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Know the Laws: Oregon

UPDATED October 25, 2016

Stalking Protection Orders

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Stalking protection orders provide protection from someone who is stalking you.

Basic information

back to topWhat is stalking?

Under Oregon law, stalking is when:

  • A person makes you afraid by engaging in repeated and unwanted contact, OR
  • A person makes an immediate family (or household) member afraid by engaging in repeated and unwanted contact.*
To qualify as stalking, your situation ALSO must meet the following requirements:
  • A reasonable person in your situation would have been alarmed or coerced by the contact, and
  • The repeated [at least two] and unwanted contact causes you or a member of your immediate family (or household) to reasonably fear for their physical safety.**
Unwanted contact is when a person:
  • Comes near you or into your sight;
  • Follows you;
  • Waits outside your home, workplace, or school;
  • Communicates with you in any way (mail, email, phone, or through another person); or
  • Damages your home, workplace, or school.***
* O.R.S. § 163.732(1)(a)
** O.R.S. § 163.732(1)(b),(c)
*** O.R.S. § 163.730(3)

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back to topWhat is a stalking protection order?

A stalking protection order is a court order that is designed to stop someone from stalking or harassing you or your family members.

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back to topWhat does stalking protection order cost?

Nothing. There is no fee for making a complaint, filing, serving the respondent, or having a court hearing about the stalking protection order.*

* O.R.S. § 30.866(9)

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back to topHow long does stalking protection order last?

Stalking protection orders don’t have a specific end date at the time they are issued. If the judge issues a permanent order, it remains effective until it the judge decides to end the order.

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back to topWhat will the stalking protection order actually do?

When the judge grants a stalking protection order, the order will specifically say what the stalker (respondent) is not allowed to do. The stalker may be ordered to have no contact with you, to stop stalking you or your family members, etc. It is a crime to violate a stalking protection order.*

* O.R.S. § 163.750(2)(a)

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Who can get a stalking protection order

back to topAm I eligible for a stalking protection order?

  • You may file a protection order for yourself against anyone if you are being stalked;
  • You may file a protection order against anyone who has stalked a member of your immediate family or household;
  • A parent may file a protection order to protect his/her children if they are under the age of 18;* or
  • A guardian may file a protection order to protect his/her dependents.*
* O.R.S. § 163.744(3)

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back to topIf I already have a domestic violence restraining order, can I also get a stalking restraining order?

Yes. Even if you already have a domestic violence restraining order, you can still ask the court for a stalking protection order against anyone who is stalking you. This includes someone you are related to, someone you have no connection to, or a stranger.

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Steps for getting a stalking protection order

back to topHow do I get a stalking protection order?

There are two ways to get a stalking protection order:

  1. The Police Citation Route
  2. The Court Order Route
It is important to know that the person filing the complaint (victim) is the “petitioner.” The person against whom you are making the complaint (the stalker) is the “respondent.”

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back to topHow does the Police Citation Route work?

The police can issue a citation telling the stalker when and where to appear in court.

Step 1: Get the form. Go to any law enforcement agency for a stalking complaint (the police or sheriff should have a form). You can also find the form in the OR Legal Statutes section, in O.R.S. § 163.744(2), of this website.

Step 2: Fill out the form. On the form, you will need to give:

  • Your name and address as the victim (and the name and address of the person being stalked if it is different from yourself);
  • The stalker's name and address;
  • A physical description of the stalker;
  • A description of the conduct and the time frame in which it has occurred; and
  • The relationship, if any, between the victim and the stalker.
Step 3: Sign the complaint. The officer will then ask you to sign the complaint. By signing it, you are swearing that all the information is true and correct. Do not sign the application until you have shown it to an officer because the form may need to be notarized or signed in the presence of court personnel.

Step 4: Issuance of citation. If the officer believes that you are being stalked, s/he then issues a citation to the abuser (by serving the abuser), ordering him/her to appear in court within 3 days and tell his/her side of the story.

