Temporary Protection Orders
A Temporary Protection Order (TPO) is available only when a criminal complaint, such as domestic violence, has been filed. A TPO can order the abuser to stay away from the victim's residence, workplace and school. It can order the abuser to refrain from telephoning, harassing or threatening the victim directly or through another person. It can also include any other terms necessary to ensure the victim's safety.
A TPO is granted by a Municipal or Common Pleas Court judge and the victim may need to attend the arraignment to receive one. This order is only in effect while the case is pending - until dismissal or sentencing. A TPO is enforceable nationwide and a violation is a criminal offence.
Civil Protection Order
A Civil Protection Order (CPO) is issued by the Common Pleas Court. No criminal charges need to be filed but the family/household member must feel that her/his life is in danger. A CPO may order the abuser to stay away from the victim's residents, workplace or school. (It can also order the abuser to leave the house or apartment the victim and abuser live in, even if it is in the abuser's name). A CPO may order the abuser to refrain from abusing, telephoning, harassing or threatening the victim directly or through another person. In regards to the child(ren), a judge may grant temporary custody, order child support and establish a visitation schedule.
Civil Stalking Protection Order
A Civil Stalking Protection Order is similar to a civil protection order. It can protect victims who are NOT family or household members of the abuser. Documentation of at least two incidents is required. A Criminal Stalking Order is comparable to a TPO when criminal stalking/menacing charges are filed.
What Is Stalking?
Stalking is a pattern of repeated, unwanted attention, harassment and contact. It is a pattern of conduct that can include:
- Following the victim
- Appearing at the victim's home or place of work
- Making unwanted and frightening contact with the victim through phone, mail and/or email
- Harassing the victim through the Internet
- Making threats to harm the victim, the victim's children, relatives, friends or pets
- Sending the victim unwanted gifts
- Intimidating the victim
- Vandalizing the victim's property
- Securing personal information about the victim by accessing public records, hiring private investigators, using Internet search services, contacting friends, family, work or neighbors, or going through the victim's garbage.
Cyber Stalking is the use of the Internet, e-mail or other telecommunications technology to harass or stalk another person. Read the brochure "Protect Yourself from Technology Abuse" from the Ohio Domestic Violence Network for information on how you can protect yourself from this type of stalking.
Stalking is a Crime
Menacing by stalking is the act of a person who knowingly engages in a pattern of conduct that causes you to believe that the offender (stalker) will cause you physical harm or causes mental distress to you.
- "Pattern of Conduct" means two or more actions or incidents occur in a short period of time
- "Mental Distress" means any mental illness or condition that would normally require counseling. However, counseling is NOT required to obtain legal remedies.
If a person follows, pursues, or harasses you in a threatening manner on more than one occasion, this person may be guilty of stalking under Ohio law. Contact local law enforcement to report all stalking incidents.