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Legal Information: Oregon

Oregon Restraining Orders

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Restraining Orders

A restraining order or protective order is a legal order issued by a state court that requires one person to stop harming another. In Oregon, there are several types of orders including:

  • Family abuse prevention act restraining orders;
  • Stalking protection orders;
  • Sexual abuse protective orders;
  • Restraining orders for the elderly or disabled;
  • Extreme risk protection orders (to remove firearms).

Family Abuse Prevention Act Restraining Orders

A Family Abuse Prevention Act restraining order ("FAPA" order) is a civil order that provides protection from harm by a family or household member.

Basic information and definitions

What is the legal definition of domestic abuse in Oregon?

This section defines domestic abuse for the purposes of getting a Family Abuse Prevention Act restraining order, commonly referred to as a "FAPA" order.

Domestic abuse is when a family or household member:

  • attempts to hurt you physically;
  • actually hurts you physically (intentionally, recklessly or knowingly);
  • intimidates or makes you afraid of serious physical injury (intentionally, recklessly or knowingly); or
  • makes you have sex against your will by force or threat of force.1

1 O.R.S. § 107.705(1)

What protections can I get in a Family Abuse Prevention Act restraining order?

A restraining order can:

  1. order the abuser to:
  • stop abusing, threatening, or interfering with you and any children in your custody;
  • stay away from your home, school, workplace, or other specified place;
  • leave your home if you live together;
  • remove personal belongings from the home while police stand guard; and
  • have no contact with you in person, by mail, or by phone.
  1. give you temporary legal custody of your children;
  2. give the abuser temporary custody so long as there are conditions in place to protect the children;
  3. allow you visitation rights to your children if the abuser has custody;
  4. order other relief that the judge thinks is necessary to provide for the safety and welfare of you and your children, including but not limited to emergency financial assistance from the abuser (respondent); and
  5. order other relief to prevent the neglect of, and protect the safety of, any animal kept for personal protection, companionship, service, or therapy but not an animal kept for any business, commercial, agricultural or economic purpose.1

Whether a judge orders any or all of the above depends on the facts of your case.

1 O.R.S. § 107.718(1)

What types of Family Abuse Prevention Act restraining orders are there? How long do they last?

There are two types of family abuse prevention act restraining orders: temporary restraining orders and final restraining orders.

When you go to the court to file for a restraining order, the judge might give you a temporary, ex parte restraining order. A temporary restraining order is a court order designed to provide you and your family members with immediate protection from the abuser. You may receive a temporary, ex parte restraining order as soon as you file your petition, without the abuser present in court. At the time you file your petition for a temporary restraining order, the judge may schedule an "exceptional circumstances" hearing. See What is an exceptional circumstances hearing? for more information.

The temporary restraining order is effective as soon as the court grants it. However, it cannot be enforced against the abuser until the abuser has been served with notice of the order. A sheriff or another qualified person will serve the abuser with a copy of the order.

After the abuser (the respondent) receives the temporary restraining order, s/he has 30 days to ask for a hearing.1 If the abuser asks for a hearing, it must be held within 21 days of that request. However, if the abuser is fighting against the part of the order that gives you temporary custody, the hearing must be held within five days.2 At the hearing, the judge will decide if the temporary restraining order will continue.

If the abuser does not request a hearing, your restraining order will stay in effect and become a final restraining order. Once the judge issues a final restraining order, it is in effect for one year unless the order:

  1. is withdrawn;
  2. changed (modified) by the judge; or
  3. is replaced (superseded) by a separate order that is issued in a divorce, separation, or annulment proceeding.3.

You may be able to have the order extended beyond one year. See How do I renew (extend) the restraining order? for more information.

1 O.R.S. § 107.718(10)
2 O.R.S. § 107.716(1)
3 O.R.S. § 107.718(3)

What is an exceptional circumstances hearing?

When you file a Family Abuse Prevention Act restraining order, an "exceptional circumstances" hearing will be scheduled if the judge decides that there are issues affecting the custody of your children and the judge needs more information to make a decision about custody or parenting time. The judge will order that this hearing be held within 14 days. However, the abuser can request an earlier hearing, which would be held within five days after s/he requests it. At the hearing, the judge will ask both you and the respondent to appear and provide more information about the children so that the judge can make a decision about temporary custody.1 For example, the judge may order an exceptional circumstances hearing if you are not the usual and primary caretaker of the children or if your request for custody conflicts with a previous order in another court case.

1 O.R.S. § 107.718(2)

In which county can I file for a restraining order?

You can file a petition in the county where you live, or in the county where the abuser lives.1

1 O.R.S. § 107.728

Who can get a Family Abuse Prevention Act restraining order

Am I eligible to file for a Family Abuse Prevention Act restraining order?

You are eligible to file for a Family Abuse Prevention Act restraining order if you have experienced domestic abuse within the last 180 days and are in imminent danger of further abuse1 by a family or household member. A family or household member is defined as:

  • a current or former spouse;
  • an adult related by blood, marriage or adoption;
  • someone you are living with or have lived with in the past and had a sexual relationship with ("cohabited with");
  • someone you have been in a sexually intimate relationship with, within two years immediately preceding the filing of a restraining order petition under; or
  • someone with whom you have a child in common.2

Note: When calculating the 180-day time period, any time during which the abuser was in prison or was living more than 100 miles from you does not count as part of the 180-day period.1

If you are not eligible for a Family Abuse Prevention Act ("FAPA") restraining order, you may be eligible for a stalking protection order, a sexual abuse protective order, or a restraining order for the elderly and disabled.

1 O.R.S § 107.710(6)
2 O.R.S. § 107.705(4)

Can I get a restraining order against a same-sex partner?

In Oregon, you may apply for a Family Abuse Prevention Act restraining order against a current or former same-sex partner as long as the relationship meets the requirements listed in Am I eligible to file for a Family Abuse Prevention Act restraining order?  You must also be the victim of an act of domestic abuse, which is explained here What is the legal definition of domestic abuse in Oregon?

You can find information about LGBTQIA victims of abuse and what types of barriers they may face on our LGBTQIA Victims page.

Can I get a restraining order if I'm a minor?

If you are under 18 years old, you can only file on your own for a Family Abuse Prevention Act restraining order if:

  1. the abuser is over 18; and
  2. the abuser is:
    • your spouse or former spouse; or
    • someone with whom you have been in a sexually intimate relationship (regardless of whether or not you ever lived together).1

You must have experienced domestic abuse within the last 180 days to get a restraining order against the abuser. However, any time during which the abuser is in prison or lives more than 100 miles from you does not count as part of the 180-day period.2

In many states, a parent or guardian can file on behalf of a minor if the minor is a victim of abuse. However, in Oregon, an adult cannot file on behalf of a minor. The minor must meet the above requirements to qualify for a Family Abuse Prevention Act restraining order. If you do not satisfy the above requirements, speak to a local domestic violence organization for more information about how you may be able to plan for your safety. You can find one near you on our Oregon Advocates and Shelters page.

1 O.R.S § 107.726
2 O.R.S § 107.710(6)

How much does it cost? Do I need an attorney?

There is no fee to file for a Family Abuse Prevention Act restraining order1 and you do not need an attorney to get one. However, an attorney is recommended if the abuser contests the restraining order or hires an attorney. You can find legal referrals on our Oregon Finding a Lawyer page.

1 O.R.S. § 107.718(8)(c)

Steps for getting a Family Abuse Prevention Act restraining order

Step 1: Get and fill out the necessary forms.

You can file your petition at the circuit court in the county where you live or the county where the abuser lives. You can find the forms from the civil clerk at the circuit court, but you may want to download them beforehand and fill them out at home or with an advocate from a domestic violence organization or with a lawyer. You will find links to forms online on the Oregon Download Court Forms page. To find contact information for the circuit court in your area, click on the Oregon Courthouse Locations page.

To start your case, you will need to fill out the necessary forms for a restraining order, which include a petition and an affidavit (sworn statement). On the affidavit, you will be asked to write about what happened. Remember to use specific language (slapping, hitting, grabbing, threatening, etc.) that fits your situation. Include details and dates, if possible. Note: Do not sign the forms until you have shown them to a clerk, as the court clerk may have to notarize them -- and remember that you may need photo ID for the notary.

Most shelters and other domestic violence prevention organizations can provide support for you while you fill out these papers and go to court. To find a shelter or advocate in your area, go to our Oregon Advocates and Shelters page.

Step 2: Ex parte hearing

After you have filed the forms with the clerk of court, the clerk will forward them to the judge. The judge may ask you questions about what you wrote in your affidavit at what is often called an ex parte hearing. An ex parte hearing basically means that only one side is present for the hearing and it is done without prior notice to the abuser. You have the responsibility of proving the incidents of abuse included in your petition, so if you have evidence to prove the abuse, you may want to bring it with you to the hearing.1 You can read our Preparing Your Case page for more information about how to prepare for a court hearing. If the judge decides that you have been a victim of domestic abuse, the judge may issue you a temporary restraining order.

1 O.R.S. § 107.710(2)

Step 3: Service of process

A restraining order (temporary or final) is legal as soon as the court grants it. However, it cannot be enforced against the abuser until the abuser has been served with it.

The sheriff's deputy or a private party can serve the abuser (respondent) with the order and court paperwork.1 If you choose someone other than the sheriff's deputy to serve the papers, the person who serves it will have to fill out a certificate of service that you will have to bring back to court with you – ask the clerk about this if you choose to not have the sheriff serve the papers.2You cannot serve the abuser the papers yourself.3

There is no cost to file a petition, to have the sheriff serve the papers, or to have a court hearing about the restraining order.4

1 O.R.S. § 107.723(1)
2 Family Abuse Prevention Act Order Certificate of Service
3Oregon Courts website’s Instructions for Obtaining a Restraining Order
4 O.R.S. § 107.718(8)(c)

Step 4: Full court hearing

When the abuser receives a copy of the restraining order papers and knows about your petition, s/he has 30 days to ask for a hearing, which must be held within 21 days of that request.1 However, if the judge schedules an exceptional circumstances hearing, then there will be a hearing regardless of whether the abuser requests one or not. An exceptional circumstances hearing is held within 14 days from when the temporary restraining order is issued but the abuser can request that it be held earlier. If s/he makes such a request, the hearing will be held within five days of his/her request.2 The court will let you know if there is a hearing scheduled.

If the abuser requests a hearing, it is extremely important that you attend that hearing so that your restraining order doesn't get dismissed. If you or any witness who you plan to have testify cannot attend the hearing in person, you can file a motion (court request) in which you ask the judge to allow you or your witness to "attend" by phone or by another two-way electronic communication device. If the judge believes there is "good cause" to allow this, the judge can allow it.3 For example, if you convince the judge that the safety of you or your witness would be threatened if the judge required you/your witness to appear in person, this could be considered "good cause."

At the hearing, the judge may want to hear from you and from any witnesses that you may have who witnessed the abuse or your injuries. You will need to be specific when you testify. Describe:

  • when and where the abuse took place;
  • what happened;
  • how you were injured;
  • if an object was used to injure you, explain what was used. For example, explain to the judge if you were hit with a fist, an elbow, an open palm, a heavy object, on the floor or against a door or furniture, etc.;
  • whether the police were called; and
  • if you were treated by a doctor or medical professional.

If you have any pictures of your injuries, medical reports, or police reports, bring them to court with you. See our Preparing Your Case page for ways you can show the judge that you were abused.

If the abuser shows up to the hearing with a lawyer, you may ask the judge to postpone the hearing to a later date to give you some time to get a lawyer to represent you. Even if the abuser doesn’t have a lawyer, you may wish to bring one with you to the hearing to help present your case to the judge. See the Oregon Finding a Lawyer page for contact information for legal services organizations in your area. If the abuser does not show up for the hearing, the judge may still grant you a restraining order for up to one year, or the judge may order a new hearing date.4

1 O.R.S. § 107.718(10)(a)
2 O.R.S. § 107.718(2)
3 O.R.S. § 107.717(1),(3)
4 O.R.S. § 107.718(3)

After the hearing

Can the abuser have a gun?

Once you get a protection order, there may be laws that prohibit the respondent from having a gun in his/her possession. There are a few places where you can find this information:

  • first, read the questions on this page to see if judges in Oregon have to power to remove guns as part of a temporary or final order;
  • second, go to our State Gun Laws section to read about your state’s specific gun-related laws; and
  • third, you can read our Federal Gun Laws section to understand the federal laws that apply to all states.

You can read more about keeping an abuser from accessing guns on the National Domestic Violence and Firearms Resource Center’s website.

What should I do when I leave the courthouse?

Here are some things that you may want to consider doing. You will have to evaluate each one and decide if it is safe and appropriate for you to do it. Review the order carefully before you leave the courthouse. If something is wrong or missing, ask the clerk to correct the order before you leave.

  • Make several copies of the restraining order as soon as possible.
  • Keep a copy of the order with you at all times.
  • Leave copies of the order at your work place, at your home, at the children’s school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on.
  • Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work along with a picture of the abuser.
  • Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.
  • If the court has not given you an extra copy for your local law enforcement agency, take one of your extra copies and deliver it to them.
  • You may wish to consider changing your locks, if permitted by law, and your phone number.

You may also wish to make a safety plan. People can do a number of things to increase their safety during violent incidents, when preparing to leave an abusive relationship, and when they are at home, work, and school. Many batterers obey protective orders, but some do not and it is important to build on the things you have already been doing to keep yourself safe. Go to our Safety Tips page for suggestions. You might also find it helpful to talk to someone at a domestic violence organization near you for support. See the Oregon Advocates and Shelters page for contact information.

What can I do if the abuser violates the order?

If the abuser violates the restraining order, you can immediately call 911. Violating any part of your restraining order could result in the judge holding the abuser in contempt of court. Here are some things you may want to do when the police respond to your call:

  • Make sure that the officers make a report so there will be a record of the violation.
  • Write down the officer's name, badge number, and report number.
  • Make sure a police report is filled out, even if no arrest is made. If you have legal documentation of all violations of the order, it may help you have the order extended or modified, if necessary, in the future.

The police officer may arrest the abuser for the violation. According to the law, a police officer must arrest the abuser and take him/her into custody (without a warrant) when the police officer has probable cause to believe that a restraining order:

  • exists
  • was properly served; and
  • was violated.1

If the police arrest the abuser, a court hearing may be set to have him/her found in "contempt of court" for violating the restraining order. In Oregon, the act of violating a family abuse prevention order act restraining order is not a crime, but the judge can punish the abuser if the judge finds that the abuser is in contempt of court.2 At the contempt hearing, if the abuser is found in contempt of court, the maximum punishment could be a fine and/or up to six months in jail.

The restraining order can play an important role in protecting yourself, but you may still wish to create a safety plan or go to a local domestic violence program for additional help in keeping yourself as safe as possible. For additional help, please see our Safety Tips and Oregon Advocates and Shelters pages.

1 O.R.S. § 133.310(3)
2Bachman v. Bachman, 16 P.3d 1185 (OR 2000)

How do I renew (extend) the restraining order?

Before your current order expires, you can go back to the court where you originally filed the Family Abuse Prevention Act restraining order and request a renewal (extension) for another year. There does not have to be a further act of abuse in order to get it renewed.1 A judge may renew (extend) the restraining order if s/he finds that you are reasonably afraid of further acts of abuse by the abuser (respondent) if the order is not renewed.2

If your child was included in the order, and now your child has reached the age of 18, s/he can get the order extended for himself/herself if s/he is reasonably afraid of further acts of abuse by the abuser (respondent) if the order is not renewed.2 Even if the original petitioner does not want the order renewed for his/her own protection, if the child who was included in the original order turns 18, s/he can still get the order renewed for his/her own protection without filing a new petition.3

If the judge decides to grant the renewal, the abuser will be notified of the renewal. The abuser then has the right to request a hearing to fight the renewal. If the abuser requests a hearing, the judge will schedule the hearing within 21 days.4 If this happens, you might find it helpful to have an attorney represent you at the hearing. Go to our Oregon Finding a Lawyer page for legal referrals.

1 O.R.S. § 107.725(2); Oregon Court’s Renewing a Restraining Order Instructions
2 O.R.S. § 107.725(1)
3 O.R.S. § 107.725(3)
4 O.R.S. § 107.725(4)

What if I want to drop (dismiss) my permanent restraining order?

If you want to drop your restraining order, you need to go back to the court that issued your order and fill out a request (motion) to dismiss the order. You may have to talk to the judge and tell him/her why you want to drop the restraining order. You can find more information and the paperwork to request that the judge dismiss the order on the Oregon Court's website.

If you have dropped your restraining order or your order expired and you are abused again, you can go back to court for a new restraining order if you meet the requirements. Talking to a lawyer or domestic violence advocate might help you decide what is best for you. See our Oregon Finding a Lawyer page and our Oregon Advocates and Shelters page for referrals.

What happens if I move? Is my order still valid?

