A domestic violence protection order is issued to protect victims of child abuse, sexually oriented offenses, stalking, criminal damaging, aggravated trespass, criminal mischief, or violent crimes. The protected party may be a family or household member of the person against whom the order is issued (the respondent).
The court is concerned with the victim's safety and may impose various conditions as part of the order to prevent any future harm.
Terms of a domestic violence protection order may include, but are not limited to:
- Ordering the respondent to refrain from harming the protected party
- Evicting the respondent from a home shared with the protected party
- Allocating parental rights and responsibilities to the protected party
- Ordering the respondent to pay child support
- Ordering the respondent to stay away from the protected party's home, school, or work
- Requiring that the respondent complete counseling
The respondent must abide by the conditions for the entire duration the protective order is in effect. Failure to do so could result in the court imposing criminal sanctions. Under Ohio Rev. Code § 2919.27(D), a person can be charged with and convicted of a protection order violation even if they were never officially served with the order, as long as the prosecution can prove that the defendant knew of its existence.
How long a domestic violence protective order lasts depends on several factors but is primarily tied to the type of order issued.
Domestic Violence Temporary Protection Order
A domestic violence temporary protection order (DV TPO) may be issued as part of a felony or misdemeanor criminal case involving harm or threatened harm to a family or household member. Either the victim, a person representing the victim, or the court may file a motion for this type of protection order.
Within 24 hours after the motion has been filed, the court will hold a hearing to determine whether or not to issue a DV TPO. During the hearing, the victim and respondent may present arguments concerning the issuance of the protection order.
In some cases, a DV TPO may be issued without the respondent having a chance to present their side of the story. This is called an ex parte order. If such is issued, the court must hold a hearing where the respondent is present no more than one day after being arrested or scheduled to appear according to a summons.
A DV TPO is issued as a condition of pretrial release (in addition to bail), and expires as follows:
- Upon the completion of the criminal case, or
- Upon the issuance of a domestic violence civil protection order
Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order
The other type of protection order a court may issue is a domestic violence civil protection order (DV CPO). Whether or not criminal charges have been filed, a person may seek this type of order if they claim that they are a victim of domestic violence, menacing by stalking, aggravated trespass, child abuse, or a sexually oriented.
A court can hold a hearing and issue an ex parte order on the same day the alleged victim files the petition. If it does, it must schedule a full hearing within 7 days (if the respondent was evicted or vacated from their residence) or within 10 days (if the respondent was not vacated or evicted from their residence).
A DV CPO is in effect once the judge signs it and may last for up to 5 years. The protected party may seek to have the order renewed if they feel such is necessary.
In a domestic violence matter, your rights and freedoms are at stake, which is why it is imperative that you seek experienced legal representation for your case.