Civil Stalking and Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order (SSOOPO) Program
The Civil Stalking and Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order Office began in 2001. Since that time, over 13,000 petitions for protection orders have been filed. In 2020, the Court assisted 972 petitioners seeking a protection order and 1050 petitions for protection orders were filed.
Many parties seeking protection orders present to the office with challenging and demanding circumstances. The Stalking Staff interviews petitioners to determine if they are in the appropriate jurisdiction, assist in completing the necessary paperwork to file with the Court, and, if needed, refer parties to outside agencies for additional help.
The goal of the Stalking Office is to ensure that each party, regardless of whether he or she is the petitioner or respondent, feels heard and respected. The office staff accomplishes this by taking a people-oriented approach.
Filing Hours and Instructions
- Petitions can be filed Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 11:00 am or 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.
- Bring your completed SSOOPO forms to Room 103 of the Montgomery County Courts Building
Additional Information to know about Civil Stalking Protection Orders:
- Minor children who reside with you may be listed as protected parties in your petition.
- Providing the address, social security number, and birth date of the respondent will assist the Sheriff in serving the notice.
- If granted, a stalking order can be in effect for up to five years. The order may be terminated by returning to court and requesting a dismissal.
- The respondent will be notified by personal service from the Sheriff’s Office of the order against him/her.
- If the respondent violates the order, please call the City of Dayton Police at 333-2677 or the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at 225-4357. If you reside outside of Dayton, you should contact your local police agency.
Protection Order ID Cards
Ex parte (emergency) hearings are held at 11:00am & 3:00pm each day
This schedule may vary based on Magistrate availability
The petitioner is not required to pay fees in connection with filing, issuance, registration, or service of a Civil Stalking or Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order. The respondent may be required to pay court costs in an amount to be determined by the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts.
What is a Civil Stalking/Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order (CPO)?
A CPO is a court order directing an individual not to have contact with a person, or persons. An order can ONLY be issued for Menacing by Stalking or a Sexually Oriented Offense as defined below:
Menacing by Stalking
No person by engaging in a pattern of conduct shall knowingly cause another person to believe that the offender will cause physical harm to the other person or cause mental distress to the other person. [R.C. 2903.211(A)(1)]
No person, through the use of any electronic method of remotely transferring information, including, but not limited to, any computer, computer network, computer program, or computer system, shall post a message with the purpose to urge or incite another to commit a violation of division (A)(1) of this section. [R.C. 2903.211(A)(2)]
Sexually Oriented Offense
Sexually oriented offenses are defined in section 2950.01 of the Revised Code.
Is a Civil Protection Order the same as a Criminal Protection Order?
A Civil Protection Order is different from a Criminal Protection Order. A Civil Protection Order is not a criminal offense, however, an arrest and criminal charges can stem from violations of a Civil Protection Order. A Criminal Protection Order is typically issued by the Prosecutor’s Office in conjunction with a new/pending criminal charge.
Do I have to provide my address to file for a CPO?
Petitioners can ask that their current address be kept confidential. The Court must have an address in order to mail notices, but the Respondent and the public will not have access to this information.
What do I need to file?
- Petitioners must also be able to provide an address for the Respondent. In some cases, CPO staff is able to locate a recent address, but this is not always guaranteed.
I live in Montgomery County, but the incident occurred in another county. Where do I file?
Regardless of where the incident occurred, the petition must be filed in the petitioner’s county of residence.
Do I need to hire an attorney?
Either party may hire an attorney; however, it is not required. The Court has designed this process so that a party can complete the process without having to undergo the expense of hiring an attorney.
Will the Court appoint an attorney?
The Court will not appoint an attorney for either party. There is no right to a court-appointed attorney in a civil proceeding. An exception may be made for a party deemed incompetent to represent themselves or a minor needing a Guardian Ad Litem.
Can I include my minor child or another adult on the order?
Yes. Minor children and other adults who reside with you may be included as protected parties in your petition.
If the offense is against the minor child, a parent or guardian may file on behalf of that minor.
What is the process for filing for a Civil Stalking/Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order?
- The petitioner appears in the CPO Office during filing hours in order to complete the screening process and a petition. The petitioner may also appear during filing hours to submit a completed petition.
- CPO Staff will review the petition for completeness and file the petition electronically.
- Upon filing, the petitioner may request to speak with a magistrate regarding a Temporary Protection Order (TPO). The hearing for the TPO may happen the same day as filing or the next business day. The TPO may be granted or denied. The petitioner may opt to waive the hearing for the TPO. Regardless of the outcome of the hearing (granted, denied or waived) the case will be set for a Full Hearing, as the Respondent must have the opportunity to present their case.
What happens at the Full Hearing? Should I bring witnesses or evidence?
The magistrate will listen to evidence from both sides, if the Respondent appears, including the testimony of witnesses before making a decision in CPO cases. The Court does not accept written statements; all witnesses must appear in person. Any documents, pictures, print-outs, etc can be presented in court to use as exhibits. Any evidence located on a cellphone must be printed or submitted through an alternative format.
How long does a CPO last?
A CPO can be in effect for one to five years, as determined by the Court. The order may be terminated prior to the expiration date through the petitioner filing a motion with the Clerk’s Office. In most cases, the magistrate will set a hearing on the motion in order to gather more information before vacating an order.
What should I do if the Respondent violates the CPO?
If the Respondent violates the order, the petitioner should call their (petitioner’s) local police agency. If in immediate danger, call 911.
Can I bring my cell phone into court?
Montgomery County Common Pleas Court utilizes Yondr cell phone bags. A party may bring a cell phone into the Courthouse, but the phone will not stay on their person during docket. A party’s phone will either be left in the hallway if someone accompanied them or the phone will be placed in a locked Yondr bag. The bag will be unlocked and the cell phone will be returned at the conclusion of their hearing.
This is for the safety of all parties and the safety of Court staff.
Can I bring my children?
Arrangements should be made for childcare prior to coming to court. There are no childcare facilities in the courthouse and children may not be left unattended.
To file a petition you must:
- Be a resident of Montgomery County;
- not be a blood relative to the respondent (the person the Order is to be against);
- do not currently live with the respondent or have lived with the respondent in the past five years;
- have never been married to the respondent;
- not have children with the respondent;
- have been a victim of :
(a) 2 or more incidents in which the respondent caused you to believe that you are in danger -OR-
(b) 1 sexually oriented offense
Reach the Civil Stalking Protection Order Staff by calling:
- 937. 224.3609
- 937. 225.4864
or by filling out the web form below: