Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

CPO Card Program Honored by OSBA

The Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) on Thursday recognized a first-of-its kind court program that provides a practical way for domestic violence victims to keep key information about their civil protection orders with them at all times.

The Mahoning County Domestic Relations Court’s CPO Card program received the 2014 Judicial Administration and Legal Reform Committee Innovative Court Practices Award during the annual two-day Ohio Judicial Conference.

The plastic, wallet-sized card resembles a credit card and contains essential data on civil protection orders issued by the court.

Judge Beth Smith accepted the award on behalf of the court. She acknowledged and thanked members of her staff in attendance for their assistance with the program.

Judge Smith initiated the program because civil protection orders issued by courts are lengthy documents that can easily be damaged or torn. Pages can also be lost, and the bulky orders make them difficult for a protected person to carry at all times. The card, however, can be easily carried, and it helps law enforcement officials to enforce protection orders. The court typically issues the card for civil protection orders that have been put into effect for at least one year.

“Law enforcement officials as well as victims of domestic violence and their advocates have expressed their appreciation of our CPO Card program,” Judge Smith said. “We’re happy we could provide such a cost-effective solution to a significant problem.”

The start-up costs were funded through the court’s Special Project Fund. Based on the court’s projections, the cost to produce each card is about 37 cents, and the annual cost for continuing the program is estimated at about $150 per year.