What can I do if the abuser violates the order?
If the defendant violates the CPO, you can call 911 to report it to law enforcement if that is a safe option for you. In some cases, the defendant can be arrested right away. You can read about under what circumstances a violation would be a misdemeanor versus a felony on our Selected Ohio Statutes page. If found guilty of a violation of a CPO, the defendant can be put in jail and/or fined.1 Even if the abuser is not arrested, it is important to ask the police to file a report – and to get a copy of the report– so that you have documentation.
Note: If the abuser is prosecuted for violating the order, the prosecutor does not have to prove that the protection order was served on the defendant personally. The prosecutor only has to prove that either:
- the defendant was shown a copy of the protection order; or
- a judge, magistrate, or law enforcement officer informed the defendant that a protection order had been issued.1
Another way to enforce a CPO can be to go back to the court that issued the order and file for civil contempt for a violation of the order. The abuser can be found to be in contempt if s/he does anything that your CPO orders him or her not to do. To file for civil contempt, you can use this form for a Motion for Contempt of a Domestic Violence or Dating Violence Civil Protection Order from the Supreme Court of Ohio.
For more information about contempt, including the difference between criminal contempt and civil contempt, go to our general Domestic Violence Restraining Orders page.
1 Ohio Rev. Code § 2919.27(D)