Rule 26: Domestic Violence

(A) PLEADING.

     1. An action under Ohio's Domestic Violence statute may be initiated by filing a Petition for Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order.  The Petition for Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order ("Petition") shall be treated as a separate action at all times. The Petition shall not be incorporated, merged or consolidated into any pending Divorce, Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation action by way of a separate count or separate cause of action.

     2. At the time of filing, a Petition shall be given a new case number by the clerk of courts and a Judge shall be assigned who will conduct the Ex Parte hearing.  If a Petition is filed while a divorce, Dissolution of Marriage, Legal Separation or post-decree proceeding is pending between the same parties, and a different judge is drawn, the case shall be transferred back to the Judge who has continuing jurisdiction over the Divorce, Dissolution of Marriage, Legal Separation or post-decree proceeding, and that Judge shall conduct the Ex Parte hearing on the Petition.

     3. If the parties to the Petition were previoulsy involved in a Divorce, Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation proceeding, whether that case went to decree or was dismissed, and no action is then pending, the Petition shall be referred back to the Judge who was assigned to the previous case unless that Judge is no longer serving with the Court.  In that case, the Judge who is drawn at the time of filing shall remain the assigned Judge for the Petition.

(B) PROCEDURE. 

Prior to filing, the Petition shall be submitted to the Court's Law Department for review and pre-approval.  If the petitioner is seeking a temporary allocation of parental rights and responsibilities of minor children, the Petition shall include a Parenting Proceeding Affidavit.  A complete packet of forms and instruction is available from the Court's Law Department.  Interactive forms are also available on the Court's website (http://domestic.cuyahogacounty.us) or on the Ohio Supreme Court's website (http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov).

(C) DURATION OF PROTECTION ORDERS.  

Any Civil Protection Order issued following an Ex Parte hearing shall be valid for one (1) year from the date of issuance or until another date set by the Judge at the Ex Parte hearing.  Any Civil Protection Order issued subsequent to a full hearing on the Petition shall be valid until a date certain, but not later than five (5) years from its date of issuance, or until further order of Court.

(D) REGISTRATION OF PROTECTION ORDERS.  

Civil Protection Orders issued by Cuyahoga County or any county and/or any state may be registered in Cuyahoga County in the Office of the Clerk of Courts.

(E) PUBLICATION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASE INFORMATION ONLINE.

There shall be no public access to any Domestic Violence dockets by way of teh Clerk of Courts' publicly available internet website.

Effective date:  05/01/2012

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