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Who Can File DVO or EPO?

Kentucky law allows for certain persons to be granted protection pursuant to the statute on EPO, or Emergency Protection Orders or the more permanent DVO, Domestic Violence Orders.  KRS 403.725 outlines those that have authority to file EPO/DVO

Any family member or member of an unmarried couple who is a resident of this state or has fled to this state to escape domestic violence and abuse may file a verified petition in the District Court of the county in which he resides. If the petitioner has left his usual place of residence within this state in order to avoid domestic violence and abuse, the petition may be filed and proceedings held in the District Court in the county of his usual residence or in the District Court in the county of current residence. Any family member or member of an unmarried couple who files a petition for an emergency protective order in District or Circuit Court shall make known to the court any custody or divorce actions, involving both the petitioner and the respondent, that are pending in any Circuit Court in the Commonwealth. The petition shall also include the name of the court where filed. (2) Any family member or any member of an unmarried couple, as those terms are defined in KRS 403.720, may file for and receive protection under KRS 403.715 to 403.785, notwithstanding the existence of or intent to file an action in the Circuit Court by either party under the provisions of this chapter. (3) A petition filed pursuant to subsection (1) of this section may be filed by the family member or member of an unmarried couple seeking relief or by an adult family member or member of an unmarried couple on behalf of a minor family member.

KRS 403.720 identifies and defines what is a "Family Member" and "Unmarried Couple." "Family member" means a spouse, including a former spouse, a grandparent, a parent, a child, a stepchild, or any other person living in the same household as a child if the child is the alleged victim.  "Member of an unmarried couple" means each member of an unmarried couple which allegedly has a child in common, any children of that couple, or a member of an unmarried couple who are living together or have formerly lived together.  If you have been charged with an EPO and are facing a DVO hearing, these are civil hearings with potential criminal ramifications.  You may also be charged with Assault or Domestic Violence, which is a separate criminal charge.  If facing such charges, you should retain legal counsel.  For a consultation in Northern Kentucky, call Bouldin Law Firm and speak to Michael Bouldin at [email protected] or call 859-581-6453.

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