Your order is good everywhere in Oregon and in the U.S. The federal law provides what is called "full faith and credit," which means that once you have a criminal or civil protection order, it follows you wherever you go, including U.S. Territories and tribal lands. Different states may have different rules for enforcing out-of-state protection orders. If you are moving out of state, you may want to call the domestic violence organization in the state where you are going to find out how that state treats out-of-state orders. Go to our Advocates and Shelters page and enter your state in the drop-down menu. You may also want to call the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith & Credit (1-800-903-0111 x 2) if you have any questions.

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

Stalking Protection Orders

Stalking protection orders provide protection from someone who is stalking you or your immediate family or household member.

Basic information

What is stalking?

Under Oregon law, stalking is when a person makes repeated and unwanted contact with you that:

  • alarms: causes you or a member of your immediate family or household fear or anxiety due to the perception of danger; or
  • coerces: restrains, compels, or dominates you or a member of your immediate family or household due to force or threats.1

​In addition, for the actions/contact to be considered stalking:

  • it must be "reasonable" for someone in your situation to be alarmed or coerced in the manner explained above; and
  • the repeated, unwanted contact must "reasonably" cause you to fear for your personal safety or that of a member of your immediate family or household.2

1 O.R.S. §§ 163.732(1)(a); 163.730(1), (2)
2 O.R.S. § 163.732(1)(b), (1)(c)

What is unwanted contact?

There are many acts a stalker could do that could be considered unwanted contact. Some examples of unwanted contact include, but are not limited to, when the stalker:

  • comes near you or into your sight;
  • follows you;
  • waits outside of your home, workplace, or school (or your family or household member’s home, workplace, or school);
  • communicates with you in any way (mail, email, phone, or through another person); or
  • damages your home, workplace, or school.1

1 O.R.S. § 163.730(3)

What kinds of stalking protection orders are there? How long does a stalking protection order last?

There are two types of stalking protection orders: temporary stalking protection orders and final/permanent stalking protection orders.

The judge can issue a temporary stalking protection order if s/he find that there is probable cause to believe that the respondent (the person the order is filed against) has committed stalking. The judge will schedule a hearing to decide whether to grant a final/permanent stalking protection order. The temporary stalking protection order will last until the scheduled hearing. At the hearing for the final/permanent stalking protection order, the judge can extend the temporary stalking protection order for up to 30 days.1

The judge can issue a final/permanent stalking order if the judge finds that it is more likely than not that the respondent committed stalking. The final/permanent stalking order does not expire unless a judge specifically includes an end date.2

1 O.R.S. § 163.738(2)(a); Stalking Protective Order
2 O.R.S. § 163.738(2)(b); Stalking Protective Order

What protections can I get in a stalking protection order?

When the judge grants a stalking protection order, the order will specifically say what the stalker (respondent) is not allowed to do. In a temporary order, the judge may order the stalker to stop doing any of the following to you or your family or household members:

  • contacting;
  • attempting to contact; and
  • stalking.1

In a final order (issued after the stalker has an opportunity to appear in court), the judge can:

  • order the protections listed above;
  • order that the stalker have a mental health evaluation and complete treatment if needed; and
  • include language that would prohibit the stalker from having firearms and ammunition.2

1 O.R.S. § 163.738(2)(b)
2O.R.S. § 163.738(2)(b), (5)

Getting the order

Am I eligible for a stalking protection order?

You can file for a stalking protection order if you or a member of your immediate family or household are a victim of stalking. You are eligible for a stalking protection order to protect yourself if:

  • you are the victim of stalking; or
  • a member of your immediate family or household is a victim of stalking.1

For example, if your sister is being stalked, you may be able to get a stalking protection order against the person stalking her for your own protection.

You can also file on behalf of the following people if they are victims of stalking:

  • your child who is under the age of 18; or
  • a dependent if you are the dependent person’s guardian.2

1 O.R.S. § 163.732(1)
2 O.R.S. § 163.744(3)

What does a stalking protection order cost?

There is no fee for making a complaint, filing, serving the respondent, or having a court hearing on your petition for a stalking protection order.1

1 O.R.S. § 30.866(9)

What are the steps for getting a stalking protection order?

After the hearing

What 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. It is a crime to violate a stalking order.1 If the police have probable cause to believe that the stalker violated the order or committed another crime, the police can arrest the stalker.

1 O.R.S. § 163.750(2)(a)

What is the punishment for violating a stalking protection order?

Violating a stalking protection order is a Class A misdemeanor. It is a Class C felony if the stalker violates the stalking protection order and has previously been convicted for:

  • stalking; or
  • violating a stalking protection order.1

The possible punishment for a Class A misdemeanor is:

  • a $6,250 fine;
  • 1 year in jail; or
  • both.2

The possible punishment for a Class C felony is:

  • $125,000 fine;
  • 5 years in jail; or
  • both.3

1 O.R.S. § 163.750(1), (2)
2 O.R.S. §§ 161.615(a), 161.635(a)
3 O.R.S. §§ 161.605(3), 161.625(1)(d)

Sexual Abuse Protective Orders

A sexual abuse protective order ("SAPO") is a civil order that provides protection if someone who is not your family or household member sexually abuses or sexually assaults you.

Basic info and definitions

What is a sexual abuse protective order?

Similar to a restraining order to prevent abuse, a sexual abuse protective order ("SAPO") is a civil court order that can protect you if you are the victim of sexual abuse (including sexual assault, rape, sodomy) and you fear for your safety.  Unlike a restraining order to prevent abuse, to qualify for a sexual assault protective order you cannot have a family or household relationship with the abuser.1  Note: If you are the victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault and are in a family or household relationship with the abuser, you may qualify for a restraining order to prevent abuse.

1 ORS § 163.763(1)

What is the legal definition of sexual abuse?

