A victim of domestic violence can seek a civil protection order. This type of restraining order, granted by a judge, orders the respondent (the abuser) to stay away from the plaintiff (the person who files the order). A civil protection order in Ohio is enforceable anywhere in the state, provided it is current and valid, and can last up to five years, with the possibility of renewal for another five years.
Civil Protection Order in Ohio
A civil protection order (CPO) is issued by the domestic relations court to protect victims of domestic violence, with the aim of preventing future domestic violence. Additionally, a common pleas court can issue a civil stalking or sexually orientated offense protection order (SSOOPO) to protect a victim of stalking.
The terms of a civil protection order in Ohio vary depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. The order may direct the abuser to stop the abuse, grant sole possession of the residence or household to the plaintiff or another family member, order the abuser to vacate the premises or order the abuser to provide suitable, alternative housing to the plaintiff. It may award temporary custody and establish temporary custody orders of minor children, provided no custody and/or visitation rights have been determined by another court. It may require the abuser to maintain financial support of the plaintiff. A civil protection order may also require the abuser to stay away from the residence, school, business or place of work of the plaintiff.
Read More: How to Fight an Order of Protection
Ohio Protection Order Laws
Ohio state law regarding domestic violence and domestic violence protection orders is defined and ruled by § 2919, including violation of protective orders (§ 2919.27). Ohio state law regarding stalking or sexually oriented offense protection orders is governed by § 2903.214 of the civil code.
How to Get a Civil Protection Order
Whether you need a domestic violence protection order or an SSOOPO, the steps are similar. You can obtain Ohio protection order forms from the court clerk; however, be sure to clarify if you are filing for an SSOOPO. The petition for an SSOOPO must be filed with the general division, not the domestic relations division, of the court of common pleas. You do not need a lawyer to file for a domestic violence protection order or an SSOOPO, but it may be to your advantage to seek legal advice, especially if the abuser has a lawyer.
A civil protection order in Ohio is a type of restraining order issued by a judge to protect a victim of domestic violence or stalking.
Claire is a qualified lawyer and specialized in family law before becoming a full-time writer. She has written for many digital publications, including The Washington Post, Forbes, Vice and HealthCentral.