Emergency Protective Orders [EPO] Law and Legal Definition

An emergency protective order refers to an order issued by a magistrate when an individual is in immediate danger and may have to be taken away from home quickly. The purpose of the Emergency Protective Order is to protect health and safety in an emergency. It can be a useful tool for victims of domestic abuse to increase their safety.

A relevant state law read as follows:

If, upon review of the petition the court determines that the allegations contained therein indicate the presence of an immediate and present danger of domestic violence and abuse, the court shall issue, upon proper motion, ex parte, an emergency protective order:

a. restraining the adverse party from any contact or communication with the petitioner except as directed by the court;

b. restraining the adverse party from committing further acts of domestic violence and abuse;

c. restraining the adverse party from disposing of or damaging any of the property of the parties;

d. restraining the adverse party from going to or within a specified distance of a specifically described residence, school, or place of employment of the petitioner, minor child of the petitioner, family member, or member of an unmarried couple protected in the order;

e. directing the adverse party to vacate the residence shared by the parties to the action;

f. grant temporary custody;

g. restraining the adverse party from approaching the petitioner or a minor child of the petitioner within a distance specified in the order, not to exceed five hundred (500) feet; or

h. enter other orders the court believes will be of assistance in eliminating future acts of domestic violence and abuse. [KRS § 403.740].