Civil Protection Orders
By: Turning Point
Temporary Protection Orders
A Temporary Protection Order (TPO) is available only when a criminal complaint, such as domestic violence, has been filed. A TPO can order the abuser to stay away from the victim's residence, workplace and school. It can order the abuser to refrain from telephoning, harassing or threatening the victim directly or through another person. It can also include any other terms necessary to ensure the victim's safety.
A TPO is granted by a Municipal or Common Pleas Court judge and the victim may need to attend the arraignment to receive one. This order is only in effect while the case is pending - until dismissal or sentencing. A TPO is enforceable nationwide and a violation is a criminal offence.
Ex-Parte Civil Protection Order
The victim can ask the court to grant an Ex-Parte Civil Protection Order, or an emergency order, when a CPO is filed. An Ex-Parte CPO is a protection order that goes into effect before a full hearing. If the Ex-Parte is granted, it will remain in effect until the CPO hearing. A full hearing will be scheduled within 7-10 days after filing. At the full hearing, the victim will explain to the judge why a CPO is necessary to protect her/him from further harm. (The victim should bring any documentation of abuse to this hearing including witnesses, police reports, hospital/physician reports, etc.)
If the victim fails to appear at the hearing, the judge will not grant a CPO. The abuser will be given notice of the hearing and will have an opportunity to be heard. If the abuser does not show up in court, the victim can still receive a CPO. The Ex-Parte CPO is fully enforceable until a CPO is granted.
Civil Protection Order
A Civil Protection Order (CPO) is issued by the Common Pleas Court. No criminal charges need to be filed but the family/household member must feel that her/his life is in danger. A CPO may order the abuser to stay away from the victim's residents, workplace or school. (It can also order the abuser to leave the house or apartment the victim and abuser live in, even if it is in the abuser's name). A CPO may order the abuser to refrain from abusing, telephoning, harassing or threatening the victim directly or through another person.
In regards to the child(ren), a judge may grant temporary custody, order child support and establish a visitation schedule. If one of the parties of a CPO files a divorce action against the other party, temporary custody awarded in the CPO will remain in effect until the divorce court issues a custody order.
Civil Stalking Protection Order
A Civil Stalking Protection Order is similar to a civil protection order. It can protect victims who are NOT family or household members of the abuser. Documentation of at least two incidents is required. A Criminal Stalking Order is comparable to a TPO when criminal stalking/menacing charges are filed.
A Restraining Order (RO) is granted during a divorce proceeding. It is issued by the Domestic Relations court to restrain one party from selling household goods, withdrawing all the money from the bank accounts, running up debts and from abusing or harassing each other.
It is in effect until the divorce is final and cannot be renewed. Violation of an RO is not a criminal offense and the police are not required to enforce it. However, the victim's attorney could file a contempt of court motion if the order is violated.
Only a judge can dissolve the order. If you allow the abuser to violate the order, they can be charged.
On September 24, 2003 the Ohio Supreme Court, in Ohio vs. Lucas, ruled that a victim cannot be charged with a violation for aiding and abetting if the offender is found in her presence.
The way courts handle protection orders may vary from county to county.