Figuring out how to get a restraining order in Oregon can be stressful and overwhelming at an already difficult time. At Johnson and Taylor, our domestic violence lawyers are well-versed in the process and help clients in Salem, Oregon, and surrounding communities find the peace of mind and protection they need.
What Is a Protective Order?
A protective order is a civil legal remedy that prohibits a potentially harmful person from contact with the person who filed for the order. In Oregon, there are several types of protective orders.
Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) Restraining Orders
A FAPA restraining order offers protection from abuse by a current or former spouse, domestic partner, intimate partner, family member, or parent of a victim’s child. If the victim is under the age of 18, the respondent must be at least 18 and be a current or former spouse, domestic partner, or someone with whom the victim has had a sexually intimate relationship.
Sexual Abuse Protective Order (SAPO)
A Sexual Abuse Protective Order may be available to individuals in certain circumstances when they are subjected to unwanted sexual contact by another person who is not a family member or intimate partner.
Elder/Disabled Abuse Prevention Act (DAPA) Restraining Orders
This type of restraining order is intended to protect people 65 and older or those who are vulnerable due to a disability from neglect and physical, verbal, financial, and sexual abuse.
Stalking Protective Order
A stalking protective order is designed to protect a person who is being stalked. Stalking usually involves a significant pattern of engaging in unwanted or repeated contact, or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly alarming or coercing another person.
A domestic violence lawyer can help determine which type of protective order is most appropriate for your circumstances.
Where to File for a FAPA Restraining Order in Oregon
You must file for a restraining order in the county courthouse where either you or the respondent lives. There is no fee to obtain a restraining order. It’s important to make sure the restraining order paperwork is filed in the correct jurisdiction. An experienced family law attorney can ensure that paperwork is filed with the correct court and all required information is included.
What Proof Do I Need to Get a Restraining Order?
In addition to age and relationship requirements, certain criteria must be met to obtain a FAPA restraining order, including:
- Instances of abuse: The respondent must have caused you physical injury or made you fear they would cause physical harm to you within the previous 180 days. This includes being forced to have sexual relations against your will. If the person who abused you was in jail or lived more than 100 miles from your home for a time, it may not count as part of the 180 days. You may still be able to obtain a restraining order even if it’s been more than 180 days since you were abused.
- Credible threat to safety: Your physical safety or the safety of your children must be in jeopardy at the time you file for the restraining order. Rude behavior or emotional or mental abuse do not provide sufficient cause to grant a restraining order.
When completing your petition for a restraining order, it’s crucial to be detailed about the nature of the abuse and the dates it occurred. A domestic violence lawyer can help you fill out the paperwork and advise you on specific language and details to include. Don’t hesitate to ask your family law attorney questions if you’re unsure about what to say.
What Happens After I File for a Restraining Order?
A judge will review your paperwork and may ask you some questions. If the restraining order is granted, a copy must be hand-delivered to the respondent by a sheriff’s deputy, process server, or any adult who lives in the state of Oregon.
The respondent has 30 days from the date of service to request a hearing. If they do not request a hearing, the restraining order will stay in effect generally for a period of one year. If requested, a hearing may be scheduled quickly, so it’s important to make sure the court has your current contact information, such as phone number and mailing address.
If you fail to attend the hearing, the order likely will be dismissed. Having a family law attorney assist you with the process and represent you at the hearing can help you avoid common mistakes, present convincing arguments on your behalf, and obtain a restraining order that covers all the issues you wish to address.
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last?
If granted, your restraining order will be in effect for one year from the date the judge signed it, unless it is dismissed or canceled by the court. A restraining order can affect child custody, so if circumstances change and you wish to amend it or renew it for another year, your domestic violence lawyer can help with that as well.
Contact Our Family Law Attorneys In Oregon
At Johnson and Taylor, our domestic violence lawyers know that dealing with abuse and getting a restraining order can be traumatic. Our compassionate, competent attorneys and staff are here to help you get through it. Johnson and Taylor litigates personal injury, divorce and family law and estate planning and probate cases. Our team includes Spanish-speaking attorneys, and our divorce and family and estate planning and probate lawyers serve clients in Marion, Polk, and Linn County and other surrounding communities. Contact us online or call 503-990-6641 to schedule a consultation.