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Definitions you need to know

Petitioner: The petitioner is the person asking the court for protection in the petition for a SCPO.

Respondent: The respondent is the offender and the person against whom the petition for a SCPO is filed.

If you are a victim of menacing by stalking you may apply for a SCPO if:

  1. You are a resident of Butler County.

  2. You are not related by blood to the respondent.

  3. If you are not currently living with (or have not in the past five years lived with) the respondent.

  4. If you have never been married to the respondent.

  5. If you have never had a child with the respondent, whether or not you have ever lived together.

Procedures for Obtaining a Stalking Civil Protection Order

To obtain a SCPO you will need a petition for SCPO, which is available from the Butler County Clerk of Court's Office located on the 5th Floor in the Government Services Center.

Attending the Ex-Parte Hearing

You must complete the petition for a SCPO and attend an ex-parte hearing where a judge or magistrate will listen to your testimony. You must tell the judge or magistrate what the respondent did to make you fear that you (or your family) may be in danger.

If the judge or magistrate determines that you or your family are in danger, he or she will issue an Ex-Parte Temporary SCPO and will set a second hearing date (full hearing) within ten court days, to give the respondent a chance to be heard. You must appear at the full hearing. Failure to do so may result in your ex-parte order being dismissed.

The respondent is not "required" to attend the full hearing but is given this hearing to respond to the petitioner's allegations of threat, as relayed in the petition and by testimony at the ex-parte hearing.

The respondent is not "required" to attend the full hearing but is given this hearing to respond to the petitioner's allegations of threat, as relayed in the petition and by testimony at the ex-parte hearing. If the respondent does not show up at the full hearing, you can still obtain a final SCPO, which can remain in effect for up to five years. However, if the respondent is not served with the Ex-Parte SCPO Order before the date of the full hearing, the court will postpone the hearing until another date so the respondent can be served. If this happens, the law requires that the Ex-Parte SCPO remain in effect until the full hearing is held. If you do not show up at the rescheduled full hearing, your Ex-Parte SCPO may be dismissed.

Attending the Full Hearing

At the full hearing you must tell your story again, with more detail. Bring with you any witnesses, photographs, tapes, police reports or other evidence that will help you prove that the respondent injured you, attempted to injure you or threatened you (or your family). You may also call the respondent as a witness to prove your case.

The repondent may also present evidence and may call you as a witness and ask you questions.

After all testimony has been given and all evidence presented, the judge or magistrate will decide whether you are entitled to a full hearing SCPO, which is a final appealable order that will remain in effect for five years, unless the court sets a different expiration date.

By law, the court may not issue any orders against you unless the respondent has filed a separate action against you.

Victim's Advocate

Ohio law permits you to have a victim advocate with you at all times in court during protection order proceedings. Contact the SCPO office for advocate information.

In addition to the ex-parte hearing and full hearing in the Common Pleas Court, you should attend any and all hearings as requested by the prosecutor and the court in any criminal case filed against the respondent.

You do not have to obtain a SCPO before filing criminal charges for menacing by stalking in a criminal court.

Tell the Common Pleas Court about any pending criminal cases. Tell the Criminal Court about any pending Common Pleas Civil Court case.

Because any temporary protection order (TPO) issued by a criminal court expires when the case is over (dismissal, plea, conviction), it is important to ask the Common Pleas Court for a SCPO even if a criminal court has issued a TPO. A TPO also expires when an SCPO is issued.

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