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Updates to Ohio Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO, aka CPO) Rules and Forms

CPO LAWYER Domestic Violence Lawyer Columbus OhioEffective March 1, 2014, the Supreme Court of Ohio is using new forms for domestic violence protection orders. The new forms address a lot of issues that the old forms (and rules) did not adequately address, including:

  • Revising the forms to address the no fee provisions of VAWA (the Violence Against Women Act);
  • Stating the judicial review standard for protection order proceedings before a magistrate;
  • Making it clear the address the petitioner’s provides to receive mail from the court should not render them unsafe;
  • Pointing out that no contact orders apply to social media;
  • Stating that police officers and military members may be exempt from firearms/ guns provisions due to the nature of their jobs; AND
  • Addressing weapons / firearms / guns surrender and return procedures.

The new domestic violence protection order forms can be found by clicking the link below:

http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/JCS/domesticViolence/protection_forms/DVForms/default.asp

CALL NOW  at (614) 225-9316

COLUMBUS OHIO CPO LAWYER, COLUMBUS OHIO CIVIL PROTECTION ORDER LAWYERS, COLUMBUS OHIO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROTECTION ORDER ATTORNEY, COLUMBUS OHIO CIVIL PROTECTION ORDER ATTORNEYS, COLUMBUS OHIO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROTECTION ORDER DVPO LAWYER, COLUMBUS OHIO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ATTORNEYNeed some help? We would be happy to schedule a consultation with you.  Please give us a call, and one of our Columbus Ohio Domestic Violence Protection Order Attorneys will meet with you to discuss your case.

COLUMBUS OHIO CPO LAWYER, COLUMBUS OHIO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ATTORNEY, COLUMBUS OHIO CPO LAWYERS, COLUMBUS OHIO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ATTORNEYS, COLUMBUS OHIO CPO LAWYER

 

 

Virginia Cornwell is an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist.

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Civil Protection Orders and Domestic Violence Protection Orders in Ohio

FAMILY LAWYERNo one should hesitate to seek a civil protection order if it is needed. Domestic violence, or the threat of domestic violence, is serious. However, the order must be respected equally by both parties. Depending on the language of your order, if the petitioner goes near the respondent (person whom the order is against), the petitioner is subject to the same penalties as the respondent.

COLUMBUS FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYWhen an Ohio court grants a civil protection order, the court, and not the petitioner (person seeking the civil protection order), is the person who decides how long the order will last.  It is a common misconception that if the petitioner were to decide that he/she no longer needs the protective order, they have the power to make the court dismiss the protective order.  WRONG.

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FAMILY LAWYERThis is shown by the case Powell v. Becher, 2011-Ohio-267. The couple had a child together in 2008. In this case, the mother was granted a civil protection order against the father in 2009 and that order was to remain in effect until November 3, 2014. In 2010, the mother filed a motion to dismiss the protection order. The trial court denied her motion and she appealed that decision.

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The appellate court noted that the mother had failed to provide a hearing transcript for appellate review so the court only had a few basic facts before it on which to rule. The mother had asked the trial court to terminate the protection order so the father could “be present in daughter’s life.” The trial court had noted that the mother was “undergoing counseling” and advised the parties to retain counsel. Then the trial court denied the mother’s request to terminate the protection order. The appellate court’s conclusion was that “based upon the state of the record before us, we cannot find that the trial court erred in denying the request.” Thus, the protection order remained in effect. The practical implications of this is that a person may have a civil protection order that applies to THEM but not to their child.  On top of this, they may have a court order requiring exchange of the child on a regular basis, and for each of these exchanges, it will be the responsibility of the petitioner, and possibly the respondent as well, to find somebody else to exchange the child for them.  Considering this could last as long as five years, it is a big commitment.