For the purpose of getting a sexual abuse protective order, sexual abuse is defined as any “sexual contact” with a person:

  • who does not consent to it; or
  • who is incapable (unable) to consent to the sexual contact because the victim is:
    • under 18 years of age;
    • “mentally defective,” which the law defines as suffering from a qualifying mental disorder that makes the victim unable to evaluate his/her own conduct;
    • mentally incapacitated, which the law defines as being unable to evaluate or control his/her own conduct; or
    • physically helpless, which the law defines as being unconscious or unable (for any other reason) to communicate his/her unwillingness to the sexual act.1

Sexual contact is when anyone touches your sexual or intimate parts or causes you to touch the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desire of either person.2  In addition to "touching" one's sexual or intimate parts, it would also include sexual assault, rape, sodomy, and forced oral sex.

Note: There could be some defenses to an accusation of sexual abuse related to the difference in age between the victim and due to other circumstances.3  You can read about these defenses here and here on our OR Statutes page.

1 ORS §§ 163.760(2); 163.315; 163.305(2),(3),(5)
2 ORS §§ 163.760(3); 163.305(6)
3 ORS §163.760(2)(b)

What types of sexual abuse protective orders are there? How long do they last?

There are two types of sexual abuse protective orders, described below.

Ex parte order
When you file a petition for a sexual abuse protective order in circuit court, the judge can hold an ex parte hearing in person or by telephone. Ex parte means that the abuser does not need to have prior notice of (or be present at) the hearing. If the judge finds that it is reasonable for a person in your situation to fear for your physical safety and that the sexual abuse occurred within the previous 180 days, the judge can issue a restraining order.1

When determining whether or not 180 days has passed since the sexual abuse occurred, the judge should not consider any time the abuser was in jail, any time that the abuser lived more than 100 miles away from your residence, and any time that the abuser was not allowed to contact you because of a different restraining order.2

One-year order
The abuser has 30 days to request a hearing after s/he is served with the ex parte order. If the abuser requests a hearing, the court staff will notify you of the date and time of the hearing and give you a copy of the abuser’s request.3 The hearing will be scheduled within 21 days of the abuser’s request. You may have to explain the incidents of sexual abuse to the judge, and the abuser will also have an opportunity to give the judge his/her testimony and evidence. At that hearing, the judge could change or dismiss the restraining order.4 If the abuser fails to request a hearing at the end of the 30 days, the terms in your ex parte order remain in effect for one year.5

1 ORS § 163.765(1)
2 ORS § 163.763(3),(1)(c)
3 ORS § 163.765(6)(a),(b)
4 ORS § 163.767(1)
5 ORS § 163.765(7),(8)

Where can I file for a sexual abuse protective order?

You can file for a sexual abuse protective order in the circuit court in the county where either you or the abuser lives.1

1 ORS § 163.763(2)(a)

What protections can I get in a sexual abuse protective order?

If the judge finds that you are the victim of sexual abuse and that you fear for your physical safety, the order will state that the abuser must:

  • not contact you; and
  • not do (or attempt to do) any of the following: intimidate, molest, interfere with or menace (physically threaten) you.

At your request, the judge can also order:

  • that the abuser not contact your children, family members, or household members;
  • that the abuser not enter or attempt to enter your residence or come within an area around your residence;
  • that the abuser not intimidate, molest, interfere with, or menace your children and family or household members (or attempt to); and/or
  • anything else necessary for your safety and the safety or your children and family or household members.1

1 ORS § 163.765(1)(a),(b)

Who is eligible for a sexual abuse protective order

Who can get a sexual abuse protective order?

You may be eligible for a sexual abuse protective order if you are the victim of sexual abuse and fear for your physical safety. Additionally, to qualify for a sexual abuse protective order, the following must also apply:

  • you and the abuser cannot be family or household members;
  • the abuser must be at least 18 years old;
  • there cannot currently be an existing restraining order or criminal court order prohibiting the abuser from contacting you; and
  • the sexual abuse must have happened within the previous 180 days (not counting any time that the abuser was in jail, lived more than 100 miles from you, or was prohibited from contacting you as part of a different restraining order).1

1 ORS § 163.763(1), (2)(b), (3)

Can a minor file for a sexual abuse protective order?

You can file for a sexual abuse protective order on your own without the appointment of a guardian ad litem if you are at least 12 years old. Your parent or lawful guardian can also file on your behalf if you are under the age of 18.1

1 ORS § 163.763(2)(a)

Can I file for an order against a minor?

You cannot file against a minor. The respondent must be at least 18 years old for you to get a sexual abuse protective order against him/her.1

1 ORS § 163.763(1)(b)

Getting the order

What are the steps involved with getting a sexual abuse protective order?

How much does a sexual abuse protective order cost?

There are no fees to file for a sexual abuse protective order or to have the abuser served with the paperwork by the sheriff. You also cannot be charged any court costs for the hearing.1

1 ORS § 163.777(1)(a)

Will I have to face the abuser in court?

The abuser has the right to request a hearing and challenge your ex parte sexual abuse protective order. If the abuser requests a hearing, you will receive notice of the time and date of the hearing.1

If there is going to be a hearing, you have the option of filing a request asking the judge to allow you to appear at the hearing (or to have a witness appear at the hearing) by telephone or some other two-way communication device instead of appearing in person. The judge will decide if there is good cause to allow you or your witness to appear by telephone and will consider whether or not the safety or welfare of you or your witness would be threatened by requiring you to appear in person.2

1 ORS § 163.765(6)(a), (6)(b)
2 ORS § 163.770(1), (3)

After the hearing

Can a sexual abuse protective order be changed (modified)?

At any point beyond the first 30 days after the order is served, either party can request that the judge change the sexual abuse protective order if s/he can show the judge good cause for the change. You can also request that the judge remove certain terms from the order to have fewer restrictions on the abuser.1

1 ORS §§ 163.775(2); 163.765(6)

Can I renew my sexual abuse protective order?

