This just sounds like a bad idea. You make filing of protective orders too easy and people start abusing the process.
A pilot program in eight Indiana counties lets domestic violence victims fill out forms online to request protective orders.
The Indiana Supreme Court says the program debuted this month in Marion County plus Allen, Elkhart, Grant, Madison, St. Joseph, Tippecanoe and Wabash counties. It's an expansion of the state's electronic protective order registry, which makes new orders available to police statewide within minutes.
The registry is used in all counties but Jefferson County, where the courthouse was heavily damaged by a recent fire.
Once the online forms are completed with the help of a domestic violence advocate, they can be printed and taken to the county clerk for filing.
The improvements were financed by a $135,000 grant from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.
People may not remember the early days of the protective order statute. You could file them against anyone. A person wanting to file one in Marion County could go into any small claims court, get a form with the allegations pre-printed on them. The person would sign his or her name, not even under oath, and the clerk would stamp the judge's name on it. That put the temporary order into place pending a hearing on making it permanent.
In the years that followed the process was modified to strike a better balance between the need for these orders and the ability of people to launch accusations against people that often turned out to be false. This program sounds like it might be a retreat from that balance.