PROCEDURES FOR OBTAINING A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CIVIL PROTECTION ORDER (CPO)
A petitioner may request a civil protection order (CPO) by obtaining and completing the forms listed below. These forms are available at the Butler County Domestic Relations Court and on the court website.
- Form DV10.01 D – Petition for a CPO;
- Form DV10.01 F – Information for Parenting Proceeding Affidavit must be completed if the petitioner will be requesting temporary custody of a child.
Submitting the Petition for a Domestic Violence CPO
A petitioner is required to present the completed form DV10.01 D – Petition for a CPO, and if applicable, the completed form DV10.01 F – Information for Parenting Proceeding Affidavit and/or other forms, to the Butler County Domestic Relations Court bailiff at the front desk. Location and hours of operation are listed below.
- Government Services Center 315 High Street, Second Floor Hamilton, Ohio 45011
- Hours: 8:30 am until 4:30 pm, staff lunch break 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm.
Initial hearings (Ex Parte Hearings) for CPOs are conducted on a first come, first serve basis Monday through Friday between 8:30 am and 11:00 am and resume 1:00 pm until 3:30 pm. A petitioner must have all forms completed prior to this time in order to have a hearing set at the time of arrival. A valid picture ID is required for verification purposes when a petitioner is submitting forms to the bailiff to be notarized. Documents may not be signed before they have been notarized by court staff.
Ohio law permits the petitioner to have a victim advocate present at all times in court during protection order proceedings. Local domestic violence assistance groups may be contacted at these locations for advocate information:
- Butler County Sheriff’s Office: Victim Assistance Program (513) 887-3430
- The Center for Family Solutions: Victim Advocate Program (513) 887-4303
Attending the Ex Parte Court Hearing
A petitioner must appear before a hearing officer for the ex parte hearing, where the hearing officer will listen to testimony with regard to the allegations of domestic violence. The petitioner will be asked to testify regarding the alleged incidents or multiple incidents of domestic violence that have occurred. Testimony should be specific as to injury or threat by the respondent toward the petitioner and/or other family/household members. The petitioner may tell the hearing officer what he/she would like the court to do to help keep the petitioner and other family members safe and to protect the best interests of any children involved. For example:
- Order the respondent to stay away from the petitioner;
- Order the respondent to be removed from the residence;
- Order the respondent into counseling;
- Award temporary custody of children to the petitioner;
- Order the respondent to have visitation only under conditions that will keep the petitioner and the children safe;
- Order the respondent to pay the petitioner child support and/or spousal support;
- Order the respondent to be prohibited from having any weapons;
- Award possession of a car for the petitioner’s use;
- Award possession of the petitioner’s personal property and the children's personal property.
Based on statutory requirements, the hearing officer must determine that the petitioner and/or family/household members are in immediate danger of domestic violence and an ex parte CPO will be issued.
The hearing officer will set a second hearing ("full final hearing") in 7 to 10 business days to give the respondent a chance to appear and be heard. The petitioner must appear at the full final hearing. Some issues, such as support, may be postponed until the full final hearing when both parties may be present.
Attending the Full Final Hearing
The petitioner must attend the full final hearing. The respondent is not required to attend this hearing. Should the respondent attend the full final hearing, he/she will be given the opportunity to respond to the allegations outlined in the petition for a CPO. At the full final hearing, the petitioner must tell his/her story again, this time in more detail. The petitioner may bring any witnesses, photos, or papers that will help prove his/her case. These items will be used as evidence to aid in the petitioner’s request for a CPO. The petitioner will again be asked by the hearing officer what he/she wants the court to do to help keep the petitioner and other family members safe.
The respondent may also present evidence. The respondent may call the petitioner as a witness and ask the petitioner questions. After the hearing, if the hearing officer decides the petitioner is entitled to a CPO, a new CPO will be issued called a Full Hearing CPO, form DV10.01 I. This order can be in effect for up to five years and will detail the terms of the order. By law, the court may not issue any orders against the petitioner unless the respondent has filed a separate action against him/her.
At the full final hearing, the petitioner and the respondent can also decide to enter into a Consent Agreement, which is an agreed CPO.
Enforcement of the CPO
The final CPO can remain in effect for up to five years, unless the court sets a different expiration date. Violation of a CPO is a crime in the State of Ohio. If the respondent violates the CPO, the petitioner will need to contact the local police to make a report Violations of CPOs are also grounds for a contempt action against the respondent in the Butler County Domestic Relations Court. Contempt motion forms are available at the court's Case Management Office. The petitioner must complete and submit the contempt motion to the court to begin a contempt action against the respondent. The respondent may be sentenced to jail time for violation of a CPO, through either the criminal or the civil contempt process.