The Process of Obtaining a Civil Protection Order (CPO)

In Ohio, every Civil Protection Order (also known as a CPO) case has two parts: the Ex Parte Hearing and the Full Hearing.

To file a CPO, a party must complete a Petition for a CPO and attend an Ex Parte hearing.  Ex Parte means that only one party is present at the hearing and presenting evidence.  The filing party is referred to as the “Petitioner” and he or she will have the opportunity to tell a Judge or Magistrate why he or she thinks she should have a CPO against the other party, who is known as the “Respondent”.  The Petitioner must demonstrate that he or she has been the victim of one or more of the following situations:

1) The alleged abuser has caused or attempted to cause bodily injury

2) The alleged abuser has threatened to use force against the victim and the victim is in fear of imminent serious physical harm.

3) The alleged abuser has committed an act that led to a child being an abused child as defined by Ohio law.

4) The alleged abuser has committed a sexually oriented offense.

After hearing the Petitioner’s evidence, the Judge or Magistrate will decide whether or not to grant the temporary CPO.  The temporary CPO, if granted, is in effect until the day of the full hearing, which the Court will schedule in the near future. If the full hearing is continued for any reason, the temporary CPO will remain in effect until the future court hearing date. The Court will instruct the sheriff’s office to serve the temporary CPO on the Respondent and it is effective as soon as it is served.

Depending on the county and the court’s docket, the full hearing will be scheduled approximately 10 – 14 days after the Ex Parte Hearing.  For the full hearing, the Respondent will be present and be able to present his or her evidence for the Court to consider.  Because the Petitioner filed the case, he or she will present her evidence and witnesses to the Court first and then the Respondent will have the chance to present his or evidence and witnesses.  The Court will then decide whether or not to issue a full CPO, which can be in effect up to five years. Depending on the complexity of the case, a CPO full hearing can last an hour, a morning, a full day, or multiple days.


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