Protection Orders in Ohio (2024)


A protection order can help keep you safe if you are experiencing domestic or dating violence, stalking or sexual violence. Learn more about the different types of protection orders and how to get one in Ohio.

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Understanding the Basics

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A protection order is an official document from a judge. When a judge issues a protection order, they are ordering an abuser to stop certain actions which helps to keep the victim safe.The protection order can tell an abuser to stop actions like:

  • Hurting you
  • Threatening you
  • Contacting you
  • Coming to your home or workplace

The judge can order protection for up to five years. The order can also protect your children or other family and household membersif they are in danger.

Having a protection order does not guarantee your safety. Sometimes, asking for a protection order can make the violence worse. Domestic violence advocates can help you understand the warning signs that can increase your risk. To decide if getting a protection order is a good legal option for you,talk to a lawyer.

Protection orders vs. restraining orders

You might recognize the term "restraining order." A protection order and a restraining order mean different things in Ohio. The major differences are:

  • Relationships to other legal cases. A restraining order is always part of another legal case, like a divorce. The court uses a restraining order to keep one side from taking an action while the case is in progress. For example, a restraining order might keep someone from selling the family house or harassing the other party during a divorce.A protection order is separate from other legal cases.
  • Consequences for violations. Violating a restraining order is not a crime. Violating a protection order is a crime. An abuser who violates a protection order may face jail time.

Types of protection orders

There are different types of protection orders in Ohio, including civil, criminal and temporary protection orders. There are four types of civil protection orders.

The type you can filefor depends on:

  • Your relationship to the abuser
  • The type of abuse you experience
  • The abuser’s age
  • If there is an ongoing criminal case

The four types of civil protection orders are:

  • Domestic Violence Civil Protection Orders. A Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order protects family and household members from abuse. Family or household members include: Parents, children, spouses, ex-spouses, someone you have cohabitated with, someone you have kids with and foster parents and foster children.Learn more about Domestic Violence Civil Protection Orders here.
  • Dating Violence Civil Protection Orders. If a dating partner who does not live with you is abusing you, you may qualify for a new type of order called a Dating Violence Civil Protection Order. These orders are for dating relationships (like with a boyfriend or girlfriend). Casual friends or business contacts are not considered dating partners. To qualify, the dating relationship must be within the last year.Learn more about Dating Violence Civil Protection Orders here.
  • Civil Stalking Protection Orders and Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Orders. A Civil Stalking Protection Order protects stalking victims and Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Orders protect victims of sexually oriented offenses. A specific relationship with your abuser is not required for one of these orders. Learn more about getting a Civil Stalking or Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order here.
  • Juvenile Civil Protection Orders and Domestic Violence Juvenile Civil Protection Orders. The juvenile protection orders protect victims whose abuser is under 18 years old.Learn more about getting a Juvenile Civil Protection Order or a Domestic Violence Juvenile Civil Protection Order here.

There does not need to be a criminal case or conviction against the abuser to file for any type of civil protection order.

Besides the four types of civil protection orders, Ohio has two more protection orders called:

  • Domestic Violence Temporary Protection Order. If you are a victim in a criminal case of domestic violenceand the abuser is a family or household member, you may be able to ask for a Domestic Violence Temporary Protection Order (DVTPO) as part of that criminal case. Many prosecutor's offices have victim's advocates that can help you with that process. If the court grants the DVTPO, it usually orders the abuser (called the defendant in the criminal case) to not come near or have any contact with the victim.
  • Criminal Temporary Protection Order. If you are a victim of anassault, stalking, a sexually oriented offense or certain other crimes,and you are NOT a family or household member,you may be able to ask for a Criminal Protection Order(CRPO)as a part of that case. Many prosecutor's offices have victim's advocates that can help you with that process.

Your DVTPO or CRPO ends when the criminal case ends. That means the DVTPO or CRPO will end immediately if:

  • The case is dismissed;
  • The respondent is found not guilty; or
  • The respondent is sentenced after being convicted or pleading guilty. (At sentencing you could ask the judge for a no contact order as part of probation).

Your DVTPO or CRPO also expires if you get a civil protection order or if a consent agreement is ordered because of the same act of violence or threat. If you have a DVTPO or CRPO and are interested in a civil protection order, you should speak with a lawyer to understand how filing could affect your safety.

The risks of getting a civil protection order

Requesting a civil protection order has benefits and risks. Your risk may increase if:

  • Your abuser is dangerous. Abusers are often more dangerous during the legal case.You may have increased risk if your abuser:
    • Seriously injured you,
    • Threatened to hurt or kill you
    • Strangled or "choked" you
    • Stalked you
    • Hurt or killed pets
    • Suffers from a mental health issue
    • Abuses alcohol or drugs
    • Has guns or other weapons
  • You have children. If the court decides to consider or grant parenting time, visitation or custody, getting a protection order is complicated. You may face risks like losing custody. Some advocates are mandatory reporters. Mandatory reporters have to call children’s services if they learn a child is in danger. Before telling your story, always ask if the advocate is a mandatory reporter.
  • You have an active legal case. If you have an active, undecided legal case (like a custody case about your children)getting a protection order is complicated and risky. You should talk to a lawyer.
  • There is a current criminal case involving the same action or actions that led you to seek the civil protection order. Filing for a civil protection order while there is a pending criminal case could have serious consequences. For example, the civil protection order could cancel the criminal protection order, the defendant can use the civil case to get evidence to use against you in the criminal case, or vice versa, or you could end up with no protection order at all. You should talk to a lawyer.
  • You are an immigrant. If you are an immigrant, requesting a protection order is complicated—regardless of your immigration status. You should talk to a lawyer.