The judge can renew your sexual abuse protective order if the judge finds that it is reasonable for you to fear for your physical safety if the order were not renewed. You do not have to prove that the abuser has sexually abused you again. The judge can renew your order based on your petition (without a full hearing) if the judge finds that the facts in your petition support renewing the order. The respondent has the option to request a hearing after s/he is served with your renewed order.1

1 ORS § 163.775(1)(a),(b)

Restraining Orders for the Elderly and Disabled

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

What 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.")

What is the legal definition of “abuse” for purposes of getting this 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.1

1 O.R.S. § 124.005(1)

What is the legal definition of "elderly" for the purpose of getting this order?

The legal definition of an elderly person is someone 65 years and older.1

1 O.R.S .§ 124.005(3)

What is the legal definition of "disabled" for the purpose of getting this order?

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.1

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

What protections can I get in an Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Act order?

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.1

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

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

Who 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.1  There are no relationship requirements between the victim and abuser; the abuser can be anyone who is abusing an elderly or disabled person.2

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.3

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

How long does the Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Act order last?

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

1 O.R.S. § 124.020(1)

My 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;
  • request a hearing; and
  • present witnesses and evidence at the hearing.1

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

1 O.R.S. § 124.010(7)

Can the Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Act order be renewed?

A judge can renew your order even if there has not been a further act of abuse.1

1 O.R.S. § 124.035

How much does it cost to file for an order?

There is no fee to file for an order.1

1 O.R.S. § 124.020(7)(d)

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

Step 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.1

1 O.R.S. § 124.012

Step 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.1

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.2 If you do not receive this, be sure to ask for it.

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

Step 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.1

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.

1 O.R.S. § 124.020(1)

Step 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.1 The county sheriff will serve the respondent personally.2 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.3 You can get the hearing request form from the court clerk.

The court will hold a hearing within 21 days following the request.4

1 O.R.S. § 124.020(7)(a)
2 O.R.S. § 124.020(7)(b)
3 O.R.S. § 124.020(9)
4 O.R.S. § 124.015(1)

Step 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.1

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.2  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.

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

Extreme Risk Protection Orders (to remove firearms)

An extreme risk protection order is a civil court order that keeps a person (called the respondent) from having or getting firearms.

Basic Info

Who can file for an extreme risk protection order?

You can file for an extreme risk protection order if you are:

  1. a law enforcement officer; or
  2. the respondent’s:
  • family member;
  • household member; or
  • intimate partner.1

1 O.R.S. § 166.527(1)

What types of orders are there? How long do they last?

There are two types of extreme risk protection orders: ex parte extreme risk protection orders and final extreme risk protection orders.

Ex parte extreme risk protection orders: An ex parte extreme risk protection order can be issued on the day that the petition is filed. “Ex parte” means that the respondent does not have notice of the case beforehand and is not present for the hearing.1

Final extreme risk protection orders: The judge can issue a final extreme risk protection order only after the respondent is served with notice of the case, a copy of the ex parte order, and has an opportunity to request and participate in a hearing. When the respondent is served with the ex parte order, s/he must request a hearing within 30 days if s/he does not want the order in place. If the respondent requests a hearing, the hearing must take place within 21 days of the request. If the respondent does not request a hearing, the ex parte order becomes effective for a period of one year from the date the order was issued.2

1 O.R.S. § 166.527(6)
2 O.R.S. § 166.527(9), (10)

What protections can I get in an extreme risk protection order?

In an extreme risk protection order, the judge can:

1. order that the respondent cannot do any of the following things with “deadly weapons”:

  • have them in his/her custody or control;
  • own them;
  • purchase them;
  • possess them;
  • receive them; or
  • attempt to purchase or receive them;

2. require the respondent to give up any concealed handgun licenses to a law enforcement agency; and

3. order that the respondent immediately surrender all “deadly weapons” within 24 hours of being served with the order. The respondent can give the deadly weapons to:

  • a law enforcement agency;
  • a gun dealer; or
  • a third party who can legally have the weapons.1

“Deadly weapons” include:

  • any items or substances that are meant to cause, and are capable of causing, death or serious physical injury; and
  • firearms, even if unloaded.2

1 O.R.S. §§ 166.527(1), 166.537(1)
2 O.R.S. § 166.525(1)

Getting the order

How do I get an extreme risk protection order?

The steps to get an extreme risk protective order are similar to the steps to get a domestic violence restraining order but you will fill out different forms.

Your petition for an extreme risk protection order must include:

  • your signed, written sworn statement (affidavit);
  • your oral statement given under oath; or
  • any witness’s oral statement given under oath.1

1 O.R.S. § 166.527(3)

How will a judge make a decision about whether or not to grant the order?

The judge must decide if the respondent is at risk of committing suicide or harming another person in the near future.1 To make that decision, the judge will consider any information that is reliable. Some things the judge may consider are the respondent’s:

  • own statements that s/he made to others;
  • history of suicide threats or attempts;
  • history of actual or threatened violence or physical force against other people;
  • previous convictions for assault, strangulation, menacing, reckless endangerment, stalking, intimidation, domestic violence offenses, driving under the influence, or any incident that involves abuse or cruelty to animals;
  • recent illegal use of drugs (controlled substances);
  • history of recklessly using, displaying, or waving (brandishing) a deadly weapon;
  • previous violation of a restraining order or stalking order; and
  • possession or attempted possession of a deadly weapon within the past 180 days.2

1 O.R.S. § 166.527(6)(a)
2 O.R.S. § 166.527(4)

Can I renew an extreme risk protection order?

