Beginning July 1, 2017, a new Indiana law will allow judges to approve
the transfer of phone plans over to victims of domestic violence without
an account holder’s consent. The hope is that by allowing victims
of domestic violence to keep in touch with their support system, victims
can make a clean break from an abusive relationship.
Until now, the issue of phone plans was never addressed under the Indiana
Civil Protection Order Act. Prior to the law change, if a victim of domestic
abuse was not the primary account holder, providers were unable to transfer
their existing phone numbers and/or continue their phone service if the
account holder canceled their service; victims were at the mercy of the
abuser to maintain the phone contract. The new law hopes to alleviate
- Victims requesting an order of protection can now request the court to
order a phone provider to transfer a telephone number used by the victim
or transfer a number used by a minor child in a victim’s custody.
- The phone provider can now, under a protective order, also terminate an
abuser’s use or access to a victim’s telephone number and/or account.
Your Pets Are Protected, Too!
For many of us, our pets are very near and dear to our hearts. The last
thing a victim of domestic violence needs to worry about is whether leaving
a dangerous environment will either force them to leave their pet behind
or put their pet in harm’s way. The new bill included additions
that allow family-owned pets to be listed within a protective order. Specifically:
- A court can grant the party petitioning for a protective order exclusive
possession, care, custody, or control of any animal owned by them. This
includes pets owned by person a victim is seeking protection from, a minor
child of either party, or any other family or household member.
- Once a protective order is issued, the new bill prohibits removing, transferring,
injuring, concealing, harming, attacking, mistreating, threatening to
harm, or otherwise disposing of a pet,
The additions to the statute offer pet owners some sense of peace of mind,
as the intent is to prevent abusers from using pets as leverage.
If you’re in an abusive relationship, there are many resources available
for those in need. The attorneys at Hollingsworth & Zivitz are experienced
in all family law matters and can help you navigate through a difficult
time. Call us today at (317)569-2200.
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