The Ohio Senate today gave passage to Senate Bill 261, sponsored by Senator Gayle Manning (R–North Ridgeville), which aims to provide greater protection for victims of domestic violence, stalking, menacing, and other crimes by improving the courts’ ability to enforce protection orders.
Senator Manning jointly sponsored the measure with Senator Kevin Bacon (R–Minerva Park).
“Violence is an issue that must be taken extremely seriously in Ohio,” said Manning. “This is common sense legislation that makes certain that offenders cannot take advantage of any legal loopholes that may lessen the punishment for intentionally and knowingly committing a crime.”
Senate Bill 261 establishes that a protection order is effective at the time the offender has knowledge of the order’s existence, even if they have not yet been served in-person by a law enforcement official as required under current Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure.
Additionally, the bill clarifies the penalty for violating a protection order in cases where the offender previously has been convicted, pleaded guilty to, or has been adjudicated a delinquent for violating single or multiple protection orders as punishable by a felony to the fifth degree.
“Senate Bill 261 is critical to provide clarity to the courts and to add additional support for law enforcement officials as they work to protect Ohio’s citizens,”  Manning added.
The bill will now proceed to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.

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