COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – Some neighborly disputes in Ohio that involve issues such as neighbors not cleaning up after their dog or mowing lawns beyond boundaries can now be settled by a mediator instead of inside a courtroom.
The resource is due to a recent change to statewide judicial rules regarding some civil stalking protection orders (CSPO).
In the past, CSPOs could not be mediated.
What qualifies as civil stalking is broad. Someone can file one for a property line issue or another non-criminal complaint.
Not every CSPO may be mediated. Factors that would prevent mediation as an option include:
- If the petitioner is a family or household member of the accused
- A sexually-oriented offense
- Serious physical harm
- Part of an active criminal complaint
Other factors – such as threats, fear of physical harm, and intimidation – would compel courts to not consider mediation for the parties.
Courts and mediators will be offered training to help determine which cases are eligible for mediation.