If you have been abused or stalked, there are four different kinds of restraining orders to consider filing in Oregon. If you file for a restraining order, you will be the petitioner and the other party will be the respondent. You do not need a lawyer to file for a restraining order, however, a lawyer can represent you in court and provide legal advice. A court facilitator or advocate may be able to assist with completion of the forms, but cannot give you legal advice.
Types of Restraining Orders Available:
1. Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA). You must have a qualifying relationship to be able to obtain this restraining order. A qualifying relationship means that the respondent must be a family member, intimate partner, or former intimate partner (within the last 2 years) or must be the parent of your child. If you are a minor, you cannot petition the court for this kind of restraining order, however, a parent or guardian may petition on your behalf. The respondent must have attempted to cause, or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly have caused bodily injury or placed you in fear of imminent bodily injury, or caused you to engage in sexual relations by force or threat of force. There must have been one of these incidents within the last 180 days and you must be in imminent danger of further abuse.
The court can enter a one year order with an option to renew the order. With this order, you may be able to obtain temporary custody of any children. Further, you can request an order that a shared residence be vacated by the respondent. You can request this restraining order even if there are other restraining orders in effect.
2. Stalking. With a stalking protective order, no qualifying relationship is necessary. If you are a minor, a parent or guardian must petition on your behalf. There must have been at least two incidents of stalking within the past two years. Stalking is defined as:
(a) The person knowingly alarms or coerces another person or a member of that person’s immediate family or household by engaging in repeated and unwanted contact with the other person;
(b) It is objectively reasonable for a person in the victim’s situation to have been alarmed or coerced by the contact; and
(c) The repeated and unwanted contact causes the victim reasonable apprehension regarding the personal safety of the victim or a member of the victim’s immediate family or household.
You can request a stalking protective order even if there are other restraining orders in effect. A stalking protective order can be made permanent.
3. Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Abuse Prevention Act (EPPDAPA). With this order, no qualifying relationship is necessary, but you must be age 65 or older or have a disability. A disability means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. If you are a disabled minor, a parent or guardian must petition on your behalf. Further, the respondent must be age 18 or older. In order to obtain this restraining order, there must have been at least one incident of abuse within the last 180 days and there must be immediate and present danger of further abuse. Many activities may be considered abuse, including, but not limited to, physical injury (other than by accident), neglect, abandonment, verbal abuse, financial exploitation, sexual abuse, or involuntary seclusion. The court can enter a one year order with an option to renew. The court can require a person to move from your home. You can request this order even if there are other restraining orders in effect.
4. SAPO Sexual Abuse Prevention Order. This is a relatively new restraining order designed to prevent additional or continuing sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is defined as sexual contact without consent or the capacity to consent. Touching an intimate or sexual part or causing another to do so is considered sexual contact. For adult petitioners, the respondent cannot be an intimate partner, household or family member as designed in the Family Abuse Prevention Act. Minor petitioners may still qualify for a SAPO against an intimate partner or former intimate partner. There must have been one incident within the last 180 days and the petitioner must have a fear of future harm. The court can enter a one year order with an option to renew. No other restraining or protective order may be in effect. A minor age 12 and older may petition on their own. A parent or guardian can petition on behalf of a minor under age 12. The respondent must be age 18 or older. You cannot have another restraining order in effect when you apply for this order.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE BEING ABUSED:
If you are being abused, it is important to seek help as soon as possible at a time when you are in a safe place. Some available options are reporting abuse to the Oregon Department of Human Services or calling an abuse hotline:
To report both child and adult abuse in Oregon to the Department of Human Services, call (855) 503-7233
To get advice, information, and for help, such as with safety planning, call:
MARION COUNTY: Center for Hope and Safety (503) 378-1572
LINN AND BENTON COUNTY: CARDV (541) 754-0110 (local) or (800) 927-0197
Remember, you are not alone and help is available.