Department for Human Support Services
Cabinet for Health and Family Services



Domestic violence is a serious crime against the individual and the community. The failure of any law enforcement officer to properly respond and handle a domestic call, no matter how frequent, will expose individuals and the community to danger up to and including death. Because domestic violence can and does result in the death of individuals, every response to a domestic call, no matter how often, shall be treated the same as any other crime against a person.

Every response to a domestic call shall include a substantive investigation of the incident which shall involve the gathering of background information, the gathering of physical evidence including pictures, clothing, and statements from direct and indirect witnesses including children and neighbors.

Every response to a domestic call, no matter how frequent, requires that every step possible be taken to insure the safety of the victim including providing a safety plan to the victim and, if necessary, transporting the victim and children, if appropriate, to another site for safekeeping.


This domestic violence policy is designed to provide officers and support personnel with clear definitions, direction, and guidelines for providing and promoting a consistent, effective response to domestic violence crime in order to accomplish the following goals:

wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)make an arrest for any violation of an Emergency Protective Order ("EPO"), any violation of a Domestic Violence Order ("DVO"), any violation of a Foreign Protective Order ("FPO") or any violation of a condition of release or bond when authorized by state law;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)reduce the incidence and severity of domestic violence crime;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)afford maximum protection and support to adult and child victims of domestic violence through coordinated services of law enforcement and victim assistance; and
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)reduce the risk of civil liability for officers, supervisors and administrators, and the employing unit of government.


A. To Accomplish These Goals, Every Officer Shall:
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)make an arrest when authorized by state law as the preferred response, instead of using dispute mediation, separation or other police intervention techniques;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)treat all acts of domestic violence as criminal conduct;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)respond with the same protection and sanctions for every domestic violence incident, regardless of race, religion, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and socio-economic status, including cases where any of the alleged parties may be a law enforcement officer, public official or prominent citizen; and
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)immediately report all known or suspected cases of domestic violence and abuse, adult abuse, or child abuse as required by state law;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)receive training on domestic violence as required by state law.

Note: Every officer shall document action taken (arrest or non-arrest) on the JC-3 form.

B. The following facts shall not be considered as an independent compelling reason not to arrest the perpetrator. These facts may be used as background information to complete a domestic violence investigation for prosecution.
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)the marital status of the suspect and the victim;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)whether or not the suspect lives on the premises with the victim (except as may be necessary to qualify the parties as "members of an unmarried couple");
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)whether the victim has not obtained a protective order against the perpetrator;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)the potential financial consequences of arrest;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)whether there have been previous law enforcement responses to domestic calls at this address;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)verbal assurances that the violence will cease;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)the victim's emotional status;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)whether or not physical injuries suffered by the victim can be personally observed at the time of the law enforcement response;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)the location of the incident (i.e., public or private);
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)speculation that the victim may not follow through with the prosecution, or that the arrest may not lead to a conviction;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)the victim's initial reluctance regarding an officer-initiated arrest;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)the fact that the victim and suspect are of the same gender; or,
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)the use of alcohol or drugs by either or both parties.


A. Communications: General Responsibilities
1. In progress domestic violence calls shall receive a high priority response.
Communications will:
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)use professional communications skills, obtain all pertinent critical information [see attached checklist];
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)promptly relay all important information to the law enforcement officer including any information available through the LINK-Domestic Violence File;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)update the responding officer with additional information obtained from the caller by keeping them on the line unless they perceive themselves to be in danger;

2. Communications personnel should request the following information.
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)  location of incident, victim and perpetrator;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)  type of incident (verbal/physical);
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)  need for emergency medical assistance including injuries and severity;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)  weapons involved and descriptions;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)  name and telephone number;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)  dispatch two officers when available;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)  other people involved including children/witnesses;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)  perpetrator's dob/soc, previous history of domestic violence including previous law enforcement responses outstanding warrants;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)  alcohol and or drug use;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)  has perpetrator left scene, vehicle description, direction of travel;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)  apparent hazards to responders including animals.