If you are a law enforcement officer or the respondent’s family or household member, you can request that the judge renew the extreme risk protection order. You do not have to be the person who requested the original extreme risk protection order. You must file your request within the 90 days before the original order expires.1 The judge will hold a hearing based on your request. If the judge finds that the respondent continues to present a risk in the near future of suicide or of causing physical injury to another person, the judge may renew the order.2

1 O.R.S. § 166.535(1)
2 O.R.S. § 166.535(4)

What happens if the respondent violates the order?

If the respondent violates an extreme risk protection order, you can call the police and s/he may be charged with a crime.1 The judge may also be able to hold the respondent in civil contempt for violations of an Extreme Risk Protection Order.2

Violating a final extreme risk protection order by possessing a deadly weapon is a Class A misdemeanor. The punishment for a Class A misdemeanor is:

  • a $6,250 fine;
  • one year in jail; or
  • both.3

In addition to facing criminal penalties for committing a Class A misdemeanor, there are restrictions that become effective against the respondent after the conviction. The respondent cannot do any of the following with firearms for a five-year period:

  • have them in his/her custody or control;
  • own them;
  • purchase them;
  • possess them;
  • receive them; or
  • attempt to purchase or receive them.4

Note: The five-year period for the above-mentioned restrictions on the respondent starts on either:

  • the date when the extreme risk protection order expires or is terminated; or
  • the date that the conviction is entered.5

The restrictions will start on the latest of either of the above dates.5

1 See O.R.S. §§ 166.527(8)(d), 1.010; Oregon Extreme Risk Protection Order Instruction Packet
2Oregon Courts website
3 O.R.S. §§ 161.635(a), 161.615(a)
4 O.R.S. § 166.543(1), (2)
5 O.R.S. § 166.543(2)

Moving to Another State with an Oregon Restraining Order

If you are moving within Oregon, moving to another state, or visiting another state for a little while, your restraining order can be enforceable.

General rules

Can I get my restraining order from Oregon enforced in another state?

Yes. If you have a valid Oregon restraining order that meets federal standards, it can be enforced in another state. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which is a federal law, states that all valid restraining orders granted in the United States receive "full faith and credit" in all state and tribal courts within the US, including US territories. See How do I know if my restraining order is good under federal law? to find out if your restraining order qualifies.

Each state must enforce out-of-state restraining orders in the same way it enforces its own orders. Meaning, if your abuser violates your out-of-state restraining order, s/he will be punished according to the laws of whatever state you are in when the order is violated. This is what is meant by "full faith and credit."

How do I know if my restraining order is good under federal law?

A restraining order is good anywhere in the United States as long as:

  • It was issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, harassing behavior, sexual violence, or it was issued to prevent another person from coming near you or contacting you.1
  • The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case. (In other words, the court had the authority to hear the case.)
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
    •  In the case of ex parte temporary and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled before the temporary order expires.2

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
2 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b)

I have a temporary ex parte restraining order. Can it be enforced in another state?

Yes. An ex parte temporary order can be enforced in other states as long as it meets the requirements listed in How do I know if my restraining order is good under federal law?1

Note: The state where you are going generally cannot extend your ex parte temporary order or issue you a permanent order when the temporary one expires. If you need to extend your temporary order, you will have to contact the state that issued the order and arrange to be at the hearing in person or by telephone (if that is an option offered by the court). Oregon law allows you to request to appear by phone, instead of having to be there in person.2 However, you may be able to reapply for one in the new state that you are moving to if you meet the requirements for getting a protective order in that state – but, if you apply for one in a new state, the abuser would know what state you are living in, which may put you in danger.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2265(b)(2)
2 O.R.S. §107.718(1)

Getting your Oregon restraining order enforced in another state

How do I get my restraining order enforced in another state?

Federal law does not require you to take any special steps to get your restraining order enforced in another state.

Many states do have laws or regulations (rules) about registering or filing of out-of-state orders, which can make enforcement easier, but a valid restraining order is enforceable regardless of whether it has been registered or filed in the new state.1 Rules differ from state to state, so it may be helpful to find out what the rules are in your new state. You can contact a local domestic violence organization for more information by visiting our Advocates and Shelters page and entering your new state in the drop-down menu.

Note: It is important to keep a copy of your restraining order with you at all times. It is also a good idea to know the rules of states you will be living in or visiting to ensure that your out-of-state order can be enforced in a timely manner. To learn more, read the "Enforcing an Out-of-State Order" section in the state where you have moved.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2265(d)(2)

Do I need anything special to get my restraining order enforced in another state?

In some states, you will need a certified copy of your restraining order. A certified copy says that it is a "true and correct" copy; it is signed and initialed by the clerk of court that gave you the order, and usually has some kind of court stamp on it.

If your copy is not a certified copy, call or go to the court that gave you the order and ask the clerk's office for a certified copy. There is no fee to get a certified copy of an OR restraining order.

Note: It is a good idea to keep a copy of the order with you at all times. You will also want to bring several copies of the order with you when you move. You might want to leave copies of the order at your work place, at your home, at the children's school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on. You can give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work along with a photo of the abuser. You can also give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.

Can I get someone to help me? Do I need a lawyer?

You do not need a lawyer to get your restraining order enforced in another state.

However, you may want to get help from a local domestic violence advocate or attorney in the state that you move to.  A domestic violence advocate can let you know what the advantages and disadvantages are for registering your restraining order, and help you through the process if you decide to do so.

To find a domestic violence advocate or an attorney in the state you are moving to, select your state from the Places that Help tab on the top of this page and then click Advocates and Shelters.

Do I need to tell the court in Oregon if I move?

Yes. The court that gave you your restraining order needs to have an up-to-date mailing address for you at all times so they can communicate with you if anything happens to your restraining order - for example, if your abuser asks the court to dismiss the order or if your order is changed in any way.

