How Do Protection Orders Work?


If you know someone who is a victim of domestic violence or stalking, the best thing you can do is support them. One way to do that is by learning about options or resources that can help keep them safe. Depending on the situation, it may be appropriate to suggest obtaining a protection order.

A protection order is an official legal order issued by a judge that requires the abusive person or stalker to maintain a certain distance from the victim A protection order can also order an abuser out of the home and provide other remedies to a victim of violence.

Restraining Order vs. Protection Order
Protection Orders require a perpetrator of violence to stay away from his or her victim. Law enforcement officers must respond promptly to any report of a violation of a protection order.  If a protection order is violated, an officer can and will arrest the violator.

Restraining orders are often issued in divorce cases and prohibit one party from doing something to harm the other party, such as taking out additional debt in their name or canceling insurance policies. If a restraining order is violated, a motion must be filed in the same court in which the restraining order was granted. Police and other law enforcement do not enforce restraining orders.

How Can Someone Get a Protection Order?
In Ohio, forms have to be filled out and submitted to the county court house. The initial court hearing will be held with just the victim, however after filing, the party whom the order is filed against will be served with the documents,  a court date will be scheduled and both parties will be present for a second hearing to determine whether or not the order should be granted.

Civil Protection Orders (CPO)
If you have been assaulted or threatened by an intimate partner or other family or household member and have an ongoing fear that that person will commit domestic violence against you, you may be eligible for a CPO, which is a civil order to protect victims of domestic violence. Your abuser does not have to have been arrested to obtain a CPO. CPOs prohibit the abuser from being nearby, contacting or harassing the victim and are enforceable by law enforcement once they are served to the offender. These orders can also address visitation and custody of the child(ren) and/or pet(s), child support, possession of the residence, etc. They can last up to 5 years and can be extended. While an attorney can be helpful, having one is not necessary to file for a CPO. If you wish to be represented in Franklin County but cannot afford an attorney you can apply for representation through the Capital University Family Advocacy Clinic between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on the 17th floor of the Franklin County Courthouse at 375 S. High St. If you wish to proceed without an attorney, you can obtain the paperwork necessary to file on the 6th floor of the Franklin County Courthouse at 373 S. High St. from 8-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m., Mon.-Fri. It is a good idea to talk to an advocate about the CPO process prior to filing.

Civil Stalking or Sexually Orientated Offense Protection Orders (SSOOPO)
If you are being stalked or have been a victim of a sexually oriented offense, you may be eligible for a SSOOPO, which is a civil order. SSOOPOs prohibit the perpetrator from being nearby, contacting or harassing the victim and are enforceable by law enforcement once they are served to the offender. The two parties do not have to have any affiliation or relationship. An attorney can be helpful but having one is not necessary to file for a SSOOPO. If you wish to proceed without an attorney in Franklin County, you can obtain the paperwork necessary to file at the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, 345 S. High Street, 2nd Floor, Suite 2402 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Mon.-Fri. It is a good idea to talk to an advocate about the SSOOPO process prior to filing.

Juvenile Protection Orders (JPO)
If you have been the victim of teen dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or other violent crimes and the offender is under the age of 18, you may be eligible for a JPO, which is a civil order. JPOs prohibit the perpetrator from being nearby, contacting or harassing the victim and are enforceable by law enforcement once they are served to the offender. The two parties do not have to have any affiliation or relationship. While an attorney can be helpful, having one is not necessary to file for a JPO. If you wish to proceed without an attorney in Franklin County, you can obtain the paperwork necessary to file on the 6th floor of the Franklin County Courthouse at 373 S. High St. from 8- 11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m., Mon.-Fri. It is a good idea to talk to an advocate about the JPO process prior to filing.

January is National Stalking Awareness Month. Please help spread the word to your loved ones. Everyone deserves to feel safe. On social media, use hashtags #StalkingAwarenessMonth and  #EndStalking.

 

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