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Stalking Order

 

 


Civil Stalking or Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Orders (SSOOPO) ORC 2903.214

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 prosecutor's office.

*        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.

 

Stalking

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.

Documentation for Stalking Situations

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 the stalker.

  • Trust your intuition - especially as it relates to the potential for violence.

  • Always error on the side of your own safety.

  • Have an answering machine pick-up all calls.

  • At work have someone else answer the phone or screen your calls if possible.

  • Use a different schedule and route of travel each day.

  • Notify co-workers, supervisors, and/or security at work about the situation.

  • Write down the stalkers license number and description of the stalkers vehicle. Give this to family, friends and neighbors.

  • Keep a diary. Make a copy – just in case.

Document! Document! Document!

Remember 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.

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