B. Who Can Be Sued.
The following types of individuals may be defendants in an abuse or harassment case:
- An adult or emancipated minor;
- A minor, if represented by an adult parent or guardian; or
- An incompetent person, represented by a guardian
- Relationship Requirements: Protection from Abuse Cases
To bring an abuse case, the defendant (who you are suing) must be related to you in one of the following ways:
- Sexual abuse or stalking: If the allegations include sexual assault or stalking, no relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant is required.
- Elder/Dependent/Incapacitated Adult Victim: If the plaintiff (victim of "abuse") is 60 years of age or older, or a dependent adult, or an incapacitated adult, and the defendant is an extended family member, or unpaid care provider, then a complaint for protection from abuse can be filed by the adult victim, the legal guardian of the adult victim, or a representative of DHHS.
- Extended family member includes, but is not limited to: a person who is related to the plaintiff by blood, marriage, or adoption, whether or not the person has ever resided with the plaintiff.
- Unpaid care provider includes, but is not limited to: a caretaker who voluntarily provides full, intermittent, or occasional personal care to the plaintiff in the plaintiff's home similar to the ways a family member would provide care.
- In all other cases, the plaintiff and the defendant must have one of the following relationships with each other:
- The plaintiff and the defendant are current or former spouses;
- The plaintiff and the defendant are current or former sexual partners or dating partners;
- The defendant is the biological father or mother of the plaintiff's child;
- The plaintiff and the defendant live together now or have lived together in the past; or
- The plaintiff is a minor child of any household member and the defendant is an adult household member.
Relationship Requirements: Protection from Harassment Cases
To bring a harassment case, no special relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant is required.