If someone who is a household member physically hurts you or tries to physically hurt you, the police (911) should be called immediately. If your home is not safe, you need to get out. If you have nowhere safe to go, you may need to go to a shelter. The Battered Women’s Hotline is open 24 hours a day and the people there can provide shelter: 1-800-782-8555
If you are the victim of domestic violence, these organizations can help :
· The Center for Child and Family Advocacy, Victim’s Advocates: 419-592-0540
· The Henry County Family Court Pro-Se Clinic: 419-599-5951
· House of Ruth: 1-800-782-8555
· Legal Aid of Northern Ohio: 1-800-544-7369
Ohio Revised Code Section 3113.31 was designed to give any household member immediate protection from a household member who has committed an act or acts of domestic violence and has placed other household members in danger of domestic violence. The law in Ohio provides a form Petition that can be completed by any person seeking relief from violence from a household member. It is called a Petition for Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order. The person seeking relief is called the Petitioner. The person against whom the order is sought is called the Respondent. Ohio Revised Code Section. 3113.31 provides protection from domestic violence against a family or household member.
A victim of domestic violence can have an attorney complete the Petition for them or they can complete the Petition themselves. The Petitioner’s signature must be notarized. Once complete the Petition is filed at the Clerk of Courts at the Henry County Courthouse. There is no filing fee for this petition. The filed Petition is then brought to the Family Court for review and processing. The Judge or Magistrate will review the Petition and then hold a hearing. The Judge or Magistrate will ask the Petitioner some questions. The Judge or Magistrate may immediately issue an emergency Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order (called a Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order Ex Parte), or the Judge may decline to do so. In either event the Petition will be set for full hearing in 7 to 10 Court days.
The Respondent will have to be given legal notice of the filing of the Petition for Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order as soon as possible. You must give the Clerk of Courts written instructions as to how the Respondent is to be notified of the filing of the Petition. The Clerk of Courts issues this legal notice called a “summons.” The Respondent must have been given legal notice of the hearing prior to the hearing.
The hearing is conducted under the Ohio Rules of Evidence and both parties must follow the Rules of Evidence, the Rules of Civil Procedure, the Henry County Rules of Court and other applicable law. The Respondent may hire a lawyer to represent him or her at the full hearing. If the Petitioner wishes legal representation they also will have to hire their own lawyer. No lawyer is automatically provided. After the evidence is presented the Court will decide whether or not to grant the Petition and issue a Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order. If the Court issues the Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order it will be an effective court order for up to 5 full years.