Domestic violence is a scary reality for thousands of men and women around the country. Children often witness horrifying violence in their own homes. Victims are often too scared to seek for help until the violence escalates to an unbearable point. When a victim is finally able to call out for help, there is legal help available in Ohio.
Victims of domestic violence that have been physically assaulted can seek protection through filing for a protection order. A family law attorney generally assists the victim. A Civil Protection Order is obtained by appearing in court and requesting the order in front of a judge. A Temporary Protection Order is usually appointed for a shorter amount of time and is ordered in connection with an actual domestic violence incident leading to a criminal case.
A CPO can include provisions for child custody, evicting the perpetrator from the home and counseling. A TPO bans the abuser from seeing the victim at work, school and home but does not make provisions for custody of children involved. In general, a CPO is easier to obtain in Ohio because the standard of proof is a preponderance of the evidence, unlike a TPO, which is issued in connection with a criminal case where the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt. A CPO can remain in effect for up to five years. A TPO is usually only in effect for the length of the case, which is generally a few months.
A victim can request a protection order against a spouse, a boyfriend or girlfriend, someone he or she has a child with or anyone that has lived or currently lives in his or her home. An emergency CPO is sometimes awarded if the judge determines the victim is in immediate danger.
Source: Findlaw, "Ohio Temporary Restraining Order Laws", September 01, 2014