3. Safety of Complainant
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)  communications personnel should attempt to maintain telephone contact with the complaining party in order to monitor the situation and provide the most recent information until the officer arrives;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)  if the complainant must leave the telephone to seek safety, advise the caller to lay the phone down and not disconnect so the communications personnel can monitor the situation;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)  if the complainant is calling away from the scene advise them to remain there until the law enforcement officer arrives. Advise the responding officer of their location;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)  for officer safety update the responding officer with all new information so he may approach the scene with as much information as possible;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)  advise the responding officer of additional calls from the residence including those requesting to cancel the call but do not advise the officer to cancel the call;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)  any interrupted or disconnected calls should be responded to if the location is known.

B. On-Scene Investigation, Arrest and Post Arrest Procedures
1. General Responsibilities at the Scene [see attached checklist]
When responding to domestic violence calls, officers should:
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)respond promptly to the call - utilize two officers when available;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)establish control;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)assess the situation for risks to all parties including children;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)attend to the emergency medical needs of those involved;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)interview parties/witnesses separately and away from the line of sight and hearing of the perpetrator; (use direct quotes of witnesses about their fears and concern);
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)effect an arrest of the perpetrator as the preferred response, if legally possible;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)seize any weapons used in the incident;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)inform the victim of rights;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)provide victim information on legal remedies and community services available for protection and safety planning;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)assist the victim in securing medical attention which shall include arranging for the transporting of the victim to obtain medical attention;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)assist the victim in securing legal protection (warrant, protective order) which may include transporting the victim to obtain the legal protection, if appropriate;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)report all actual and suspected incidents of abuse to the Cabinet for Families and Children, Department for Social Services, using the "Child Abuse, Adult Abuse, and Domestic Abuse Standard Report" form (JC-3);
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)if the exigent circumstances have ceased, obtain a consent to search or obtain a search warrant when appropriate;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)collect and photograph all relevant evidence required for successful prosecution [use body map with checklist to document injuries];
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)arrange for follow up photographs of the victim in order to demonstrate the extent of the injuries that may later become more obvious;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)attend to any children or dependent adults;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)check LINK and NCIC for outstanding warrants, history file on protective orders and whether there are any active "EPO's", "DVO's" or Foreign Protective Orders ["FPO's"]. [For various reasons not all valid domestic violence orders may be in the LINK system].

2. Arrests
a. Arrest is the preferred response to domestic violence. All arrests shall be made in conformity with Kentucky state law, agency policy and procedures.
b. Warrantless arrest for domestic violence related felonies is the preferred response.
c. Misdemeanant arrests without a warrant:

(1) As long as there exists probable cause to believe an offender has intentionally or wantonly caused injury to a family member or a member of an unmarried couple the officer may arrest for Assault in the Fourth Degree. KRS 431.005(2)(a).

(1) Effective July 1996 the officer does not have to determine whether the offender will present a danger or threat of danger to others if not immediately restrained in order to effect an arrest for an Assault in the Fourth Degree. KRS 431.005(2)(a)
(2) A "Peace Officer" for purposes of this provision now include full-time sworn officers of the Kentucky Horse Park, a commissioned full-time State park Ranger, a full-time State Water Patrol Officer, or a part-time paid law enforcement officer, who has completed a Kentucky Law Enforcement Council approved education training program prescribed by statute. KRS 431.005(3).
(3) If the misdemeanant assault charge is a third or subsequent offense, the penalty for the arresting offense can be enhanced by one degree. In order for the enhancement of the penalty it is not necessary that the victim be the same person. KRS 508.032. The officer should make a reasonable effort to determine if there is a prior history.

(2) If there is probable cause to believe that any condition of a bond or pre-trial release has been violated and the officer has verified that the offender has had notice of the conditions, he shall arrest the offender without a warrant. KRS 431.005(4).

Note: Because release conditions are not contained in any computerized information system it is important to collect a criminal history background of the perpetrator at the scene as well as documentation of the release conditions, if available at the scene. Release checks can be made the following day and any arrests can be effected at that time.