If you won't be getting mail at your old address, you need to give the court a mailing address and a contact phone number. If you feel unsafe giving your new address, you can use the address of a trusted friend or a P.O. Box instead. The change of address form that you will need to fill out is available online or at the courthouse.

Remember, if you want to keep your new address confidential, be sure to tell this to the court clerk and ask that your address not be made public to the abuser.

Enforcing custody provisions in another state

I was granted temporary custody with my restraining order. Can I take my kids out of the state?

Maybe. It will depend on the exact wording of the custody provision in your restraining order. You may have to first seek the permission of the court before leaving. If the abuser was granted visitation rights with your children, then you may have to have the order changed, or show the court that there is a fair and realistic alternative to the current visitation schedule.

If you are unsure about whether or not you can take your kids out of the state, it is important to talk to a domestic violence advocate or lawyer who understands domestic violence and custody laws, and can help you make the safest decision for you and your children. You can find contact information for local domestic violence organizations and legal assistance in Oregon on our OR Places that Help page.

I was granted temporary custody with my restraining order. Will another state enforce this custody order?

Yes. Custody, visitation, and child support provisions that are included in a restraining order can be enforced across state lines. Law enforcement and courts in another state are required by federal law to enforce these provisions.1

1 18 USC §2266

Enforcing Your Out-Of-State Order in Oregon

If you are planning to move to OR or are going to be in OR for any reason, your protection or restraining order can be enforced.

General rules

Can I get my restraining order enforced in Oregon? What are the requirements?

Yes. Your restraining order can be enforced in Oregon as long as:

  • It was issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, harassing behavior, sexual violence, or it was issued to prevent another person from coming near you or contacting you.1
  • The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case. (In other words, the court had the authority to hear the case.)
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
    • In the case of ex parte temporary and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled before the temporary order expires.2

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
2 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b)

Can I have my out-of-state restraining order changed, extended, or canceled in Oregon?

No. Only the state that issued your restraining order can change, extend, or cancel the order. You cannot have this done by a court in Oregon.

To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will have to file a motion or petition in the court where the order was issued. You may be able to request that you attend the court hearing by telephone rather than in person, so that you do not need to return to the state where the abuser is living. You will need to contact the clerk of court in your area to find out if this is possible. To find out more information about how to modify a restraining order, see the "Restraining Order" page, under the Know the Laws tab, for the state where your order was issued.

If your order does expire while you are living in Oregon, you may be able to get a new one issued in Oregon but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred while you have been in Oregon. To find out more information on how to get a restraining order in Oregon, visit our OR Restraining Order page. You can also contact a domestic violence organization in Oregon for help with filing a restraining order. See OR Advocates and Shelters.

I was granted temporary custody with my out-of-state restraining order. Will I still have temporary custody of my children in Oregon?

Yes. As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,1 Oregon can enforce a temporary custody order that is a part of a protection order.

To have someone read over your order and tell you if it meets these standards, contact a lawyer in your area. To find a lawyer in your area click here OR Finding a Lawyer.

1 The federal laws are the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980.

Registering your out-of-state restraining order in Oregon

What is the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Registry? Who has access to it?

The National Crime Information Center Registry (NCIC) is a nationwide, electronic database that contains restraining order information that is used by law enforcement agencies in the U.S, Canada, and Puerto Rico. NCIC is managed by the FBI and state law enforcement officials.

All law enforcement officials have access to it, but the information is encrypted so outsiders cannot access it.

How do I register my restraining order in Oregon?

If you decide to register your order, you will need to present a certified copy of the order to a county sheriff. In Oregon, a certified copy will have two stamps and will be signed and dated. The sheriff will then enter your order into the Law Enforcement Data System, which is maintained by the Department of State Police and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). The order must be the most recent order in effect between you and the abuser and you must provide proof of service or other written certification that the abuser has been personally served with a copy of the order or has actual notice of the order.1

19 USC 2265(d)(2); O.R.S. § 24.190(3)(a) & (c)

Do I have to register my restraining order in Oregon in order to get it enforced?

Neither Oregon state law nor federal law requires you to register your restraining order to have it enforced.1 However, there may be a benefit to having it registered. If your restraining order is registered in Oregon, it is easier for law enforcement officials to verify that your order is valid. When police officers arrive on a scene, they generally check to see if your restraining order is registered in the state's registry. If it is not listed in the state registry, the police officer will have to look through the national registry or call the court where the order was issued. This takes longer and it could mean that your restraining order is not enforced right away.

1 18 USC § 2265; O.R.S. § 24.190(2)(a)

Will the abuser be notified if I register my restraining order?

Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies to all U.S. states and territories, the court is not permitted to notify the abuser when a protective order has been registered or filed in a new state unless you specifically request that the abuser be notified.1  However, you may wish to confirm that the clerk is aware of this law before registering the order if your address is confidential.

However, remember that there may be a possibility that the abuser could somehow find out what state you have moved to.  It is important to continue to safety plan, even if you are no longer in the state where the abuser is living.  We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Safety Tips page.  You can also contact a local domestic violence organization to get help in developing a personalized safety plan. You will find contact information for organizations in your area on our OR Advocates and Shelters page.

1 18 USC § 2265(d)

What if I don't register my restraining order? Will it be more difficult to have it enforced?

Maybe. While neither federal law nor state law requires that you register your restraining order in order to get it enforced, if your order is not entered into the state registry, it may be more difficult for an Oregon law enforcement official to determine whether your order is real. Therefore, it could take longer to get your order enforced.

If you are unsure about whether registering your order is the right decision for you, you may want to contact a local domestic violence organization in your area. An advocate there can help you decide what the safest plan of action is for you in Oregon. To see a list of local domestic violence organizations in Oregon, go to our OR Advocates and Shelters page.

Does it cost anything to register my restraining order?

No. There is no fee for registering your restraining order in Oregon.1

1 O.R.S. § 24.190(6)