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Know the Laws: Oregon

UPDATED October 25, 2016

Restraining Orders for the Elderly and Disabled

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If you are an elderly or disabled person who is being abused, you may be able to apply for a restraining order by filing a civil action for abuse of the elderly or disabled.  The order, which is technically called an Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Abuse Prevention Act order is often abbreviated as an "EPPDAPA."

Basic info and definitions

back to topWhat is an Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Act order?

This type of order can be obtained as part of a civil action for abuse that can be filed to protect a person who is elderly or disabled and who is being abused.  When you file the civil action, the judge can issue an order to prevent further abuse by separating you from the abuser, requiring the abuser to stay away from you, and protecting your financial resources from the abuser.  The civil action can also be filed by your guardian or guardian ad litem.  The technical name for the order is an Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Abuse Prevention Act order (often abbreviated as an "EPPDAPA.")

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back to topHow can an Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Act order help an elderly or disabled person?

In a civil action for abuse, the judge can:

  • order the abuser to move out of a jointly owned or rented home (and that a peace officer accompany the abuser while s/he is removing personal property from the shared home);
  • order the abuser to stay away from any premises where the victim may be found;
  • order the abuser to stop abusing, intimidating, or molesting the victim;
  • order the abuser to return custody or control of the money or property of the victim;
  • prohibit the abuser from transferring the money or property of the victim to anyone; and/or
  • order the abuser to pay the victim’s legal fees.*

* O.R.S. §§ 124.020(1),(2); 124.015(2)(b)

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back to topWhat is the legal definition of “abuse” for purposes of getting an Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Act order?

For the purpose of this section, Oregon state law defines “abuse” as:

  • Physical injury or pain;
  • Neglect that leads to physical harm;
  • Abandonment;
  • Naming calling, harassment, threats, and inappropriate sexual comments that threaten the emotional or physical wellbeing of the victim;
  • Taking or threatening to take property or money rightfully belonging to the victim;
  • Sexual contact with an elderly or disabled person who is unable able to consent; or
  • Causing any sweepstakes promotions to be mailed an elderly or disabled person when that person spent over $500 on sweepstakes promotions the year before, and court assistance is needed to prevent the person from spending more money.*

* O.R.S. § 124.005(1)

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back to topWhat is the legal definition of "elderly"?

The legal definition of an elderly person is someone 65 years and older.*

* O.R.S .§ 124.005(3)

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back to topWhat is the legal definition of "disabled"?

For purposes of this restraining order, “a person with a disability” is defined as someone with a physical or mental disability who is eligible for Supplemental Security Income or for general assistance and meets one of the following:

  • has a developmental disability, or is mentally or emotionally disturbed and lives in or needs placement in a residential program;
  • is an alcohol or drug abuser and lives or needs placement in a residential program;
  • has another type of physical or mental disability; or
  • is experiencing a brain injury for a long enough time to affect that person's ability to perform activities of daily living.*

* O.R.S. §§ 124.005(9); 410.040(7); 410.715

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Who can file for an Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Act order

back to topWho is eligible to file an Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Act order?

Any person who is elderly (65 or older) or a person of any age with a disability who has been the victim of abuse within the last 180 days is eligible.  Also, a guardian or guardian ad litem of the abused person may petition for an order if the abused person is in immediate and present danger of further abuse.*  There are no relationship requirements between the victim and abuser; the abuser can be anyone who is abusing an elderly or disabled person.**

Note: Any time during which the abuser is incarcerated or lives more than 100 miles from the victim is not counted as part of the 180-day period.***

* O.R.S. § 124.010(1)(a)
** O.R.S. § 124.010(1)(c)
*** O.R.S. § 124.010(6)

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back to topHow long does the Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Act order last?

A order can last for 1 year, or until it is changed by the court or withdrawn by the person who filed it.*

* O.R.S. § 124.020(1)

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back to topMy guardian filed an action on my behalf without my agreement. Is there anything I can do?

If your guardian filed for a petition an Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Abuse Prevention Act ("EPPDAPA") order without your consent, you can try to fight against the action by doing any or all of the following:

  • Get a lawyer;
  • Request a copy of your personal records;
  • File legal objections to it; and
  • Request a hearing; and present witnesses and evidence at the hearing.*

To find a lawyer in your area, go to our OR Finding a Lawyer page.

* O.R.S. § 124.010(7)

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back to topCan the Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Act order be renewed?

Yes. A judge can renew the order even if there has not been a further act of abuse.*

* O.R.S. § 124.035

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back to topHow much does it cost to file for an order?

Nothing. There is no fee to file.*

* O.R.S. § 124.020(7)(d)

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Steps involved in filing for an Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Act order

back to topStep 1: Go to the courthouse.

You can file for an Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Abuse Prevention Act order ("EPPDAPA") at the circuit court in either the county where the abused person (petitioner) lives, or the county where the abuser (respondent) lives.*

* O.R.S. § 124.012

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back to topStep 2: Fill out the forms.

You can ask the court clerk for the forms needed to file a civil action against abuse (an Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Abuse Prevention Act order) or go to the Oregon Courts website.

When you will out the forms, you will need to:

  • show that the victim is in immediate and present danger of further abuse from the respondent;
  • show that the person has been the victim of abuse committed by the respondent within the last 180 days (minus any days that the abuser was in prison or lived at least 100 miles away); and
  • describe the nature of the abuse and the approximate dates when the abuse happened.*

Note: When you file the petition, the clerk should give you information provided by the Department of Human Services about local adult protective services, domestic violence shelters and local legal services available.** If you do not receive this, be sure to ask for it.

* O.R.S. § 124.010(1)(b)
** O.R.S. § 124.010(5)

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back to topStep 3: Ex parte hearing

When a petitioner or guardian-petitioner files a petition for an Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Abuse Prevention Act order ("EPPDAPA"), the court will hold an ex parte hearing (without the abuser present) in person or by telephone on the day the petition is filed or on the following business day.*

If the judge decides that the victim needs immediate protection, s/he will grant an ex parte order. See How can an Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Act order help an elderly or disabled person? for more information.

* O.R.S. § 124.020(1)

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back to topStep 4: Service of process

For the Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Act order to be enforceable, the respondent must receive notice that a petition for the action has been filed.  When the judge grants the order, the court clerk will provide, without charge, the copies of the petition and order necessary to serve the respondent.*  The county sheriff will serve the respondent personally.**  Do not serve the respondent yourself.

Once the respondent has been served, s/he has the right to request a hearing where s/he will be able to tell his/her side of the story. The petitioner also has the right to request a hearing once the respondent has been served. In either case, the hearing must be requested within 30 days.***  You can get the hearing request form from the court clerk.

The court will hold a hearing within 21 days following the request.****

* O.R.S. § 124.020(7)(a)
** O.R.S. § 124.020(7)(b)
*** O.R.S. § 124.020(9)
**** O.R.S. § 124.015(1)

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back to topStep 5: The hearing

If a hearing is requested by either party, both parties have the right to attend the hearing.  The purpose of this hearing is for the judge to determine if the terms of the court's temporary (ex parte) order should be canceled, changed or extended to become a permanent order good for up to 1 year.*

If the respondent has an attorney at the hearing, the hearing may be extended for up to five days at the request of the petitioner so that the petitioner can find representation.**  To find a lawyer in your area, click on OR Finding a Lawyer page.

For more information on how to get ready for the hearing, see our Preparing Your Case page.

* O.R.S. § 124.020(6); Oregon Court Form: Notice to Respondent (Elderly Persons and Persons With Disabilities Abuse Prevention Act)
** O.R.S. § 124.015(3)(b)

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