(3) Emergency Protective Orders ["EPO"]
(a) Emergency Protective Orders are immediately enforceable only if the respondent has been served or given notice of the contents;
(b) the law enforcement officer should check through the LINK-Domestic Violence File to verify service of the Emergency Protective Order;
(c) If personal service has not occurred the officer shall immediately give the respondent notice of the contents of the emergency protective order;
(d) After notice has been given to the respondent its terms are binding and enforceable for subsequent acts;
(e) The law enforcement officer shall then make arrangements for personal service of the "EPO" if possible and make notification to the communications center of this department and notification to the responsible agency for LINK entry of the orders.

Note: Information regarding notice and arrangements for service shall be marked on the JC-3 form.

(4) Domestic Violence Orders ["DVO"]
(a) "DVO's" shall be enforced immediately upon issuance.
(b) The officer shall make sure that the conditions for which an arrest is made are prohibited in the "DVO".

(1) All law enforcement officers should be aware that pursuant to the Carrying Concealed Deadly Weapon statute, "...when a domestic violence order or emergency protective order is issued pursuant to the provision of KRS Chapter 403 against a person holding a license issued under [the law], the holder of the permit shall surrender the license to the court or to the officer serving the order." KRS 237.110(10);
(2) The meaning of this statutory provision is not completely clear and law enforcement officers should be aware of any court decisions which interpret the authority of a law enforcement officer in this situation.

(5) Foreign Protective Orders ["FPO"]
(a) General
(1) All out of state protective orders shall be enforced as written including provisions which grant relief not available in Kentucky;
(2) All foreign protective orders are presumed valid upon presentation to the law enforcement officer. Foreign protective orders do not have to have been entered into the LINK system to be valid and enforceable;
(3) Some foreign protective orders may have been filed of record and may be verified through LINK.
(b) Arrest procedures
(1) When a foreign protective order is presented to the law enforcement officer by the complainant the officer shall:
(a) determine whether the order is current.
(b) determine whether the conduct complained of is prohibited by the order.

Note: For different reasons some foreign protective orders do not have expiration dates on them. Even though no expiration date is contained on the order the officer shall accept the statement (written or oral) of the complainant that the order is current.

(2) The officer shall inquire of the complainant whether the protective order has been filed with the circuit clerk's office.
(a) If the order has been filed with the clerk's office it can be further verified through the LINK system.

Note: Even if the order has not been filed with the court clerk and is not available on LINK it is still a valid order of protection as long as step 1 is completed.

(3) The officer shall assume that the respondent was given notice of domestic violence order and its contents;
(4) If the officer has probable cause to believe the respondent has violated the terms of the protective order he shall arrest the respondent as having violated a protective order; KRS 403.763.
(5) All peace officers shall make arrests for a violation of a foreign protective order in the same manner as a violation of an emergency protective order or domestic violence order as if it had been entered by a Kentucky Court. The charge shall be a violation of a protective order.

(1) This shall not preclude officers from arresting the perpetrator for other violations of the Kentucky Penal Code;
(2) Law enforcement officers are not expected to be aware of any changes of a foreign protective order that are not clearly on the order itself, or, if the order is on LINK, if the changes are not indicated on LINK;
(3) It is the obligation of the victim to notify the court of changes in the order.

d. Mutual Violence
(1) Where the officer has probable cause to believe that two or more persons committed a misdemeanor or felony, or if two or more persons make complaints to the officer, the officer shall try to determine who was the primary aggressor and whether one party acted in self-defense;
(2) The officer should arrest the primary aggressor;
(3) Where there is probable cause to believe that all parties are equally responsible the officer should contact his immediate supervisor for assistance in a resolution;
(4) Officers should not use mutual arrests as a substitute for a thorough investigation.

Note: Arresting both parties is not the preferred response.

(5) Factors to consider in mutual violence situations to determine the primary aggressor:
(a) The history of domestic disputes/violence between the persons;
(b) The degree of injury inflicted upon each person keeping in mind that many injuries to the head and body may not be visible at the time;
(c) Objective and testimonial evidence from the parties and other persons at the scene including children;
(d) Whether one person acted in self-defense;
(e) The presence of fear of the parties involved and the level of fear (who is afraid of whom); and,
(f.) The likelihood of future injury.

