Civil Protection Order Attorney in Delaware, Ohio
Ohio Civil Protection Orders (Restraining Orders)
In Ohio, there is a variety of civil protection orders or “restraining orders” that courts are able to put in place to protect certain people. This action is civil in nature, not criminal. These orders are used to protect victims of domestic violence, stalking, sex crimes, etc. Civil Protection orders can be in place for up to 5 years from the order.
It is usually brought in the domestic relations division of the county’s common pleas court. The person requesting the order is called the “Petitioner” or plaintiff. This is often a person who is a victim of abuse. Any parent or adult household member may seek relief on behalf of any other family or household member.
The person defending against the order being put in place is called the “defendant.” This person is often, but not always, charged with a criminal offense connected to the facts supporting a protection order.
Types of Orders:
Criminal Protection Order: (Not Civil)
There are several ways, the victim of a crime can be given protection by the court from the alleged offender. In this order, the court will prohibit the defendant from contact, physical, written, or electronic with the alleged victim. It can include other terms as well.
This order comes about as a result of criminal charges specific in the statute R.C. §2919.26 and §2903.213. Generally, these are crimes of violence such as domestic violence, felonious assault, burglary, endangering children, etc.
Civil Domestic Violence Protection Order
1. Petitioner must be able to show that the victim (often the petitioner) is a
family or household member; and
2. Petitioner must show that the defendant:
-attempted to cause or recklessly caused bodily injury; or
-placed another in fear of imminent serious physical harm, or
-committed menacing by stalking under R.C. §2902.211; or
-committed aggravated trespass under R.C. §2911.211; or
-committed child abuse under R.C. §2151.031; or
-committed a sexually oriented offense R.C. §2950.01
Civil Stalking Protection Order
Petitioner must be able to show
Ex Parte Order:
The petitioner must first file paperwork with the appropriate court. Once the paperwork is submitted, the judge will usually hear the petitioner’s testimony in a courtroom the day the paperwork is submitted. This hearing and order are classified as “ex parte” because the court is only addressing the interests of one party: the Petitioner.
At this hearing, the petitioner must alleged facts sufficient to give the court cause to issue a protection order. If the judge is satisfied with the facts before the court, giving sufficient cause to believe there is an imminent danger of harm.
After the ex parte order is in place, the Defendant has the right to notice, and a hearing to respond to the allegations. This is generally called the “full hearing.” This hearing must be set within 7 days if the ex parte orders the defendant to vacate a home; 10 days if ex parte order does not order the defendant to vacate a home.
This full hearing can be continued (rescheduled) if the Defendant is not properly served, needs time to obtain counsel, both parties consent to continuance, or other good cause.
The hearing is comparable to a trial. The Petitioner will put on evidence of the acts constituting grounds for a civil protection order. The Defendant will have the right to respond by testifying and present their evidence. At the end of evidence, the parties will make arguments to persuade the judge (not jury) to make a decision. The petitioner must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the acts constituting the grounds for the order did occur within the jurisdiction of the Court.
Orders are usually for 1-5 years. They can be terminated early or modified by motion of the parties. Modification will require a hearing on the matter before the judge. One frequent modification is an extension in the period of time in which the order stands.
It is extremely important to have the opinion and assistance of counsel when pursuing a protection order or any kind. Attorney Geoffrey Spall has handled Civil Protection Order cases to the satisfaction of his clients. Call 740-815-3384 for a free consultation with Attorney Geoffrey Spall.