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Legal Information: Ohio

Restraining Orders

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July 12, 2023

Am I eligible to file for a protection order?

You may qualify for a protection order if you were a victim of domestic violence/dating violence committed by:

  • a family or household member;
  • someone with whom you are or were in a dating relationship.1 (See below for the legal definition of a “dating relationship.”)

“Family or household member” is defined as:

  • someone with whom you have a child in common, even if you never lived together;2 or
  • any of the following people but only if you live with them currently or in the past:
    • your spouse or ex-spouse;3
    • a person “living as a spouse” (common law spouse)3 but only if you lived together at some point in the five years prior to the domestic violence incident described in your petition;4
    • your parent, foster parent, or step-parent;
    • your child or step-child;
    • anyone else related to you by blood or marriage; or
    • the parent, child, or anyone related by blood or marriage to the “person living as a spouse” of the abuser (for example, the mother of the abuser’s common-law wife may be able to file against the abuser).2

A “dating relationship” is defined as a romantic or intimate relationship that:

  • is between adults;
  • is beyond a typical social relationship or casual acquaintance; and
  • took place within twelve months of the domestic violence incident.5

If someone other than a family or household member or dating partner is hurting you, you may be eligible for a stalking or sexually oriented offense protection order.

1 Ohio Rev. Code § 3113.31(A)
2 Ohio Rev. Code § 3113.31(A)(3)(b)
3 Ohio Rev. Code § 3113.31(A)(3)(a)
4 Ohio Rev. Code § 3113.31(A)(4)
5 Ohio Rev. Code § 3113.31(A)(8), (A)(9)