Louisville announces new system for protective orders

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – One judge called the new process for obtaining an emergency protective order in the first of its kind in Kentucky and the country.

On Monday, Mayor Greg Fischer, along with Congressman John Yarmuth, Jefferson County Sheriff John Aubrey, court officials and the Center for Women and Families's Executive Director Marta Miranda announced the new system called an electronic emergency protective order, or e-EPO.

Officials said the new electronic system will greatly speed up the process when domestic violence victims seek protection from an abuser. With the new e-EPO system, a person requests an emergency protective order which is electronically sent to a judge who approves and signs it electronically. It's then electronically made available to officers on the street.

"I really believe it might have saved her life. It could have saved her life," Connie Parker said.

Parker's daughter, Ashley Davis, filed an emergency protective order in 2010. Davis was murdered in November 2010, police say, by Michael Greene, the man she took the EPO out on. The EPO against Greene had not yet been served.

"If the delay did not happen, maybe, this would not have happened to her," Parker said.

Though it can't bring her daughter back, Parker said she hoped a new system can help others.

"In the dangerous equation of domestic violence, time saved can equal lives saved," said David Nicholson, the Jefferson County Circuit Court Clerk.

That was the main message of Monday's announcement.

"Individuals seeking a protection order previously faced an inefficient and often lengthy process that relied on paper copies and it had to walk the floors to find a judge for review and approval," Fischer said.

"We have dramatically reduced the time from the victim's statement, to the judge, to the sheriff," Steven George, Chief of Family Court said. "Last week, it was all accomplished in an average of 30 minutes."

"Maybe that other people that are in the same situation this will help protect them," Parker said. "And they don't have to live through what I live through every single day."

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