Stalking Protection Order
Stalking Protection Orders (often called “stalking orders” or “SPOs”) are for people in danger because someone won’t leave them alone. Stalking orders are only for serious cases of stalking. They are not right for all stalking situations.
If you need help leaving an unsafe situation, you can:
A stalking order may be right for you, if you can answer yes to all these statements:
- You were contacted against your wishes at least twice in the last two years;
- The other person has a good reason to know or suspect you don’t want to be contacted;
- That contact caused you to feel alarmed, afraid, or that you were being forced to do or not do something against your will; and
- You have "good reasons" to be afraid that the person may hurt you or someone in your family. A judge may think you have good reasons to be afraid if you can answer "yes" to one or more of these questions:
- Does the other person have an untreated mental illness?
- Does the other person abuse drugs or alcohol?
- Does the other person have a violent criminal history?
- Does the other person have guns or other deadly weapons?
- Has the other person had restraining orders against them before?
- Has the other person disobeyed a restraining order?
- Has the other person made threats to harm you or someone else?
- Has the other person recently threatened suicide or attempted suicide in the past?
Stalking can include many things. Here are some examples of stalking contacts:
- Parking outside your house;
- Entering your house without permission;
- Showing up at your work;
- Coming to your kids’ school;
- Assaulting you;
- Following you in your car; or
- Showing up unexpectedly at places you’re at.
If someone is only contacting you by phone, text message, or online chat or messaging, this may not qualify you for a stalking order. You should find legal help in this situation.
Yes. A stalking order can be used to stop an ex-partner or ex-spouse from continuing to stalk and harass you.
You can get a stalking order against anyone who is stalking you and making you afraid for your safety. For example, you could get a stalking order against a co-worker, roommate, classmate, neighbor, relative, ex-partner, and more.
Yes, but an adult must help you apply. The adult can be a parent, a legal guardian, or someone the court appoints to help you.
If you are under 18, you may want to talk to a lawyer before applying for a restraining order. You can use the Referral Database to find help in your area.
You can ask the court to order that the other person:
- Not contact you;
- Stay away from your home, work, or other places you go often;
- In some situations, get rid of their guns and ammunition and not get new ones; or
- Complete a mental health evaluation and treatment.
If the other person does not follow your stalking order, you can call the police for help.
Yes. A stalking order can require the other person to stay away from your children’s home, school, or work. It can tell the other person not to contact you through your kids.
But if you have children with the person who is stalking you, a stalking order can't give you temporary custody of your children like the Family Abuse Restraining Order can.
You should get legal help if you have children with the person who is stalking you.
When you first apply for a stalking order, you only get a temporary court order. This is different than all the other restraining orders in Oregon. The temporary order lasts until the court replaces it with another order. The court could replace your temporary order with an Order of Dismissal (a court order that gets rid of your temporary order) or with a final stalking order.
There are two ways to apply for a temporary stalking order in Oregon:
- Apply on your own (most common). You can apply for a temporary stalking order by turning in an application (called a Petition) with the court. After you apply, you will need to talk with a judge (called an ex parte hearing). A judge will review your application and decide whether or not you qualify for a temporary stalking order. For more information on applying for a restraining order, go here.
- Police citation (least common). The police can also help you get a temporary stalking order by issuing a stalking citation. A stalking citation starts a stalking order case. But you'll have to handle the rest of your case on your own. You’ll need to show up to all your scheduled court hearings to prove you qualify for a final stalking order. The police won’t do this for you.
- If the other person disagrees with your stalking order: You’ll have to have a contested hearing. A contested hearing is a formal meeting with a judge, the other person, and you. Both sides can present evidence at this hearing. At the end of the hearing, a judge will decide if you qualify for a final stalking order. For more on contested hearings, go here.
- If the other person doesn’t fight your stalking order: You’ll still need to have a second court hearing. At this hearing, the judge will confirm that the other person agrees to have a final stalking order against them. The judge will also decide if you qualify for a final stalking order.
Attention: Every county in Oregon has different steps for stalking order cases. Call your local circuit court if you have questions about:
- When your hearing will be;
- Whether you can present evidence at the hearing;
- How to turn in evidence for your hearing;
- What happens if the other person doesn’t show up to the hearing; or
- Anything else related to the process of getting a final order.
Yes. Although you don’t have to see the other person to get a temporary stalking order, you will have to face them in court to get a final stalking order. You must go to a second court hearing before a judge will give you a final order. The other person is also required to go to this second hearing.
If the other person doesn’t show up to a stalking order hearing, a judge can:
- Issue a warrant for the other person’s arrest,
- Reschedule the hearing; or
- Give you a final stalking order.
If you get a final stalking order, it lasts indefinitely. This means it does not expire.
For example, if you get a stalking order in your 20s, you could have your stalking order for the rest of your life.
Yes. Even though a final stalking order doesn’t have an end date, it could go away if either person asks the court to end it.
- If the other person wants to end your stalking order, they must prove to a judge that circumstances have changed, and that the stalking order is no longer needed. For example, if you were stalked by an ex-partner five years ago, but that person moved away, hasn’t contacted you, and moved on with their life, a judge could decide that you no longer need your stalking order.
- If you want to end your own order, a judge will usually grant this request without a hearing. You don’t have to prove anything to end your own order.
No. The rules on contact only apply to the other person. But it’s usually not a good idea to contact the other person.
Maybe. The law isn’t clear about whether you can ask for changes to your stalking order. If you need to make changes, you should get legal help. You can use the Referral Database to find legal help in your area.
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