Note: An injury inflicted in self-defense is not a basis for an arrest for a violation of a mutual protection order.

C. Obtaining Warrants/Protective Orders
1. When a domestic violence crime has allegedly been committed, and the officer is unable to arrest the alleged perpetrator under the provisions discussed above, the officer shall assist the victim in obtaining an arrest warrant and/or protective order;
2. The officer may apply for an arrest warrant himself when he has sufficient information to establish probable cause;
3. The officer may consult with his supervisor;
4. Prosecution is the preferred response even if the officer has to take the initiative;
5. The victim's non-cooperation shall not be considered when seeking warrants;
6. If the offense occurs after normal working hours this department will follow the 24-hour access policy established by the court;

Note: Each law enforcement agency should insert their local court's 24-hour policy for obtaining emergency protective orders and warrants and its own policy for transporting victims.

D. Duty to victim whether or not an arrest has been made
1. Whether or not an arrest has been made, if the officer has reason to suspect that a family member, member of an unmarried couple, or household member has been the victim of domestic violence, the officer is required by KRS 403.785(2) to use all reasonable means necessary to prevent further domestic violence, including but not limited to:
(a). remaining at the scene as long as the officer reasonably suspects there is danger to the physical safety of the individuals present without the presence of a law enforcement officer;
(b). assisting the victim to obtain medical treatment, including offering to transport, or arranging for the transportation of the victim to the nearest medical treatment facility capable of providing the necessary treatment; and
(c) advising the victim of rights and services available.

(1) These "rights and services" include information about criminal complaint procedures, availability and enforcement of civil protective orders, availability of emergency shelter services, protective services of DSS, and other community resources. Many of these rights and services are printed on the "Victim Rights Information" tear-off portion of the JC3 form;
(2) Tearing off the victim rights information portion of the JC3 form and giving it to a victim may not fully satisfy this duty. The responding officer should also insure that the victim can read and understand the printed form.

2. In order to protect the victim and provide access to a safe environment the officer should:
a. Provide a copy of a safety plan, if available;
b. Inform the person of local procedures for victim notification.

3. Whether or not an arrest has been made, the officer shall report any known or suspected adult or child abuse, neglect or exploitation immediately, or any known or suspected domestic violence or abuse within 48 hours, to the Cabinet for Families and Children, Department for Social Services using the JC-3 form.
a. Death of an adult or a child does not relieve the officer of the responsibility to report the circumstances surrounding the death related to abuse or neglect.

E. Special Circumstances
1. Agency Assigned Service of an Emergency Protective Order
a. Emergency Protective Orders ("EPO") assigned by the District or Circuit Court for service by this agency shall receive high priority response. These orders shall be segregated from other orders or warrants to be served.
b. Upon service of the order on the respondent, the officer shall immediately notify the communications center of this agency and in turn the law enforcement agency in the issuing jurisdiction responsible for entry of domestic violence protective orders on the LINK-Domestic Violence File.
c. The officer should promptly arrange for a copy of the order with the verified service to be delivered to the entering agency for modification to the LINK-Domestic Violence File record.

2. Offender or Victim has Left the Scene
a. If probable cause exists that an alleged perpetrator has committed an assault on a family member or member of an unmarried couple, or has violated a protective order, a domestic violence order, or a foreign protective order, but the perpetrator has left the scene, the responding officer shall interview all available witnesses, record or document these interviews, and collect all available physical evidence .

Note: In order to arrest the perpetrator the officer does not have to make a determination that the perpetrator will present a danger or threat of danger to others if not immediately restrained. KRS 431.005(2)(a).

b. If the officer is unable to arrest the alleged perpetrator within a reasonable time, the officer should assist the victim in seeking an arrest warrant and/or emergency protective order to deter future domestic violence;
c. If probable cause exists that there has been an assault on a family member or a member of an unmarried couple or that a protective order has been violated, but the victim has left the scene, the responding officer shall, in addition to investigating the offense at the scene, attempt to locate the victim, determine whether the victim needs medical assistance and continue the investigation where the victim is located;
d. Effecting an arrest consistent with state law is the preferred response even when one party or the other has left the scene. This may include an arrest based on probable cause or the officer applying for an arrest warrant himself.

Note: Every law enforcement officer should check his local policies to determine whether he should apply for the arrest warrant.

3. Domestic Violence Perpetrator is a Juvenile
a. Officers shall handle juvenile perpetrators of domestic violence in the same manner as when the alleged perpetrator is an adult perpetrator;
b. If a juvenile is taken into custody, officers shall process the juvenile under the provisions of the Juvenile Code (KRS Chapters 600-645);
c. Officers should not release juvenile perpetrators at the scene
d. Officers should contact the Court Designated Worker (CDW) for an alternative placement for the juvenile perpetrator.

4. Special Needs Victims

a. Some domestic violence victims have special needs because of their relationship to the perpetrator, limited physical or mental abilities, or some other factor. These factors make it extremely difficult for them to report their victimization, call for assistance, or participate fully in the investigation and prosecution of their case.

b. Such special needs victims may include:
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)pregnant women,
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)physically or mentally disabled persons,
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)alcoholic or chemically dependent persons,
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)males,
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)adolescents, and,
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)culturally diverse populations.
c. Officers should treat all victims respectfully and as seriously as any other criminal case;
d. Officers should refer these victims to specialized support services to ensure the victim receives protection, physical assistance, medical treatment or other services as needed.

5. Marital Rape/Sexual Assault
Responding officers shall follow all procedures relating to investigation and evidence collection (including comprehensive rape examinations) where a sex offense is reported, regardless of the relationship including the marriage of the victim to the alleged perpetrator.

Note: There is no exemption for marital rape. KRS 508 and KRS 510.

6. Children, Dependent Adults and Elderly Adults
Even where a spouse or partner is the primary victim, officers shall take appropriate action on behalf of children, dependent adults, and elderly adults at the scene who may be the direct or indirect victims of violence.

7. Domestic Violence Stalking
a. Officers should complete a full report and investigation where a domestic violence victim alleges that he or she has been stalked;
b. Officers should advise stalking victims to notify this agency of subsequent incidents.

8. Special Relationship/Prominent Citizen
a. A responding officer shall notify his supervisor when he responds to a domestic violence call involving a public official, or a prominent citizen.
(1) A responding officer and supervisor shall apply this policy equally to all members of the community;
(2) This applies whether the person is the victim or the perpetrator.
b. A responding officer shall notify his supervisor when he responds to a domestic violence call involving law enforcement personnel.
(1) When possible the investigation should be handled by an officer at least one rank higher than the party involved;
(2) The investigating officer shall notify the highest raking officer on duty of the investigation.
c. When a law enforcement officer is investigating a member of another law enforcement agency that investigating officer should notify the highest ranking officer on duty of the agency with whom the officer under investigation is employed.
(1) This applies whether the person is the victim or the perpetrator.

9. Duty to Warn
a. Officers who receive warnings from mental health professionals under the provisions of KRS 202A.400 of threatened violence against an identifiable victim or victims should attempt to contact the intended victim or victims;
b. Officers should inform the victim of the threatened violence, advise him or her of all available legal remedies and assist the victim in accessing those legal remedies;
c. Officers should discuss alternative safety plans with the intended victim, provide transportation to a safe location if necessary, and give other indicated assistance;
d. Officers and supervisors should decide what further investigation or action (e.g., increased patrol, alert to all shift officers, etc.) is indicated;
e. Officers and supervisors should fully document the report of threatened violence, all attempts by officers to contact the intended victim or victims, actions taken on behalf of the intended victim or victims, and all further recommended investigations or actions.

10. Involuntary Hospitalization
a. If the officer believes the domestic violence perpetrator has a mental health condition which indicates that the person is an imminent danger to self or others, the officer needs to follow the provisions set forth in KRS 202A;
b. This statute should not be used as a substitute for an arrest.

