Civil Stalking or Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Orders (SSOOPO)
May be granted by a judge when a person is engaging in a pattern of
conduct stalking which includes any electronic method of transferring
information, included but not limited to any computer, computer network,
computer program or computer system or post a message with the purpose
to incite or urge another person to commit a violation. As of 2007, the
SSOPO, includes an incident for a sexually oriented offense, that the
element of a pattern of conduct does not need to be met. This
protection order is not only for victims of stalking but is also
designed to cover dating relationships that would not fall under the
category of family or household member. This protection order pertains
to parties that are not in, what the domestic violence law considers, to
be a family or household member. Children in the household of person
requesting relief under this section can have them added to the
protection order as protected persons. SSOOPO may prohibit:
Respondent from harming, attempting to harm, threatening, stalking,
harassing, contacting, forcing sexual relations, or committing sexually
oriented offenses against any protected person listed.
Respondent from going to residence, shcool, business, place of
employment, childcare providers, including buildings, grounds and
parking lots of any protected persons listed.
Respondent from being present within 500 feet (or whatever length the
judge determines), even with the protected persons' permission, of any
protected persons listed.
Respondent from initiating any contact includes, but is not limited to
telephone, fax, e-mail, voicemail, delivery service, writings, or
communications by any other persons through another person.
The SSOPO is filed through the General Division of Common Pleas Court
in Trumbull County. There are packets the the Clerk's Office with
instructions on how to complete the paperwork. If assistance is needed,
you can request to speak with the Victim Witness division of the
There is no filing fee.
The Trumbull County Sheriff's Office serves the respondent the
protection order or in some cases the papers are sent by certified mail,
with notice when a full hearing will be held. If emergency orders are
issued, the respondent is required to follow those orders until a full
hearing is held.
These orders are designed to be userfriendly and filed pro-se ( which
means you do not need an attorney).
The protection order granted by the judge can be in place up to 5 years.
This protection order is a qualifying protection order that gets entered
into the national law enforcement database (NCIC) and is enforceable in
all fifty states.
Violation of the SSOPO is a criminal offense. A person violating the
order can be charge with Violation of a Protection Order and arrested.
Domestic violence stalkers, as a category, constitute
the most dangerous and potentially lethal group of stalkers. Not only do
individuals have a proven history of violence they also know their
victims intimately. As a result, the threats they make and pose become
more pointed and potentially deadly. Stalkers often operate out of the
mind set that their victims belong to them, are theirs to control or
punish for trying to escape, and they often rationalize their violent or
invasive behavior by blaming the victims actions.
The most important step in fighting the silence and
secrecy in which stalking thrives is to keep records of all stalking
behavior. Document all contacts made or attempted by the stalker. Keep
copies of letters, gifts, and messages left on answering machines.
Document Everything .
Include date, time, and a description of each
incident, as well as any
action taken by you. Even though a single incident alone may not be
serious, the documentation will show a pattern of behavior that may help
you later on in the judicial system.
Notify Law Enforcement of Each
Incident. When you report each incident, ask the police to log
your call. This may serve as important documentation later on.
Explore your Legal
Options. Most states have stalking laws. Ohio’s
anti-stalking law went into effect in November of 1992. When a stalker
is criminally charged with Menacing by Stalking, you are able to sign a
motion requesting a protection order. The Protection Order can order the
stalker to not contact you in any way including, at your home or
workplace. When the stalker fits the definition of “ Family or Household
Member” you may be able to get a Civil Protection Order. When the
stalker is not a family or household member you may be able to get a
Stalking Civil Protection Order.
Do not initiate any
contact with the stalker. Each contact is a positive
reinforcement for the stalker. A third party (preferably law
enforcement) should be used to discourage further unwanted pursuit by
Document! Document! Document!
you have done nothing wrong! It is not your fault!
Stalking is not about romance or love. It is a crime of violence,
control and intimidation and can strike anyone, at any time.