Civil Protection Orders

If you need a Civil Protection Order, please contact the Victim Advocate’s Office to schedule an appointment.  However, an appointment is not required. The Victim Advocate’s Office can be reached at 419-334-6418, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

All petitions for Civil Protection Orders that request an Emergency Order will be heard the same day it was filed.

            A Petition for Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Civil Stalking Civil Protection Order shall be filed with the Clerk of Court.  The Court will hold an emergency ex-parte hearing, if requested, on the same day if the petition is filed before 1:00 p.m. 

            In order to file a Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order, you must allege that the person you are filing against (Respondent) engaged in domestic violence against his or her family or household members as defined by R.C. 3113.31.

            In order to file a Dating Violence Civil Protection Order, you must allege that the person you are filing against (Respondent) engaged in domestic violence against someone he or she had a dating relationship with within the last twelve (12) months as defined by R.C. 3113.31.

            In order to file a Civil Stalking Civil Protection Order, the parties do not have to have a relationship.  Petitioner must live in Sandusky County and must prove that Respondent’s actions fit into R.C. 2903.214.

            The Court must find that there has been domestic violence or stalking behavior in order to issue a civil protection order.  If you choose to proceed without representation, you must be able to properly present your evidence and follow the Court rules.

            Ex Parte Hearing

          At this hearing, petitioner takes an oath to tell the truth and the magistrate determines if the facts that you describe meet the requirements of the law and an order is necessary. Sometimes the petitioner brings an attorney or victim advocate to that hearing.  If an order is issued, it will be in effect until the next court hearing.  The next full hearing will be within 7 business days if the Respondent is required to vacate the home, or otherwise, within 10 days.

            Full Hearing

          At the full hearing, respondent has the opportunity to be present and both parties have the opportunity to testify, bring witnesses and present evidence.  One or both parties can choose to bring an attorney with him/her.  The full hearing cannot occur until there has been service on the Respondent.  If there has been service but the Respondent does not appear for the hearing, the hearing will go forward.  If the Petitioner does not appear, the court, at its discretion, may dismiss the petition.  If the court determines that the evidence meets the definition of domestic violence or stalking and that an order is necessary, the Order will be prepared and filed in the clerk’s office. After that, the order will be served to both parties and continue in effect as noted on the order.  The maximum time period for a civil protection order is 5 years.

            On the day of the Full Hearing, come prepared to: (1) tell the Court what happened, (2) bring with you any witnesses, evidence, and documentation to prove your case, and (3) be aware that the other party or party’s attorney may ask you questions.  If you do not have an attorney, you may ask for a brief continuance to obtain an attorney per R.C. 3113.31(D)(2)(a)(iii) or R.C. 2903.214(D)(2)(a)(iii) or you may represent yourself.

            Parties do not have to give discovery, answer questions, or give information to the other party or the other party’s lawyer unless ordered by the judge or magistrate (Civ. R. 65.1(D)(2)).

Helpful Links:

Domestic Violence/Dating Violence Civil Protection Order Forms

Stalking and Sexually Oriented Offenses Protection Order Forms

Ohio Supreme Court Domestic Violence Program

Ohio Domestic Violence Network

Liberty Center of Sandusky County

The First Step – Center for Domestic Violence Services – Fostoria, Ohio