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In Re: Caprice C. Gray

May 13, 2009

IN RE: CAPRICE C. GRAY CAPRICE C. GRAY APPLICANT


COMMRSSIONER PANEL OF A THREE- I

[Cite as In re Gray,

The Ohio Judicial Center 65 South Front Street, Fourth Floor Columbus, OH 43215 614.387.9860 or 1.800.824.8263 www.cco.state.oh.us

Commissioners:

Randi Ostry LeHoty, Presiding Gregory P. Barwell Clarence E. Mingo

{1}On May 27, 2008, the applicant, Caprice Gray, filed a compensation application as the result of an assault which occurred on October 19, 2007. On August 29, 2008, the Attorney General issued a finding of fact and decision finding the applicant met the jurisdictional requirements necessary to receive an award of reparations, however, the Attorney General determined the applicant's request for reimbursement of attorneys fees to obtain a civil protection order did not meet the requirements contained in R.C. 2743.51(F)(4). The Attorney General asserts the civil protection order did not successfully separate the applicant from the offender. On October 24, 2008, the applicant filed a request for reconsideration. On December 18, 2008, the Attorney General rendered a Final Decision finding no reason to modify its initial decision. On December 24, 2008, the applicant filed a notice of appeal from the December 18, 2008 Final Decision of the Attorney General. Hence, a hearing was held before this panel of three commissioners on March 18, 2009 at 10:45 A.M.

{2}The applicant's attorney, Dennis Yacobozzi, appeared on behalf of the applicant, while Assistant Attorney General Amy O'Grady represented the state of Ohio.

{3}The parties indicated that they had reached an agreement in this case. This case involves a civil protection order issued by the Domestic Relations division of the Court of Common Pleas of Hamilton County. The civil protection order contains the following language.

Paragraphs 5, 6, & 7 state:

"5. RESPONDENT SHALL NOT ENTER or interfere with the residence, school, business, place of employment, or child care providers of the protected persons names in this order, including the buildings, grounds and parking lots at those locations. Respondent may not violate this order even with the permission of a protected person. [NCIC 04]

"6. RESPONDENT SHALL STAY AWAY FROM PETITIONER and all other protected persons names in this order, and not be present within 500 feet or _____ (distance) of any protected persons, wherever protected persons may be found, or any place the Respondent knows or should know the protected persons are like to be, even with Petitioner's permission. If Respondent accidentally comes in contact with protected persons in any public or private place, Respondent must depart immediately. This order includes encounters on public and private roads, highways, and thoroughfares. [NCIC 04]

"7. RESPONDENT SHALL NOT INITIATE OR HAVE ANY CONTACT with the protected persons named in this Order or their residences, businesses, places of employment, schools, day care centers, or child care providers. Contact includes, but is not limited to, telephone, fax, e-mail, voice mail, delivery service, writings, or communications by any other means in person or through another person. Respondent may not violate this order even with the permission of a protected person. [NCIC 05]"

{4}However, paragraph 18 of the same order states:

"18. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED: [NCIC 08] RESPONDENT SHALL NOT BE IN VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER MERELY BECAUSE SHE/HE IS WITHIN 500 FEET OF THE PROTECTED PERSON(S) WHILE ATTENDING COURT ORDERED OR AGREED UPON COUNSELING AND/OR MEDIATION SESSIONS OR SCHEDULED COURT PROCEEDINGS FOR WHICH RESPONDENT IS EITHER A PARTY OR A SUBPOENAED WITNESS."

{5}The Attorney General reasoned that while paragraph 18 would allow the parties to the civil protection order to contact one another for the purposes of counseling or mediation, in order to effectuate paragraph 18 the parties would have to go back to court to modify paragraphs 5, 6 and 7. In the case at bar, the applicant has not done so and has no intention to do so. Accordingly, the Attorney General asserts the civil protection order is in compliance with R.C. 2743.51(F)(4) and attorney fees should be paid. The Attorney General's position is that if a civil protection order provides the applicant with an option to contact the offender, and the applicant exercises that option then attorney fees pursuant to R.C. 2743.51(F)(4) should not be paid. However, if the court orders contact for children exchanges, counseling ...


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