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:
- 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.
For more information about contempt, including the difference between criminal contempt and civil contempt, go to our general Domestic Violence Restraining Orders page.
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.