Under Ohio law, a Civil Protection Order (“CPO”) is a restraining order directing a person to do or not do certain things as outlined by the court order. One form of a civil protection order is a Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order, in which a person who claims to be a victim of domestic violence (“Petitioner”) requests a court order of protection against the accused (“Respondent”). The purpose of a domestic civil protection statute is to “protect the family or household from domestic violence.”
Domestic violence means: (1) attempting to cause or recklessly causing bodily injury, (2) placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm, (3) committing any act with respect to a child that would result in the child being abused, and or (4) committing a sexually oriented offense.
If a Civil Protection Order is granted, the Respondent is ordered to not harm, attempt to harm, threaten, follow, stalk, harass, force sexual relations upon, or commit sexually oriented offenses against the protected persons named in the Order. In addition, the following provisions can also apply:
- Respondent can be ordered to immediately vacate a residence
- The Court can order exclusive possession of the resident to the Petitioner and family
- Respondent can be ordered to surrender all keys and garage door openers
- Respondent can be ordered not to enter or interfere with the residence, school, business, place of employment, day care centers, or child care providers of the protected persons
- Respondent can be ordered to stay away from the Petitioner and all other protected persons named in the Order, and not be present within 500 feet or other specific distance from the people protected by the order
- Respondent can be ordered to not initiate or have any contact with the people protected by the order
- Respondent can be ordered to immediately surrender possession of all keys to a motor vehicles
- Respondent can be ordered to not remove, damage, hide, or dispose of any property or pets owned or possessed by people protected by the order
- Respondent can be ordered to not cause or encourage any person to do any act prohibited by the order
- Respondent can be ordered to not possess, use, carry, or obtain any deadly weapon while the order is in effect
- Respondent can be ordered to turn over all deadly weapons and concealed carry weapon license
- The court can temporary allocating parental rights and responsibilities
- Visitation orders with a child or children can be limited or suspended
- Respondent can be ordered to not use or possess alcohol or illegal drugs
- Respondent can be ordered to complete counseling
- And the Court can write in further orders as it finds necessary
What is an Ex Parte Order?
When a Petitioner files a civil protection order and requests an ex parte order, then the court shall hold a hearing on the same day that the request is filed. “Ex parte” means that the Respondent is not present at the court hearing. The court, for good cause shown at the ex parte hearing, can enter any temporary orders that the court finds necessary to protect the Petitioner and or their family members. Good cause shown means that there is an immediate and present danger of domestic violence.
If the Ex Parte Order includes an order to vacate or evict the Respondent, a full hearing must be held within 7 court days. However, if the Ex Parte Order does not include an order to vacate or evict, then a full hearing must be held within 10 court days.
What happens at a full hearing for a Civil Protection Order?
Following the ex parte hearing, the court will schedule a hearing to determine if you are entitled to have a civil protection order. This full hearing will take place whether the CPO was granted at the ex parte hearing or not. At the hearing, both sides will present evidence and have the opportunity to share their side of the story. After the hearing, the court may grant and fill out a Domestic Violence Protection Order (CPO) Full Hearing.
In the Order, the Court will then issue findings of fact in which the Court may find that “(1) the Petitioner or Petitioner’s family or household members are in danger of or have been a victim of domestic violence or sexually oriented offenses committed by Respondent; and (2) the following orders are equitable, fair, and necessary to protect the persons named in this Order for domestic violence.” The Court will also determine which provision describe above should apply to the Respondent.
If the Respondent shows up at court, he or she may agree to enter into a Consent Agreement and Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order. A Consent Agreement in a civil protection order occurs when the parties agree upon the terms of the protection order. If the parties are able to agree upon the terms of the protection order, then there is no need for a finding of domestic violence nor is there a place in the Consent Agreement form to include a finding of facts. In a Consent Agreement, it should be noted, that the Respondent is not admitting or denying that an act of violence ever occurred. The Respondent is simply agreeing to follow the terms of the civil protection order.
What happens if someone violates a Civil Protection Order?
If a CPO is granted, even on an ex parte basis, and the Respondent violates the terms of the CPO, they can be charged with a crime. Even though the CPO is civil in nature, meaning it does not carry criminal penalties, violation is a criminal act. Going to the home or workplace of the Petitioner or even calling or sending text massages to the Petitioner can constitute a violation.
In addition, if a CPO is issued against you, it will show up on background checks. This can disqualify you from employment, CCW permits, purchasing firearms, and coaching youth sports or teaching. If the Respondent is in the military or has a security clearance, a CPO can result in termination from employment. Because the CPO will show up in background checks even after expiring, the effects can linger much longer than the CPO itself.
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At Kirkland & Sommers, Co. LPA., located in Dayton and West Chester, Ohio, divorce and family law is not just something we do…it is all we do! To learn more, go to our website www.KirklandSommers.com. Or, please contact us at (937) 223-0697 or (513) 563-3166 to schedule an appointment for an initial consultation.