In Hamilton County, Ohio, there are laws in place to help those dealing with domestic abuse. If a family or other household member causes someone else in the household physical harm or causes them to be fearful of such harm, including through stalking or threats, it is domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse isn't just physical, either. Emotional and economic abuse is considered domestic violence if it is accompanied by physical harm or threats of physical harm. It is also considered domestic abuse when a family or household member forces sexual relations.
Getting Protection From Domestic Violence
A restraining order can be filed for protection from domestic violence. It can also be filed on behalf of another household or family member in danger, such as a child. Once a restraining order from the court is in place, the alleged offender faces criminal repercussions if there is any contact with the person who filed the restraining order and/or her children. In Hamilton County, Ohio, a restraining order is formally called a civil protection order, or a CPO.
Forms Necessary for a Civil Protection Order
All of the forms necessary to obtain a protection order can be found at the clerk of court’s office at the county domestic relations court, 800 Broadway Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio 45202. The courthouse is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and can be reached by phone at 513-946-9000.
The necessary forms for a protection order are:
- Petition for Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order Form 10.01-D.
- Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order Ex Parte Form 10.01-H.
Be sure to ask the clerk for How to Complete a Petition for a Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order Form No. 10.01-C. This form explains how to fill out the petition line by line.
For temporary custody of a child, Information for Parenting Proceeding Affidavit Form 10.01-F is required. Additional forms may be needed if financial support is required.
File the Petition for a Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order
After completing all of the necessary CPO forms, take them, with the exception of the ex parte CPO form, to the clerk of the court's office for filing. If everything is complete, the clerk will assign and provide the date and time for the ex parte hearing. Keep the ex parte CPO form on hand as it'll be needed at the hearing. Currently, there is no fee for filing a CPO.
Attend the Ex Parte Court Hearing
The person seeking the restraining order, the petitioner, must attend the ex parte hearing. At this hearing, the alleged offender is not present. The judge or magistrate will listen to the petitioner's testimony about the domestic violence.
It's important that the petitioner make it clear to the judge or magistrate how he and/or his children are in danger from the alleged offender. This includes how the alleged offender has injured, attempted to injure or has threatened to injure him and/or his children. Remember that emotional abuse is considered domestic violence if it is accompanied by threats of harm.
Asking the Judge for Protection Measures
At the hearing, the petitioner will also tell the judge how she wants to be protected. For example, the petitioner may want the court to order the alleged offender to stay away from her and the children and to be taken out of the home. The petitioner may also ask for other measures that will help keep her and the children safe, including:
- Custody of the children.
- Spousal and/or child support.
- Custody of personal property.
- Request that the alleged offender get counseling and be prohibited from having any weapons.
If the judge agrees with the petitioner, she'll sign the the ex parte CPO form and set a second hearing, called a full hearing, to take place within seven to 10 business days. At the full hearing, the alleged offender, the respondent, will have a chance to respond to the allegations. Some issues, such as support, may not be decided until the full hearing.
File the Ex Parte Civil Protection Order
The next step is to take the signed ex parte CPO and file it with the clerk of court's office. At this point, the petitioner will need to tell the clerk where law enforcement can serve the alleged offender with the order. Once law enforcement serves the alleged offender with the ex parte CPO, the restraining order is in effect.
Attend the Full Hearing
The petitioner then attends the full hearing, with or without an attorney. At the full hearing, the petitioner again tells the court how he or other household members are in danger from the alleged offender. T
his time, the petitioner has the chance to go into more detail about the abuse. The petitioner can present evidence, such as photographs, audio recordings, police reports and hospital records; he can also call witnesses to the stand to support his case. He may even call the alleged offender to the witness stand.
The alleged offender, if present, has a chance to respond to the allegations. Like the petitioner, the respondent, with or without an attorney, can present evidence and call witnesses to the stand. The respondent may also call the petitioner to the witness stand and ask questions about the alleged abuse.
Read More: What Happens at a Permanent Restraining Order Hearing?
Enforcing the Protection Order
After the hearing is completed, the judge decides whether to grant or deny the petition. If the judge agrees with the petitioner, she'll be given a new protection order, called a Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order CPO Full Hearing. Unless the court sets a new expiration date, this new CPO remains in effect for five years and is enforceable in all 50 states.
With this new CPO, the police can be called immediately if the respondent violates any of its terms. Law enforcement personnel can then arrest and detain the respondent.
Filing for a Contempt Hearing
The petitioner can also file a contempt motion, Form No. 10-01-O, against the respondent with the clerk’s office for CPO violations. After filing a contempt motion, the petitioner will be given a contempt hearing. At the contempt hearing, both the petitioner and the respondent have the chance to present evidence and witnesses regarding the CPO violations.
If the court agrees with the petitioner, the court may order the other party to comply with the CPO. Since violating a CPO is a crime, the judge or magistrate may also order that the respondent serve jail time or pay a fine.
Modify or Terminate a Domestic Violence Protection Order
If circumstances change, and the petitioner wishes to change or end the civil protection order, he'll need to fill out and file the Motion to Modify or Terminate Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order or Consent Agreement Form No. 10.01-K. On the form, he'll list the terms of the protection order that he wants ended or changed with the reasons why. He'll also write on the form the address where the other party can be sent a copy of the motion.
In reply, the petitioner will receive a notice of the scheduled hearing, where the court will determine whether to grant or deny his motion. There is no fee for modifying or terminating a civil protection order.
Hamilton County's court clerk can provide all of the information and forms needed to file a restraining order. While the court clerk can provide assistance with court forms, only an attorney can give legal advice.
- Hamilton County: Domestic Violence
- Hamilton County: General Information About Domestic Violence Protection Orders
- Hamilton County: Procedures for Obtaining a Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order
- Hamilton County: Instructions for Completing a Motion for Contempt for Violating a Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order
- Hamilton County: Motion to Modify or Terminate Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order or Consent Agreement
- Hamilton County: Motion for Contempt of a Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order
- Hamilton County: Warning Concerning the Attached Domestic Violence Protection Order
Karen graduated from Southwestern Law School in 2003 with a Juris Doctor degree. She has worked for several law firms, providing legal services in various fields including immigration, housing, bankruptcy and family law.