Domestic violence and harassment can have devastating effects on individuals and their families. In Ohio, individuals facing such situations can seek legal Protection through a Civil Protection Order (CPO). This blog post will guide you through the basic steps of the CPO process.
- Understanding Civil Protection Orders (CPOs)
Civil Protection Orders are legal tools designed to protect victims of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, and other forms of harassment. These Orders typically include provisions that restrict the abusive party from having contact with the victim and may also grant temporary custody of children or access to shared property to a specific individual.
- Filing the Petition
To initiate the CPO process, a Petition must be filed at the appropriate Domestic Relations Court. The Petition must be filed in the county where the Petitioner resides. In the Petition, the Petitioner is required to provide a detailed explanation of the facts supporting their request.
- Temporary Ex Parte Order
Upon filing the Petition, you may request a temporary Ex Parte Order, which is a temporary Protection Order granted until the court holds a hearing to determine whether to issue a full CPO. Ex Parte Orders are issued with only one side’s story being evaluated by a Magistrate or Judge.
- Full Hearing
Whether or not an Ex Parte Order is granted or not, the court will schedule a hearing where both parties involved can present their case. During the hearing, it is essential to present compelling evidence supporting your need for a CPO or presenting evidence against the need for a CPO if you are the respondent. Relevant evidence can include things such as police reports, medical records, messages, documents and witness testimony that support your case. The full hearing is effectively a trial and can range from 30 minutes to multiple days.
- Obtaining a Civil Protection Order
If the judge finds sufficient evidence and determines that granting a CPO is necessary, they will issue a full Order. This Order will outline the restrictions and protections put in place for your safety. These Orders can be in place for up to 5 years and can restrict things such as contact, access to property and even gun rights.
Whether you are seeking a CPO or are defending yourself against one, you don’t have to tackle this challenging process alone. Contact Ferguson Legal Group today and allow us to help protect you.