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
You can find more information about service of process in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section, in the question called What is service of process and how do I accomplish it?
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)