Note: Check local procedures for the placement of this individual in an appropriate facility.

F. Other Related Matters
1. Confidentiality
The actual location of any spouse abuse center, or other emergency shelters, shall not be communicated by any electronic means. Such information shall be communicated only on a face-to-face, need-to-know basis to other law enforcement personnel.

2. Training
KRS 403.784 requires that each officer receive initial training, followed at least every two years by continuing education courses, developed by the Justice Cabinet concerning the dynamics of domestic violence, effects of domestic violence on adult and child victims, legal remedies for protection, lethality and risk issues, model protocols for addressing domestic violence, available community resources, victims services, and reporting requirements.

3. Good Faith Immunity from Liability
a. Officers who reasonably perform their duties in good faith have immunity from civil and criminal liability under the following situations:
(1) Enforcing Emergency Protective Orders or Domestic Violence Orders. KRS 403.755(2).
(2) Enforcing foreign protective orders. KRS 403.7529(3).
(3) Making a report or investigation for adult abuse or neglect. KRS 209.050; KRS 403.715(5).
(4) Making a report or investigation for child dependency, abuse or neglect.
KRS 620.050(1); 403.715(5).


A. General Definitions
1. "Domestic Disturbance or Dispute Call" means a call involving an argument or disagreement between family members, unmarried couples, or household members.

2. "Domestic Violence Call" means a call where an adult, child, or a family member or member of an unmarried couple is alleged to be the victim of:
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)physical injury or fear of imminent physical injury (explicit or implied threats);
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)sexual abuse or in fear of imminent sexual abuse;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)unlawful imprisonment/kidnapping;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)property crime;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)stalking; or,
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)violation of terms or conditions of a protective order by the other party.

Note: These calls are the types of cases which, by statute, must be reported to the Department for Social Services on the JC-3 form.

3. "Victim or Complainant" means any person who has been subjected to threats of or actual domestic violence and abuse. This includes persons who, at that time, may be reluctant to see the perpetrator arrested, file charges, or see the perpetrator prosecuted.

4. "Exigent Circumstances" means those circumstances or emergencies which authorize officers to enter a dwelling without consent or a warrant. Examples of such emergencies are:
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)hot pursuit of a fleeing felon;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)the imminent destruction of evidence;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)the need to prevent a suspect's escape;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)the risk of danger to the police or others;
wb02252_.gif (205 bytes)reasonable belief that a person inside is in need of immediate protection or assistance.

Note: If the officer is not in hot pursuit, the officer must have probable cause that one or more of the other three circumstances are present. In assessing the risk of danger, the officer should consider the seriousness of the crime and the likelihood that the suspect is armed. Minnesota v. Olson, 110 S.Ct. 1684 (1990)

5. "Probable Cause" to justify an arrest means facts and circumstances within the officer's knowledge that are sufficient to warrant a prudent person, or one of reasonable caution, in believing in the circumstances shown, that the suspect has committed, is committing, or is about to commit an offense. Probable cause means more than a simple suspicion or a hunch. The officer must have concrete facts or reliable information giving the officer a reasonable belief that the suspect probably committed the crime. Probable cause is frequently referred to in cases and statutes as "reasonable grounds".

(1) The victim's statement is a factor that should be considered in determining whether probable cause exists.
(2) The officer shall use the JC-3 form (Child Abuse, Adult Abuse and Domestic Abuse Standard Report) to document the evidence giving the officer probable cause to make the arrest, and/or report suspected abuse.

B. Domestic Violence and Abuse Definitions
1. "Domestic Violence and Abuse" means not only causing physical injury, serious physical injury, sexual abuse, or assault between family members or members of an unmarried couple, but also causing fear of such imminent physical injury, serious physical injury, sexual abuse, or assault. KRS 403.720(1).

2. "Physical Injury" means substantial physical pain or any impairment of physical condition. KRS 500.080(13).

3. "Family Member" means a spouse, including a former spouse, a parent, a child, a stepchild, or any other person related by blood or marriage within the second degree. KRS 403.720(2). KRS 431.005(2)(b) also lists grandparents.