Step 5: Find out when the hearing will be held. The officer will notify you in writing of the place and time set for the hearing, so it is important to give your correct address to the officer when filing the complaint, or a safe address where you will check the mail for this information. During the 3 days before the hearing, you are protected by the officer’s citation.

Step 6: The hearing. You must be at the hearing either in person, or with the court's permission, by telephone (ask the officer who helps you fill out the order about this option). At the hearing, the judge may grant a temporary stalking order or a permanent order.

If the judge grants a temporary order, there will be a second hearing to determine whether to grant you a permanent order. Either you or your stalker can ask to postpone the hearing for up to 30 days, if more time is needed to prepare. If the court does postpone the hearing, a temporary order may be given to protect you until the second hearing.

Whether you go the Police Citation Route or the Court Order Route, the court will hold a hearing and decide whether a permanent stalking protection order should go into effect. In addition to ordering the stalker to stay away from you and from your or your family member’s home, the court can also order a stalker to have a mental health evaluation and to get mental health treatment.*  It does not cost anything to apply for a stalking order, and the sheriff will deliver (serve) the order for free.

* O.R.S. § 163.738(5)

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back to topHow does the Court Route work?

Step 1: Go to the courthouse. You go to the circuit court and fill out a petition for a stalking protective order. This may be easier than the police citation route, depending on which county you live in. Some counties have free forms in the courthouse to fill out. If not, you will probably need some legal assistance to properly draft up the petition and file your complaint. See OR Finding a Lawyer for contact information to legal services organizations.

It is important to be as specific and as truthful as possible on the complaint form. Include the day, date, location, witnesses, specific conduct of the respondent and why that conduct makes you afraid for your safety.

Step 2: Meeting with a judge for a temporary order. Once you have filed your complaint, you will appear before a judge, who will ask questions about the incidents. If the judge determines that the requirements of the law have been met, s/he will issue a temporary stalking protection order that prohibits the respondent from further contact with you. At that time, the judge will schedule a second hearing at which a permanent stalking protection order may be issued. The abuser will have the right to attend this hearing to tell his/her side of the story.

Step 3: Service of Process. A sheriff serves the temporary stalking protection order on the respondent; the order is not enforceable until it has been served. At the end of the 30 days, the order expires unless it has been extended at the scheduled hearing.*

Step 4: The Hearing. It is strongly recommended that petitioners appear in person at this hearing, because some judges refuse to issue a second temporary order if the petitioner does not appear at the hearing. You may be allowed to testify at this hearing by telephone, if you request to do so.*

If the respondent fails to appear, the judge will issue an arrest warrant and grant the stalking protection order.**

Whether you go the Police Citation Route or the Court Order Route, the court will hold a hearing and decide whether a permanent stalking protection order should go into effect. In addition to ordering the stalker to stay away from you and from your or your family member’s home, the court can also order a stalker to have a mental health evaluation and to get mental health treatment.*** It does not cost anything to apply for a stalking order, and the sheriff will deliver (serve) the order for free.

* O.R.S. § 163.738(2)(a)
** O.R.S. § 163.738(1)(a)(G)
*** O.R.S. § 163.738(5)

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After the hearing

back to topWhat should I do if the stalker violates the stalking protection order?

If you believe that the abuser has violated the stalking protection order, you can immediately call 911. Tell the police about the violation. It is a crime to violate a stalking order* or restraining order. It is also a crime to assault, harass, threaten, stalk or menace someone. If the abuser commits one of these crimes while you have a stalking order, he can be arrested for committing the crime in addition to being arrested for violating the court order. The police are required to arrest the stalker/abuser if they have reason to believe that the order was violated. If the stalker or abuser is on parole or probation, you may also call their parole or probation office to report the violation.

Having a stalking protection order can help keep you safe, but it is also important to take other safety precautions. You will find helpful information on The Stalking Resources Center website. You can also contact a domestic violence organization in your area for additional help with safety planning and support.

* O.R.S. § 163.750(2)(a)

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