Restraining and Stalking Orders
The terms of a restraining order (RO) were designed with a plain intent to avert abuse and protect individuals who perceive a certain kind of threat to their safety from someone. In Oregon, a restraining order may be obtained by a person who has been subject to abuse within the last 180 days. A restraining order attorney and his or her client should be aware that “abuse” includes physical injury, threatened physical injury or an attempted physical injury.
Restraining orders are a great legal aid for protecting vulnerable individuals, particularly women from domestic violence, harassment or assault. To allow a safe avenue to a victim, a restraining order in Oregon can be obtained by filing a petition to be presented before a judge ex parte (without the other party being notified). While it is a well-intended law provision, on the flipside it is claimed to be misused more often than not. Even though the petition is signed by the victim under penalty of perjury and the respondent is entitled to a hearing, there are immediate ramifications that the respondent has to put up with regardless of the final outcome. Firstly, there is a court finding of probable cause that the respondent is an abuser. Secondly, the respondent faces employment jeopardy as most employers don’t prefer retaining a member who is facing such allegations. Also, it immediately affects a person’s right to carry a concealed firearm, purchase future firearms, hunt, and finally, these orders often provide for a child’s temporary custody to the other parent.
In Lane County, Oregon there is a far-reaching wrongful exploitation of protective orders by using them as an unfair tool in a custody case which unfortunately overshadows the legitimate abuse claims. However, with a trial done by an expert, this misuse can be adequately countered. Restraining orders are civil matters that allow considerable opportunities for trial preparation and rightful defense against frivolous claims (respondent’s request that the petitioner pay attorney fees, depositions, requests for production, etc.). Our attorneys have successfully tried many intricate restraining order cases in court. We are equipped with specific knowledge that relevant Oregon cases require, particularly the ones involving protected speech (State v. Rangel and its progeny).
In Oregon, a stalking protective order (SPO) may be obtained when a person is subjected to repeated and unwanted contact that coerces them or causes reasonable apprehension regarding personal safety. Again, as above with restraining orders, these are a great legal tool for protecting vulnerable individuals, from on-going repeated harassment and threats to a person’s safety after the person has been told to cease and desist from any and all further contact. Similarly, these types of orders often have severe consequences for the respondent defending against the stalking order.
At Arnold Law we have represented parties in pursuing a stalking order and parties in defense of a stalking order. There is a diverse body of Oregon caselaw that constantly shapes and interprets what constitutes “contact” and what constitutes “reasonable apprehension”. Our attorneys work with you to investigate and gather necessary persuasive evidence in order to achieve a successful outcome.