Note: The AOC Clerk's Manual lists the following as being included: spouse, exspouse, child, stepchild, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, son- or daughter-in-law, spouse's parent, spouse's grandparent, spouse's brother or sister.

4. "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. KRS 403.720(3); KRS 431.005(2)(c).

Notes: (1) The AOC Clerk's Manual lists the following as being included: the parent of the victim's child even if the parties are not married, any children of that couple or member of an unmarried couple who are living together or formerly lived together;
(2) The statutes do not define "couple" or "living together". Officers should make a determination of whether or not parties are a "couple" or "living together" without being influenced by gender or sexual orientation or whether or not sexual activity is involved.

C. Protective Orders
1. "Emergency Protective Order" ("EPO") means an ex parte court order (an order issued at the request of one party without a hearing) issued under the provisions of KRS 403.740 against a family member or a member of an unmarried couple who has been determined to present an immediate and present danger and which is valid for up to 14 days (the date of expiration should appear on the order).

(1) The officer seeking to enforce the order shall determine that certain conduct has been prohibited on the order form or in the LINK system--he cannot assume that any particular provision is in force;
(2) He must also determine whether service or notice of the order has been completed.

2 . "Mutual Protection Order" is an order of protection against both the Petitioner and Respondent only if each has filed a separate petition seeking protection against the other. The order must be specific so as to make clear to any peace officer which party has violated the order. KRS 403.735 (2).

Note: Out of state mutual protection orders are enforceable only if the issuing court has made specific findings that each party in a separate order was entitled to an order of protection.

3. "Domestic Violence Order" ("DVO") means a court order issued under the provisions of KRS 403.750 following a hearing against a family member or a member of an unmarried couple where the court has found violence has occurred and is likely to occur again. In Kentucky a "DVO" is valid for up to three years (the date of expiration should appear on the order).

4. "Foreign Protective Order" ("FPO") means any judgment, decree, or order of protection issued by a court of any state of the United States or tribal court which is entitled to full faith and credit in this state pursuant to 18 U.S.C. sec. 2265. KRS 403.7521(1). Foreign Protective Orders shall be enforced as written.

Note: These out-of-state orders may not have an expiration date and may even contain provisions which could not otherwise be issued by a Kentucky court.

D. Adult Abuse or Neglect/Exploitation Definitions
1. "Abuse or Neglect" means the infliction of physical pain, injury or mental injury, or the deprivation of services by a caretaker which are necessary to maintain the health and welfare of an adult, or a situation in which an adult, living alone, is unable to provide or obtain for himself the services which are necessary to maintain his health or welfare, or a situation in which a person inflicts physical pain or injury upon a spouse or deprives a spouse of reasonable services necessary to maintain the health and welfare of his spouse. KRS 209.020(7).

2. "Adult" means a person eighteen (18) years of age or older or a married person without regard to age, who because of mental or physical dysfunctioning, or who is the victim of abuse or neglect inflicted by a spouse, is unable to manage his own resources, carry out the activities of daily living, or protect himself from neglect, hazardous or abusive situations without assistance from others and may be in need of protective services. KRS 209.020(4).

3. "Exploitation" means the improper use of an adult or an adult's resources by a caretaker or other person for the profit or advantage of the caretaker or other person. KRS 209.020(8).

E. Abused or Neglected/Dependent Child Definitions
1. "Abused or Neglected Child" means a child whose health or welfare is harmed or threatened with harm when his parent, guardian or other person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child, inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child physical or emotional injury by other than accidental means; commits or allows to be committed an act of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or prostitution upon the child; creates or allows to be created a risk that an act of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or prostitution will be committed upon the child; abandons or exploits such child; does not provide the child with adequate care, supervision, food, clothing, shelter and education or medical care necessary for the child's well-being. A parent or other person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child legitimately practicing his religious beliefs shall not be considered a negligent parent solely because he fails to provide specified medical treatment for a child for that reason alone. This exception shall not preclude a court from ordering necessary medical services for a child. KRS 600.020(1).

