Civil Protection Orders

Courts take civil protection orders very seriously. A violation of a civil protection is a criminal act. Importantly, this means a violation of a civil protection order is enforced by the police. After you have your protection order, you do not need to go to court to enforce it, you simply dial 911.

The requirements to receive a civil protection order are defined by your state’s legal code. In Ohio they are governed by Revised Code Section 3113.31. To get a civil protection order, the perpetrator must be a family or household member. The perpetrator must either: 1) cause or recklessly cause bodily injury, 2) place the other person in fear of serious physical harm by use of force or threat of force or committing acts that amount to menacing by stalking or aggravated trespass or 3) commit a sexually oriented offense.

To learn more about the requirements in your state and how we can help you acquire a civil protection order, contact your local WSM office.

The process for obtaining a civil order occurs in two basic steps. First, you will request an emergency ex parte hearing. Emergency means we do not have time to schedule a hearing. Ex parte means without the other party present. You and your Domestic Violence Attorney will prepare an affidavit stating why you need a civil protection order and will go to the courthouse that very same day to plead your case to a judge.

Once you obtain your ex parte civil protection order, the sheriff will serve your partner with the order. As soon as the order is served, it is effective. Your partner will not be allowed with 500 feet of you, will not be permitted to communicate with you, and will not even be allowed to send messages to you through others.

The second step is the review hearing. Courts are required to allow your partner to defend himself against the allegations within ten days of receiving the ex parte order. The review hearing is more formal than the ex parte hearing. The review hearing will involve calling witnesses, giving testimony, and cross examination. If for any reason the review hearing is delayed, the ex parte order will stay in effect and you will remain protected. After the review hearing, if you receive the full order, it will be in effect for a term of up to 5 years.