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Legal Information: Oregon

Restraining Orders

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July 9, 2021

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)