How do I get a SCPO?
You must come in person to the Government Services Center, 315 High Street,
Hamilton, Ohio. You will be required to file a petition with the Clerk of Courts, located
on the 5th floor. When that process is completed you will be directed to the 3rd floor for
a hearing before a magistrate. The entire process of filling out the petition, having an ex-parte hearing, and processing the order may take more than an hour.
You may file the petition anytime between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., however, hearings are
conducted only at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. ( No afternoon hearings on Thursdays.) You
will need to bring your copy of the filed petition to the 3rd floor for a hearing at one of those designated times.
Why get a SCPO?
A SCPO may be very helpful if you are a victim of stalking. A SCPO may stop the respondent from following and/or threatening you by ordering the respondent to stay away from you for up to five years. A SCPO lets the respondent know just how serious you are about wanting his or her behavior to change.
Is there any cost involved in filing a petition for an SCPO?
Will I need an attorney?
No, but you will usually be better off having legal representation if the respondent is represented by an attorney.
Is a court hearing with the respondent in attendance absolutely necessary?
Yes. You must be present at the full hearing or your temporary order may be dismissed. If your personal safety after the hearing is a concern there are sheriff's deputies available to escort you to your car.
Will I need witnesses or evidence to prove my case?
Yes, if available.
May I use tape recordings as evidence?
Tape recordings may or may not be used as evidence at the discretion of the court.
What does it mean to be served with protection order papers?
To be served means that the sheriff or other law enforcement agency gives a copy to the respondent personally. Any ex-parte SCPO issued by the court must be served on the respondent before a full hearing. Without service on the respondent the court cannot hold a full hearing.
What happens if the respondent hides, moves or otherwise avoids service?
If the respondent cannot be served by a law enforecment official the court will attempt to serve them by certified mail. Keep in mind that if service is not obtained, the temporary order is usually in effect for a period of two years.
Can the respondent be arrested before being served with the SCPO?
No. The respondent cannot be arrested for violation of the order or have a motion for contempt filed against them until they have been served with a copy of the order.
Can I serve the respondent with a copy of the SCPO myself?
No. The SCPO must be served by a law enforcement official or an officer of the court.
Can I appeal a magistrate's decision?
Yes. Any appeal of a magistrate's decision must be filed within fourteen days of the court's file stamped date on the order. When the motion to appeal magistrate's decision is filed with the court, a hearing will be scheduled before the judge to whom the case was originally assigned. A transcript of the hearing, from which the appeal is being filed, is required by the judge in order to review the decision made by the magistrate at the previous hearing. The cost of the transcript will be the responsibility of the person filing the appeal.
How can I get a transcript of a hearing and how much will it cost?
Contact the SCPO office at 513-887-5695 or 513-424-5351, ext. 5695 from Middletown.