A protection order may not be the safest option for you. Talking to alawyeroradvocatecan help you fully understand the risks you are facing.

How to get a civil protection order

Learn how to get a civil protection order by selecting a type of order below.

  • Domestic Violence and Dating Violence Civil Protection Orders
  • Civil Stalking and Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Orders
  • Juvenile Civil Protection Orders and Domestic Violence Juvenile Protection Orders

This project was supported by Grant Nos. 2019-WF-VA1-8855 and 2020-WF-VA1-8855 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Justice.

More Information

Forms and Letters

Find forms and letters that you can fill out yourself.

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Domestic Violence and Dating Violence CPO Form Assistant Fill out the forms to file for a Domestic Violence or Dating Violence Civil Protection Order in Ohio.
Juvenile Civil Protection Order Form Use this form to file for a Juvenile Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order or a Juvenile Civil Protection Order.
Formulario de orden de protección civil contra la violencia domés Llene los formularios para presentar una solicitud de Orden de protección civil contra la violencia doméstica o contra la violencia en el noviazgo en Ohio.

Legal Help and Lawyers

Find local organizations that can connect you with a lawyer or other legal help.

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ODVN - Legal Assistance ProgramThe Ohio Domestic Violence Network provides legal services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking who cannot be assisted through traditional legal aid programs.

Local Government and Community Resources

Find courts and helpful resources in your community.

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Ohio Domestic Violence NetworkThe Ohio Domestic Violence Network offers resources to domestic violence survivors throughout all of Ohio. They have a 24 hour hotline that can direct survivors to other resources in their area...
BRAVO (serving LGBTQI)BRAVO (serving LGBTQI) provides survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault (and their children) with a 24-hour crisis hotline, crisis intervention, individualized safety planning, court...
Protection Orders in Ohio (2024)


Are protective orders public record in Ohio? ›

A protective order is a matter of public record unless it has been classified for some reason, just like any other court order or document. They can be issued by criminal or civil court order, but the implications are similar in all cases.

Does a protection order show up on a background check in Ohio? ›

It is also important to note that even though protective orders do not show up on criminal records, court proceedings and petitions are a matter of public record, so someone looking into the matter could potentially discover it.

Can you appeal a protective order in Ohio? ›

If the judge in a county court issued a final protective order against you or denied your request for a final order, you may be able to appeal to the chancery court. When the court has issued a final order after a trial, there would not be a new trial on appeal.

How long does a no contact order last in Ohio? ›

How long does the order last? The criminal protection order is good only as long as the related charge is pending. When the case is resolved, the order expires. A Civil Protection Order or Civil Stalking Protection Order can last up to five years and possibly be renewed for an additional five years.

What happens if the victim violates the order of protection in Ohio? ›

What Happens Upon a Violation of a Protection Order in Ohio? The person against whom the protection order is issued must ensure that they abide by all conditions. Failing to do so can result in additional criminal charges and penalties. For a first offense, violating a protection order is a first-degree misdemeanor.

Can a violation of protection order be expunged in Ohio? ›

Ohio Record Sealing Law (commonly referred to as Expungement) has historically permitted convictions for Misdemeanor 4th degree Domestic Violence, and convictions for Violation of Protection Order, to be sealed and expunged, with a few exceptions.

What shows up on a background check in Ohio? ›

The criminal background check includes a social security number trace, a county, statewide and federal criminal records search including a search of sex offender registries.

How long do you go to jail for violating a restraining order in California? ›

“Any intentional and knowing violation of a protective order is a misdemeanor offense that is punishable by up to one year in a county jail, and fine up to $1,000, or both jail and a fine. “

What is a motion for protective order in Ohio? ›

(A) Upon motion of any party or person from whom discovery is sought, the board or the administrative law judge may issue any order which is necessary to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense.

What is menacing in Ohio? ›

In Ohio, a menacing charge means a person is alleged to have threatened physical harm against another person or against their property. There are 3 types of menacing charges in Ohio: (1) Menacing; (2) Menacing by Stalking; and (3) Aggravated Menacing.

Is it hard to win an appeal? ›

But appeals and lawsuits are very serious, and the court can punish people who file "frivolous" lawsuits (lawsuits that are not based on a valid reason). Winning an appeal is very hard. You must prove that the trial court made a legal mistake that caused you harm.

What is considered public record in Ohio? ›

A public record means any records kept by any public office, except those records that are otherwise identified as exempt under the Ohio Public Records Act or the release of which is prohibited by state or federal law.

How to look up court cases in Ohio? ›

Once you have accessed the CM/ECF System, complete PACER login, select Public Query, enter a name OR case number in the format as outlined in Search Clues and select Run Query. After the case number is retrieved, select Docket Report to obtain a docket sheet (an index of the documents in the case).

Does an order of protection go on your record in NY? ›

An Order of Protection issued in Family Court will not show up on a criminal background check, since cases in Family Court are not criminal cases. However, an Order of Protection issued in connection with a criminal case is a public record, and can be discovered in a criminal background check.

Does an order of protection go on your record in Arizona? ›

Restraining Orders and Criminal Records

If a restraining order has been issued against you, you must take note of the fact that it will be included in your criminal record. Any violation of a restraining order can result in criminal charges.

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