It’s not easy to decide to file suit against an abuser, especially when it’s someone close to you. The State of Ohio recognizes that difficulty and offers an alternative in the form of a Civil Protection Order (CPO). A CPO can include a number of terms, but typically orders the accused party to stop abusing or harassing the victim. A CPO may also require that the abuser vacate a shared residence or turn over custody of minor children. A CPO may require the abuser to turn over possession of a shared car or other personal property and may require the abuser to stay away from the victim’s place of work or school.
When you file a CPO, you’ll have an emergency hearing on the same day. Only you, your attorney, and the judge will be present. At that time, the judge may order certain emergency measures if she believes that there is an “immediate and present danger” to the victim or another member of the household. If the abuser has recently threatened to physically harm or has actually physically abused a family member, that qualifies as immediate and present danger. The judge will also find that there is an immediate and present danger if the alleged abuser has already been convicted of domestic violence or the abuser commits repeated acts of domestic violence.
If the judge finds that there is an immediate and present danger, she may grant an ex parte CPO. An ex parte order is a temporary order granted because of an emergency; the court must hold a full hearing with both parties present within 7 – 10 days. At that time, the judge will issue a formal CPO.
You may file a CPO on behalf of yourself, a child in your household, or another member of your household. The abuse may be verbal, physical, emotional, or sexual. If someone in your home makes you afraid that you’ll be harmed, that’s also domestic abuse and is grounds for a CPO.
You don’t have to be married to the alleged abuser to get an order of protection, either. If you live with the abuser or have lived with the abuser, you’re entitled to request a CPO. A CPO can also cover your relatives or relatives of the abuser if you live or have lived together.
There are four types of protection orders. If you’re a household member of the alleged abuser, you can ask for a civil case protection order, called a CPO. If there is a criminal abuse case against the alleged abuser, the court may issue a Domestic Violence Temporary Protection Order (DVTPO) or a Criminal Protection Order (CRO). The difference depends on the type of charges being brought against the abuser. Finally, the court may issue a Civil Stalking or Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order (SSOOPO) if you’re being stalked or followed.
Restraining orders and CPOs have similar results but are very different legal tools. A restraining order is typically issued during a divorce or separation proceeding to protect a victim from an abusive spouse. It will require the abuser to stay away from the victim and to refrain from harassing the victim during the divorce or separation proceedings. The victim and the victim’s attorney typically must file a motion for contempt of court against the abuser in the event of a violation of the restraining order. The police aren’t in charge of enforcement.
In contrast, police all over the state are required to enforce protection orders. Protection orders can also include other provisions in addition to staying away from the victim. For example, protection orders can force an abuser out of a shared home or grant temporary custody of children to the victim.
If you’re the victim of domestic abuse, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our attorneys can help you formulate your petition for an ex parte CPO to protect you and your loved ones right away. Then we’ll help you prepare for your formal hearing so you get the protection you need. To schedule a consultation about civil protection order with one of our experienced attorneys, contact Kirkland & Sommers,, online or call (937) 853-555