Step 4: The full court hearing
On the day of the hearing, you must go to the hearing to ask to have your temporary order (good only for up to 10 days) turned into a CPO, which will last for up to five years. If you do not go to the hearing, your temporary order will expire. If the abuser does not show up for the hearing, the judge may still grant you a CPO or may reschedule the hearing.
You may wish to hire a lawyer to help with your case, especially if the abuser has a lawyer. If the abuser shows up with a lawyer, you can ask the judge for a “continuance” (a later court date) so that you have time to find a lawyer. Go to OH FInding a Lawyer to find help in your area. You can also represent yourself. See the Preparing your Case section for ways you can show the judge that you were abused. You can learn more about the court system in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section.
If you absolutely cannot go to the hearing at the scheduled time, you may call the courthouse to ask how to request that your case be “continued,” but the judge may deny your request.