Domestic Violence & Stalking
The Court has received numerous questions about how to exercise parenting time during the COVID-19 outbreak. Pursuant to the Ohio Department of Health ’Stay at Home’ Order, parents should continue to exchange their children as required by their parenting plans or custody orders as this has been designated as "essential travel." Parents should adhere to all holiday and spring break schedules as designated by their schools at the beginning of the year regardless of recent changes.
Please read the following AFCC resource for guidance on how to successfully exercise parenting time under current conditions.
To save time, print off the CPO paperwork before your appointment. Complete all pages in their entirety and bring the packet to your appointment. Paperwork must be completed in black ink. Double-sided copies will not be accepted.
The CPO Process
You must schedule an appointment with Sheri Hall, the Domestic Violence Coordinator. The appointment will last approximately 2 hours. During this appointment, you will fill out the required paperwork to apply for a Domestic Violence CPO or Stalking CPO. (To save time, print the packet you need and complete it in its entirety before your appointment, then bring it with you to the courthouse). Paperwork must be completed in black ink. Double-sided copies will not be accepted.
After your paperwork is completed, an ex parte (emergency) hearing will be held immediately in front of the first-available Judge or Magistrate. In your case, you will be called the Petitioner and the alleged abuser/offender is called the Respondent.
If a temporary ex parte CPO is granted, the Court must then schedule a “full hearing” within seven to ten days after the court grants the emergency protection order. The emergency protection order must be served on the Respondent. (If there is no emergency protection order, the court usually schedules the full hearing within the same seven- to ten-day period after filing the petition, but the court may schedule the full hearing for a later date.) A second hearing is required because the Respondent must be given a chance to defend against the allegations in court before the Court will issue a long-term CPO.
At the full hearing, both the Petitioner and the Respondent may present evidence proving or disproving the alleged domestic violence or stalking. This evidence may include the parties’ own testimony, testimony of other witnesses, and any relevant documents.
After the full hearing, the Court has the power to issue a CPO for up to five years.
About Civil Protection Orders (CPO)
The Domestic Relations Court offers protection to victims of domestic violence and stalking in the form of a Civil Protection Order (CPO). There is no cost to file for a CPO. A CPO is an Order of the Court which tells an abuser/offender to do, or not to do, certain actions. These can include:
- No Contact Provision: Prohibiting the abuser from calling, texting, emailing, stalking, attacking, hitting, or disturbing the victim
- Peaceful Contact Provision: Permitting the abuser to peacefully communicate with the victim for limited reasons, including care and transfer for visitation of their child
- Stay Away Provision: Ordering the abuser to stay a minimum number of yards or feet away from the victim, his or her home, job, school, and car. The stay-away distance can vary by state, judge or the lethality of the situation, but is often at least 100 yards or 300 feet
- Move Out Provision: Requiring the abuser to move out of a home shared with the victim
- Firearms Provision: Requiring the abuser to surrender any guns he or she possesses and/or prohibiting the abuser from purchasing a firearm
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner or family member against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically.
What is Stalking?
Stalking is a pattern of behavior that makes you feel afraid, nervous, harassed, or in danger. Stalking occurs when someone repeatedly contacts you, follows you, sends you things, talks to you when you don’t want them to, or threatens you. Stalking behaviors can include:
- Knowing your schedule
- Showing up at places you go
- Sending mail, email, and pictures
- Calling or texting repeatedly
- Contacting you or posting about you on social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc)
- Writing letters
- Damaging your property
- Creating a website about you
- Sending gifts
- Stealing things that belong to you
- Any other actions to contact, harass, track, or frighten you
Safe At Home
Safe at Home is an address confidentiality program that allows victims of domestic violence, stalking, human trafficking, rape or sexual battery to apply for an address designated by the Secretary of State to serve as the person’s address to shield their residence address from public records, including the voter registration lists. Additionally, the program will allow victims to register to vote without their records appearing in the Statewide Voter Registration Database, and vote absentee without their residence address being compromised.
Victims can apply to participate in the program only through a certified application assistant. The Greene County Domestic Relations Court has certified application assistants available upon request. Please call (937) 562-6249 for assistance.