In Ohio, individuals can peruse two different types of protection orders if they are afraid that someone they know may cause them or a loved one harm. Both types of orders provide protection, but there are differences between the two, including the amount of time that they remain in force.
A Civil Protection Order must be issued by the court in response to a petition from someone who has been or is being abused by another person. There must be some relationship history between the petitioner and the abuser: a current or former spouse, a dating partner, people who have lived together or any two people who have a child. In addition to providing protection from harassment or abuse, a CPO can also designate temporary custody of children, evict an abuser who is living in someone else's home and order counseling to either party. A Civil Protection Order is granted on a preponderance of evidence, rather than beyond a reasonable doubt level of proof, which makes it somewhat easier to obtain.
The other type of protection afforded under the law is the Criminal Protection Order, also known as a Temporary Protection Order. A TPO is implemented when there is an immediate need for protection after a crime has been committed. Either victim can be covered by a TPO by filing a petition themselves, or they may be issued at the request of a law enforcement official. They are usually issued only until a more permanent solution or order can be implemented.
If someone is being harassed or abused, there are many avenues available for help and support. While the information contained herein is not meant to be legal advice, it may be advisable to consult an attorney that is well-versed in family law. Not only will an attorney have experience in addressing the legal aspects of abuse situations, they may be able to recommend community supports and resources as well.
Source: Findlaw, "Ohio Temporary Restraining Order Laws", October 29, 2014