Understanding Protection Orders in Ohio

Stay Away Orders vs. Restraining Orders vs. Protection Orders

Stay away orders are often issued by judges in criminal cases as conditions of bond or probation. Therefore, a violation of a stay away order is a violation of bond or probation. Someone must contact the prosecutor or probation officer to report violation of a stay away order.

Restraining orders are issued in divorces and are not enforceable by the police.

Protection orders – there are four types of protection orders in Ohio:

  1. Domestic Violence Temporary Protection Order (DVTPO)
  2. Civil Protection Order (CPO)
  3. Criminal Protection Order (CRPO)
  4. Civil Stalking or Sexually-Oriented Offense Protection Order (CSSOOPO)

Domestic Violence Temporary Protection Order (DVTPO) – R.C. 2903.213

  • A DVTPO is granted by a judge/magistrate during the pendency of a criminal case:
    • such as domestic violence, or any offense of violence involving a family / household member.
  • The prosecutor will represent the victim.
  • Orders stay away from victim AS LONG AS CRIMINAL CASE IS PENDING.
  • Children often are not included, unless they are involved as petitioners or protected parties.
  • May be issued based on commission of a sexually oriented offense.

Ex parte Civil Protection Order (CPO) – R.C. 3113.31

  • An ex parte CPO may be granted by a judge/magistrate when a petition is filed.
  • The petitioner must allege an act of bodily harm, threat of bodily harm, menacing by stalking, or child abuse in the affidavit.
  • The court grants this order without the abuser present and upon a finding of immediate and present danger.
  • Victim can obtain these orders pro se (alone) (but not always advocated).
  • Legal Aid or a private attorney may be able to represent the victim.
  • Court may evict the abuser and grant immediate possession of the residence to the victim.
  • The court may also order support, custody, use of property, etc.

Civil Protection Order (CPO) Final Order

  • A CPO is granted by a judge/magistrate after a full hearing.
  • Respondent has the right to be present and contest the CPO.
  • CPOs tend to be more specific than TPOs and tend to be very individualized.
  • Children can be included as protected parties.
  • Parents may file on behalf of minor children.
  • CPOs last up to 5 yrs and can be renewed.
  • May be obtained pro se (alone), or with the help of Legal Aid, or a private attorney (especially if the Respondent has an attorney).

Criminal Protection Order (CRPO) – R.C. 2903.213

  • A Criminal Protection Order (CRPO) is granted by a judge/magistrate during the pendency of certain criminal cases:
    • menacing by stalking, aggravated menacing, menacing, aggravated trespass, assault, aggravated assault, felonious assault.
  • This protection order is granted to parties who are not considered family or household members.
  • Applies to parties that never lived with defendant and do not have children together.
  • Children are not included in order, unless they are involved as petitioners or protected parties.
  • May be issued based on commission of a sexually oriented offense.
  • May contain the same relief as TPO.

Civil Stalking or Sexually-Oriented Offense Protection Order (CSSOOPO) – R.C. 2903.214

  • A CSSOOPO is granted by the Court of Common Pleas upon an allegation that the Respondent engaged in menacing by stalking behavior (two or more incidents of menacing in close proximity in time) or committed a single incident of sexually oriented offense.
  • A criminal case need not be pending to request this order.
  • A victim or an adult on behalf of another family or household member may file.
  • Upon a finding of immediate and present danger, an ex parte order may be issued.
  • After a full hearing, the order may be issued for up to 5 years.
  • The Respondent can be ordered to remain away from the petitioner or the petitioner’s family.

How is each protection order similar?

  • Orders the Defendant / Respondent to stay away from victim / complainant, their home, work, daycare, school (and surrounding areas like parking lots).
  • Free
  • Enforceable by arrest
  • Violation = criminal charge and/or contempt
  • Don’t need attorney to get one
  • Enforceable in entire state and in the U.S.
  • Eligible to victims of sexual assault

How is each protection order different?

  • Length of Orders: Criminal orders last only as long as the case lasts; Civil orders last up to 5 yrs.
  • Breadth of Orders: Civil orders can include property, custody, and support orders; CRPO & CSSOOPO cannot.
  • Relationship to Defendant / Respondent = is key to determining which protection order is granted (is Defendant / Respondent a family / household member?) (see below).
  • Criminal Charges – Criminal Orders (DVTPO & CRPO) require charges; civil orders (CPO & CSSOOPO) do not (but evidence still needs to be presented).
  • Service: Criminal = easy; civil = more complicated.

What is a Family / Household Member?

  1. Related by blood or marriage (family: parents, siblings, cousins, in-laws, stepchildren, etc) or foster parent
    • AND Lived together with Defendant / Respondent EVER
  2. Live-ins or related to live-in partner (share financial/familial responsibilities–not just roomates) (ex. parent or child of live-in partner)
    • AND Lived together with Defendant / Respondent within 5 yrs of incident
  3. Have a child in common with Defendant / Respondent

Scope of Orders?

  • DVTPO/CRPO – narrow, emergency orders
    • last until criminal case is over
  • CPO – broad, can determine custody, division of property, support
    • lasts up to 5 years
  • CSSOOPO – narrow, but lasts longer than criminal
    • lasts up to 5 years

Leave a Comment