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Civil Protection Order



What is a Civil Protection Order (“CPO”)?

*  A CPO is issued by a domestic relations court to protect a victim of domestic violence. A CPO is intended to prevent further domestic violence.  It orders someone who has been abusive to do or not do certain things in the future.  You may want to consider getting a CPO even if you have a TPO from a criminal court because a CPO lasts longer and provides more benefits -- such as visitation and support orders.

Why get a Civil Protection Order?

*  If you are a victim of domestic violence, a CPO may help you.  Once domestic violence starts, the violence often happens more often and gets increasingly severe.  A CPO may stop this cycle of violence because the court orders the Respondent to stop hurting or threatening you, your family or household members.  A court can use a CPO to order the Respondent to stay away from you for up to five years.  A CPO can give you time to "sort things out" and decide what you want to do next without having to be afraid all of the time.  If your children have seen domestic violence, a CPO may give all of you a chance to seek help so that you and your children are safe.

*  Second, domestic violence is a crime. A CPO tells the Respondent you and the court are serious about requiring the Respondent to stop his or her abusive behavior and not to hurt or threaten you again.

*  Third, a CPO sets some "rules" that the Respondent must obey while the CPO is in effect. These rules may require the Respondent to pay child or spousal support, give up possession of a home or a car, or obey the court's orders about visitation.

*  Fourth, a CPO issued by a domestic relations court may last longer than a TPO issued by a criminal court and can provide more options.

Who can get a Civil Protection Order?

*  You can apply for a CPO if you are related to the Respondent by blood or marriage and have lived with the respondent at any time; OR you are living with or have lived with the Respondent during the past five years; OR you used to be married to the Respondent; OR you have a child with the Respondent, whether or not you ever married or lived together.

*  You may be able to get a CPO if you have been dating the Respondent; if you share family or financial responsibilities with the Respondent; AND you have an intimate relationship with Respondent.

*  REMEMBER that a CPO has limits.  If you would like to discuss safety planning and/or options please call at Mon.-Fri. 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or the 24-hour hotline .

Do I need an attorney to obtain a Civil Protection Order?

*  No, but you are often better off having legal representation in your CPO proceeding. Having an attorney represent you is especially helpful when your case involves contested custody and visitation and/or when an attorney represents the Respondent.

Must there be a court hearing for me to obtain a Civil Protection Order?

*  Yes.  There are two hearings involved in a CPO case: the ex parte hearing and the full hearing.

Ex Parte Hearing:

*  If the judge or magistrate finds that the events you described meet the requirements of the law, the court will issue an Ex Parte CPO and schedule a full hearing.  If the Respondent is asked to vacate the home in which you live, there will be a full hearing within 7 days.  Otherwise, a full hearing will be set within 10 days.

Full Hearing:

*  The full hearing is the final hearing.

*  At this hearing, both you and the Respondent can testify.  You must be present at the full hearing.  You should bring any witnesses who can support your case.  If the court issues a Full Hearing CPO, the court files the CPO with the clerk of court.  The clerk serves the appropriate parties with certified copies of the CPO.  The CPO remains in force until the date indicated in the CPO, with five years being the maximum.  The court cannot hold a full hearing until the Respondent has been served with the Ex Parte CPO. You may need to fill out forms for the clerk of courts to cause service.

*  If the Respondent does not show up for the full hearing, you can still obtain a final CPO. However, if the Respondent is not served with the Ex Parte CPO before the full hearing, the court postpones the full hearing until the Respondent is served.  If the full hearing is postponed, the Ex Parte CPO remains in effect until the full hearing is held.

Contact Information

24-hour Hotline

(330) 393-3005


(330) 393-3003


(330) 393-5288

Postal address

1540 Tod Ave. NW, Warren OH 44485

Electronic mail

General Information: SomeplaceSafe@SomeplaceSafe.org

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Last modified: 10/29/2012 Please send mail to Admin@someplacesafe.org with questions or comments about this website.