Oregon Law HelpOregon Law Help

How to Get a Family Abuse Prevention Act Restraining Order

Authored By: Legal Aid Services of Oregon LSC Funded
Read this in:
Spanish / Español
Russian / Pусский
Vietnamese / Tiếng Việt

Information

If you are a survivor of abuse, or are threatened by abuse, there are steps you can take to help keep you and your children safe. You deserve help and support.

You may be able to get a restraining order.A restraining order can order the abuser to leave you and your children alone and to move from your home. The restraining order can deal with temporary custody and visitation (parenting time) of your children. Also, you can ask the judge to include other orders (listed in the restraining order papers) that may help you stay safe.

YOU CAN GET A RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST:

·Your spouse or former spouse; or

·An adult related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption; or

·A partner, of the same or opposite sex, you are living with, or have lived with; or

·A person, of the same or opposite sex, with whom you have been in a sexually intimate relationship within the past two years; or

·The other parent of your minor child(ren).

·The person you get a restraining order against is called the Respondent.

YOU CAN GET A RESTRAINING ORDER IF:

1.WITHIN THE LAST SIX MONTHS (180 DAYS) ** THE ABUSER:

a.Physically hurt you or attempted to physically hurt you; or

b.Made you afraid that he or she would soon physically hurt you; or

c.Made you have sexual relations against your wishes by using force or threats of force; AND
 

2. YOU ARE IN DANGER OF FURTHER ABUSE

** The six month (180 day) period is counteddifferently if: the abuser has been in jail or has lived more than 100 miles away from you in the last six months.

A RESTRAINING ORDER CAN HELP YOU BY:

·Requiring that the abuser stay away from you and not molest, intimidate, interfere with or menace you or your children;

·Requiring that the abuser move out of your home (if you are married to the abuser or if you are on the title or lease);

·Requiring that the abuser stay away from your home, job, place of business, school, or other places;

·Giving you (or the abuser if you request) temporary custody of your children;

·Giving appropriate visitation to the parent who does not have custody;

·Ordering other things to help protect you, like that the abuser not have guns, or that the abuser give you emergency monetary assistance.

OTHER HELP MAY BE AVAILABLE

·You may be entitled to request a landlord to change the locks on a home if necessary for your safety.

·You may be entitled to a release from a rental agreement if moving will protect your safety.

·You may qualify for temporary assistance for domestic violence survivors (TA-DVS) from the state.

PREPARING AND FILING A RESTRAINING ORDER

Restraining order forms are available online at http://courts.oregon.gov/OJD/OSCA/JFCPD/Pages/FLP/Protective-Orders.aspx.  You can fill out electronic forms  on a computer.  Or, you can print out the forms and complete them.  You also can get the forms at the Courthouse.  Courthouses should have computers for you to use if you want to complete the forms electronically. You  may be able to get help with the restraining order paperwork at the local domestic violence or sexual assault program, the Victim's Assistance Office, or at the Courthouse. See the resource list below.

 

WHAT TO BRING:

1.Identification (driver's license or other photo ID);

 

2.The address where the respondent (the abuser) can be personally given the order (a workplace or home address);

 

3.A contact address if you want to keep your address confidential. Do not put your confidential address on the restraining order papers.

THE EX PARTE OR PRELIMINARY HEARING

The judge will begin reviewing restraining order requests at the scheduled time. Usually, everyone applying for a restraining order is in the courtroom at the same time. You may have to wait some time before the judge calls your case. The judge will read your papers and may ask you questions before deciding whether to give you the order. You may ask for permission to appear at this hearing by telephone, if you are unable to appear in person for safety, health, or other important reasons.

If the judge gives you the restraining order:You can get copies of the order for free from the clerks for yourself and to give to other people, such as your workplace or your child's school or daycare.

SERVING THE ORDER

If the judge gives you the restraining order, talk to the clerks about the sheriff or an adult serving the order on (giving it to) the respondent. If you want, the court should send the paperwork to the sheriff for service. You may wish to take the paperwork to the sheriff yourself, if you think that would be quicker. You cannot serve the restraining order papers on the respondent yourself. Service by the sheriff is free.

The restraining order is not enforceable until the respondent has been served.

ONCE THE RESPONDENT HAS BEEN SERVED

The respondent has 30 days to respond (file a paper that disagrees with parts or all of the order) and ask for a hearing.

If the respondent DOES NOT ask for a hearing within 30 days from service, your order remains in effect. After that, the respondent can only ask for a hearing to change the child custody or parenting time sections of the order.

If the respondent DOES ask for a hearing within 30 days of service, then you will receive a "notice of hearing" from the court that tells you the day and time of your hearing. Be sure to keep the court informed of your current contact address so you get notice of the hearing. If a hearing is requested, it is best to have an attorney to represent you, but an attorney is not required. You may wish to contact the Oregon State Bar Lawyer Referral Service or your local legal aid office for help getting an attorney. See the resource list below for help.THE CONTESTED RESTRAINING ORDER HEARING

A contested restraining order hearing must be held within 5 days of the request if the respondent is challenging custody. Otherwise, the hearing is held within 21 days of the request.

The purpose of this hearing is to decide whether or not the restraining order will remain in effect, and if it does remain in effect, to decide whether or not it will be changed in some way.

At the hearing, you should be ready to give your own testimony, call witnesses & present any evidence you have.

If you do not show up for the hearing, the order will be dismissed.If you cannot appear at the hearing for health, safety, or other important reasons, you may ask for permission to appear by telephone. In some circumstances, the court will move the hearing date to a different date if you ask permission.

IF THE JUDGE CONTINUES THE ORDER

Keep a copy of the order with you at all times.

 

You cannot violate your own restraining order; only the respondent is prevented from making certain contact and going certain places.

If the respondent disobeys the order: call 911.The police must arrest the respondent if the officer has probable cause to believe there has been a violation.

The restraining order will remain in effect for one year from the date of issuance.

If you are fearful of further acts of abuse, you can apply for a renewal before the year is up.

OTHER STEPS YOU CAN TAKE

SAFETY PLANNING:

A restraining order is an important step for safety, but it will not necessarily stop the respondent from hurting or attempting to hurt you. It is important that you plan how to protect yourself in the event that the respondent disobeys the restraining order. For more information about safety planning contact your local domestic violence or sexual assault program listed in the phone book or see the resources below.

DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE RESOURCES:

You may want to speak to an advocate to get information about emergency shelters, support groups and safety plans.

OTHER LEGAL STEPS:

Whether or not you get a restraining order, you may be eligible for a stalking protective order, an ELDERLY/DISABLED PERSONS DISABILITY ABUSE PREVENTION ACT ORDER  or a SEXUAL ABUSE PROTECTIVE ORDER. For more information ABOUT OTHER PROTECTIVE ORDERS, [on stalking protective orders,] contact one of the resources listed below OR GO TO http://courts.oregon.gov/OJD/forms/pages/index.aspx.”

·You may want to consider filing for divorce or permanent custody if you are married to the abuser or if the abuser is the parent of your child.

For more information, contact:

·National Sexual Assault Hotline: (800) 656-HOPE

·National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-7233

·Nat'l Center for Victims of Crime Hotline: (800) FYI-CALL

·Portland Women's Crisis Line: (800) 235-5333 (for statewide help, and for a referral to a local crisis program)