2. "Dependent Child" means any child, other than an abused or neglected child, who is under improper care, custody, control, or guardianship that is not due to an intentional act of the parent, guardian, or person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child. KRS 600.020(15).

3. "Person Exercising Custodial Control or Supervision" means a person or agency that has assumed the role and responsibility of a parent or guardian for the child, but that does not necessarily have legal custody of the child. KRS 600.020(34).

F. Stalking Definitions
1. "Stalking" means an intentional course of conduct directed at a specific person which seriously alarms, annoys, intimidates or harasses; which serves no legitimate purpose; and which would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial mental distress. KRS 508.130(1).

2. "Course of Conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of two or more acts, evidencing a continuity of purpose; it does not include constitutionally protected activity. KRS 508.130(2).

G. Other Definitions
1. "Self Protection" or "Protection of Another" means a person's justifiable use of physical force upon another person when the person believes such force is necessary to defend himself or a third person from the use, or imminent use, of unlawful physical force by such other person. KRS 503.050; KRS 503.070.

2. "Imminent" means impending danger, and, in the context of domestic violence and abuse as defined by KRS 403.720, belief that danger is imminent can be inferred from a past pattern of repeated serious abuse. KRS 503.010(3).

3. "Peace Officer" for purposes of this policy means:
a. "A full-time sworn officer of the Kentucky State Police, a full-time sworn officer of the Kentucky Horse Park, a commissioned full-time state park ranger, a full-time state water patrol officer, a full-time city policeman, a full-time county policeman, a full- time university safety and security officer appointed pursuant to KRS 164.950 to 164.970, a full-time city-county policeman, a duly elected sheriff, or a full-time paid deputy sheriff; or,
b. A part-time law enforcement officer, or a special paid deputy, who has completed a Kentucky Law Enforcement Council approved education and training program referred to in KRS 403.784 (1), (2)." KRS 431.005(2).

H. The Violence Against Women's Act Federal Crimes
1. "Interstate Domestic Violence" means: crossing a state line in order to commit domestic violence and subsequently committing the act. This crime occurs when:
a. a person who travels across a state line or enters or leaves Indian country with the intent to injure, harass, or intimidate that person's spouse or intimate partner; and,
b. who, in the course of or as a result of such travel, intentionally commits a crime of violence and thereby causes bodily injury to such spouse or intimate partner. 18 .S.C sec. 2261 (a) (1).

2. "Interstate Domestic Violence" means: causing another to cross a state line due to domestic violence. This crime occurs when:
a. a person who causes a spouse or intimate partner to cross a state line or to enter or leave Indian country by force, coercion duress, or fraud; and,
b. in the course or as a result of that conduct, intentionally commits a crime of violence and thereby causes bodily injury to the person's spouse or intimate partner. 18 U.S.C. sec. 2261 (a)(2).

3. "Interstate Violation of a Protection Order" means: crossing a state line in order to commit domestic violence in violation of a protection order and subsequently violating the protection order. This crime occurs when:
a. a person who travels across a state line or enters or leaves Indian country with the intent to engage in conduct that violates the portion of a protection order that involves protection against credible threats of violence, repeated harassment or bodily injury to the person or persons for whom the protection order was issued; or
b. would violate the protection order if the conduct occurred in the jurisdiction in which the order was issued; and,
c. subsequently engages in conduct which violates the protection order. 18 U.S.C. sec. 2262(a)(1).

4. "Interstate Violation of a Protection Order" means: causing another to cross state lines fleeing because of domestic violence committed in violation of a protection order. This crime occurs when:
a. A person who causes a spouse or intimate partner to cross a state line or to enter or leave Indian country by force, coercion, duress, or fraud; and,
b. In the course or as a result of that conduct, intentionally commits an act that injures the person's spouse or intimate partner in violation of a valid protection order issued by a state. 18 U.S.C. sec. 2262 (a)(2).

created by the Kentucky Justice Cabinet
in conjunction with the
Governor's Council on Domestic Violence