My ex-wife had a protection order for her and our child against me several years ago.
Now our child is 18, no longer lives with her mother, and has expressed interest in having me back in her life.
Is the protection order still in effect if the child is over 18 and is initiating contact with me?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Ohio divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
Before answering your question, I first want to emphasize how important it is to comply with an order of protection, which in my jurisdiction is referred to a Civil Protection Order (CPO). Violation of a CPO is taken very seriously by the police and can land you in jail.
To answer your question, whether you are barred from contact with your daughter depends on whether she was included on the CPO. Although this question cannot be answered without referring to the actual CPO issued against you, it appears from the information you provided that she was.
Assuming your daughter was included on the CPO, it will not matter that she has turned 18, at least according to my state’s laws. In my state, a parent can request a CPO on behalf of any “family or household member,” as that term is defined in the law (Ohio RC §3113.31), which includes a child over 18.
If you wish to be able to spend time with your child, the proper procedure would be to file a Motion to Modify.
To have a CPO modified or dismissed, the person who wants the modification or dismissal must file a written motion with the Clerk of Courts office in the county where the CPO was issued. A motion is sometimes described to people who do not have an attorney representing them as a “letter to the judge.”
Essentially, what you should include in the letter/motion is what you respectfully request that the court do (i.e., remove the CPO) and why it would be right for the court to do what you want (i.e., because you are not a threat to your child).
You should include as much information as possible about the factual background, such as why it is unfair for you to have a CPO against you and why it is unnecessary.
Make sure that the letter/motion is well-written and grammatically correct with no typos.
After receiving the letter/motion, the Clerk of Courts office should set the matter for a hearing before the assigned judge.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.