July 2, 2019

New Law Enforcement Model Policy on Domestic Violence

As of June 27, 2019, the domestic violence statute for the Commonwealth of Kentucky has been changed to include both intentional and wanton strangulation. It is imperative that police departments update their domestic violence policy and make officers aware of this change immediately.

Download the new KLCIS domestic violence model policy - go to "Domestic Violence." 

KRS 456.010 defines the parameters of expanded protection orders and powers of arrest to individuals determined to be in a dating relationship under KRS Chapter 456.

Dating relationship is a relationship between individuals who have or have had a relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The dating relationship does not include a casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context.

Factors that will establish a dating relationship include, but are not limited to:

  • Declarations of romantic interest 
  •  The relationship was characterized by the expectation of affection 
  •  Attendance at social outings together as a couple 
  • Frequency and type of interaction, including whether persons have been involved together over a period of time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship
  • Length and recency of relationship 
  • Other indications of a substantial connection that would lead a reasonable person to understand that a dating relationship existed

There are no set number of factors that must be met.

There is no requirement for a mutual reciprocation of the declaration of romantic interest or expectation of intimacy.

Dating violence and abuse means:

  • Physical injury
  • Stalking
  • Sexual Assault
  • Strangulation

Or the infliction of fear of:

  • Imminent physical injury 
  • Serious physical injury 
  • Sexual abuse 
  • Strangulation 
  • Or assault occurring between persons who are or have been in a dating relationship

A family member is:

  • Spouse, including former spouse 
  • Grandparent 
  • Grandchild 
  • Parent 
  • Child 
  • Stepchild 
  • 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.

Law enforcement is protected by good faith in applying the factors. Officers should apply good judgment and common sense in applying these factors.

If a dating relationship is established, an individual may obtain a temporary interpersonal order (TIPO). The TIPO and an emergency protective order (EPO) are the same in form and enforcement with some minor differences.

Similar to an EPO and TIPO, a domestic violence order (DVO) and an interpersonal order (IPO) are effectively the same. An IPO will be valid for three years and shall
have the same conditions imposed, absent child custody, vacating a shared residence, and support.

Victims of sexual assault and stalking are able to obtain TIPOs and IPOs. The respondent does not have to be convicted or charged, nor does the petitioner have to report the offense to law enforcement for the court to grant a TIPO or IPO.

KRS 431.015 mandates that a peace officer with probable cause to believe a violation of a protective order has occurred after service on the respondent, or the respondent has been given notice, shall arrest the respondent without a warrant. The TIPO is immediately enforceable after it is served and the same arrest powers for EPO/DVO violations apply to TIPO/IPO violations. There is no requirement that the violations be committed in the officer’s presence to be subject to arrest.

The legislature has also simplified protection orders. KRS 403 applies to family members and unmarried couples. Specifically, domestic violence and abuse is under KRS 403.720(1), EPOs are under KRS 403.730, and DVOs are under KRS 403.740.

Protective orders under KRS 456.010(6), (7) and (8) apply to persons in a dating relationship who are victims of sexual assault, strangulation and stalking as well.

If an officer has probable cause to believe a violation of a protective order took place, the officer shall arrest.KRS

431.015(1)(c).