Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO) is a non-profit regional law firm that provide high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity.
Linda* had been married to Paul* for about five years and he became more and more physically violent toward her. In addition to physical violence, Paul was very controlling and made certain that the lease on the house they lived in was in his name only; Linda had no access to information or documents about the lease. Linda’s two children from a previous relationship also lived with her and Paul. They had all lived in this house for several years and the children enjoyed the neighborhood and were well-settled in the school they attended nearby.
After a particularly severe incident of violence, Paul was arrested for domestic violence and removed from the home.
Linda filed for a Civil Protection Order, and asked Legal Aid to represent her. She thought she and her children would eventually need to move out of the house, but she wanted to continue to live there for her children’s stability. She knew that Paul would not like this because his attorney had stated that he wanted to move back into the house. LAWO negotiated with Paul's attorney to allow Linda to stay in the house, as part of the settlement of the Civil Protection Order. Linda eventually was granted a full Civil Protection Order against Paul and exclusive use of the home. She agreed to change the utilities into her own name and to make reasonable efforts to have the lease switched over to her name. Most importantly, LAWO made certain that the Civil Protection Order required Paul to cooperate with Linda's efforts to have the utilities and the lease changed into her name.
Linda was successful in getting the utilities and the lease changed over to her name so that she and her children can continue to live in the home they had settled into, and Linda has a Civil Protection Order to help her stay safe from her husband.
*Names have been changed to protect the client’s privacy.