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CPO Domestic Violence LawyerSo, when a petitioner applies for a civil protection order, if the order is granted, he or she must be careful not to unintentionally violate the order themselves, and to carry out all of his or her responsibilities under the order in a lawful manner. If you believe that you need a a civil protection order (Domestic Violence Protection Order), the Supreme Court of Ohio has made forms available that can be used in any court in Ohio:

CLICK HERE 

CALL NOW  at (614) 225-9316

If you would like to meet with our Columbus Family Law Attorneys to discuss whether a civil protection order/ domestic violence protection order is the best path for you, call our office at 614-225-9316. Virginia Cornwell is one of approximately 100 attorneys in Ohio to be certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a Certified Family Relations Specialist.  She is a divorce lawyer, family law attorney  and child custody lawyer in Columbus, Ohio (Franklin County), but she travels throughout Ohio representing clients from dozens of Counties.  She is licensed to practice in all 88 Ohio Counties

DISCLAIMER – Read it, it’s important!

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Ohio Visitation in the Context of Domestic Violence

A Columbus Ohio Visitation Attorney article about Domestic Violence,  Visitation, and Child Custody.

In Ohio, domestic violence is legally relevant, and something the court must take into account when making orders regarding children.

Ohio Revised Code 3109.04 (http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3109.04) specifically mentions domestic violence when discussing factors the court must consider when determining what is in the best interest of the child.  To read more about the best interest of the child, follow this link:

http://www.cornwell-law.com/answers/childrens-best-interest/

It is important to note that the law does not require a court to consider allegations of domestic violence; it requires the court to consider convictions of domestic violence.  There is a reason for this.  False reports of domestic violence are fairly common when parties are fighting over custody.  Sometimes, one parent will attempt to create the illusion of domestic violence in order to gain the advantage in a custody battle.  Unfortunately, domestic violence is everywhere, in every income level, and in every culture, and often claims of domestic violence are very real.

If you have a court order for visitation between a parent and a child, NOTHING but another court order will relieve you from your obligation to provide the child for visitation.  ALLEGATIONS of domestic violence do not change your court orders.  The advice of a police officer does not change your court orders.  Filing a police report and/or pressing charges does not change your court orders.  Only another court order will change your obligation to provide the child for visitation.

In addition, domestic violence perpetrated against you, even if it results in a conviction, will not necessarily stop visitation.  In the eyes of the court, sometimes parents who cannot get along with each other, and who have anger management problems can still parent their child without violence.  However, the more incidents of domestic violence that have occurred between parents, the more concerned the court becomes that it is likely to occur between the abusive parent and the child.  For the victim of domestic violence, it is a frightening but all too common nightmare to have to let their child visit with their abuser.

Unfortunately, due to the many, many false reports of domestic violence that a court making a custody decision receives every year, they are skeptical, and sometimes jaded, regarding the reality of domestic violence.  If you are the victim of domestic violence, and you are withholding your child from visitation without a court order which allows you to do this, you are putting yourself at risk of contempt of court, and possibly a jail sentence.

So what can you do?  If you have been a victim of domestic violence at the hands of a current or former spouse or partner, you may qualify for a Domestic Violence Protection Order (also called a civil protection order).  If your child has suffered from the violence, he or she may be protected as well.  You do not need an attorney to ask for a Domestic Violence Protection Order.  The forms are the same statewide in Ohio, and you can download them at http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/JCS/domesticViolence/protection_forms/DVForms/default.asp

You do not need the cooperation of the police to get a Domestic Violence Protection Order, but you do need be able to convince a court, by a preponderance of the evidence, that YOU were afraid of imminent physical harm, or that your child is in danger of imminent physical harm.

You can also file a police report and request to press criminal charges against the person who committed the domestic violence.  Criminal prosecutors may be more likely to believe you because they may not experience as many false reports as a domestic relations court, and for good reason.  If someone makes a false report to the police or a prosecutor they can, and sometimes are, charged with the crime.  Making a false statement to a court, under oath, is an act of perjury in Ohio.