
Because so many victims decide to not pursue prosecution due to economic dependence and child care, and because many victims change their story and allow the pattern of violence, the county attorney has adopted a no drop policy with regard to domestic violence offenses.
Depending on the case, the judge may order that you have no contact with the prosecuting witness. Under no circumstances should you violate the judge's order. A no contact order means you are not to talk, text, write or call the prosecution witness. If you are in a McDonald's and the prosecuting witness enters, you must leave the restaurant immediately without making contact with the witness. You are not to drive in front of his or her home or place of residence. You are not to have third parties, such as your family or friends, contact the witness on your behalf. Do not text or post comments on Facebook, Twitter or MySpace.
If the prosecuting witness attempts to contact you after the judge has advised you to have no contact, you still must obey the judge's order and avoid contact. You may not contact or communicate directly or in response to the prosecuting witness's attempt to have contact with you until this court amends the order and permits contact. Even if another court permits contact but a second court has issued a no contact order, you are not permitted to have contact until this court amends its order. If you have any questions regarding a no contact order, we must re-docket the case and ask the judge for clarity. Judges rigidly enforce no contact orders and do not hesitate to incarcerate those who violate them.
An EPO is an emergency protective order. It is good for only 14 days, during which time a hearing will be held on additional protection. The next level of protection is obtaining a domestic violence order (DVO), which may be issued by the family court judge after an EPO hearing at which both parties have an opportunity to appear. A DVO is valid for up to three years and can be renewed by the court.
On January 1, 2016 a new law went into effect that permits a larger segment of our community to seek civil protective orders through our courts. In previous years, protective orders were issued only if there was a family or an intimate relationship involved.
IPO swung the doors open wide to protect Kentucky citizens with easier access to the protection of a court. With this easier protective order comes the opportunity for a abuse.
If you are in Jefferson County and need to take out an EPO, please call 502-595-0853. The Domestic Violence Intake Office at the Jefferson County Hall of Justice is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 12:30 a.m. (after midnight). It is also open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays. Its phone number is 502-595-0853.
If you need emergency protection at other hours (after midnight and before 8 a.m., for instance), you can go to the Hall of Justice at 600 West Jefferson Street in downtown Louisville and tell any of the deputy sheriffs at the metal detector station that you need to take out an EPO. They will direct you to the proper office.
If you are outside Jefferson County, contact your local law enforcement office and ask how to take out an EPO. If you are a victim, you may want to contact the Louisville Center for Woman and Families.
To schedule a free consultation, contact me online. Or you can call my office at (502) 589-6190 or (502) 648-1759 (text after hours).