Ohio Law states that it is a crime to knowingly cause or attempt to cause physical harm to a family or household member. Recklessly cause serious physical harm to a family or household member. By threat of force knowingly cause a family or household member to believe that the offender will cause imminent physical harm to the family or household member. (ORC 2919.25)
“Family or household member” means any of the following:
Any of the following who is residing or has resided with the offender: A spouse, a person living as a spouse, or a former spouse of the offender; A parent, a foster parent, or a child of the offender, or another person related by consanguinity or affinity to the offender; A parent or a child of a spouse, person living as a spouse, or former spouse of the offender, or another person related by consanguinity or affinity to a spouse, person living as a spouse, or former spouse of the offender. The natural parent of any child of whom the offender is the other natural parent or is the putative other natural parent. “Person living as a spouse” means a person who is living or has lived with the offender in a common law marital relationship, who otherwise is cohabiting with the offender, or who otherwise has cohabited with the offender within five years prior to the date of the alleged commission of the act in question.
When Domestic Violence Occurs in The City of Maple Heights
You have the right to contact the police, request the offender be arrested and sign a motion for a Temporary Protection Order (TPO. A TPO can require the offender to vacate your residence and have no contact with you while the case is pending. In addition, the police can make the decision to arrest the offender based on statements and other evidence. Once the offender has been charged and arrested, they will remain in jail until the complaint is filed in the Garfield Heights Municipal Court and the Judge has a hearing to make a decision about bond and the TPO. You have the right to attend all hearings; including the initial hearing, and to have a victim advocate present.
When you contact the police and an arrest does not take place, the police may refer the complainant to the prosecutor’s office for a decision. The prosecutor represents the City of Maple Heights in criminal cases. The prosecutor may require you, as a witness, to testify in court. You cannot decide to drop the charge or TPO; only the prosecutor and Judge can make that decision.
Even when criminal domestic violence charges are not being issued you have the right to request a Civil Protection Order (CPO) in Domestic Relations Court. The order can require the offender move out of the house and not to have contact with you for five years. An attorney is not required, but may be helpful in obtaining a CPO. A victim advocate is not an attorney, but can help you explore your options.
What if my spouse or someone from my household hurts me or tries to hurt me?
Find a safe place and contact the police department. You can seek a Protection Order by way of a criminal prosecution in a municipal court, or a Civil Protection Order in Cuyahoga County Court. Forms to request a Civil Protection Order are available at http://domestic.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/domestic-violence-faqs.aspx. Refer to Domestic Violence Forms. It is not required that you have an attorney to request a protection order. Court personnel cannot provide legal advice but will answer questions about procedure.
To learn how you can request a police escort to your home to retrieve personal belongings, please visit our Police Escorts page.