Restraining Orders in Oregon

Preventing Abuse: Balancing restraining orders against undue advantage of the judicial system

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. Broadly, abuse classification 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 ramificationsthat 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 and finally, these orders often provide for a child’s temporary custody to the other parent.

In Lane County, Oregon there is a far-reachingwrongful 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 and got the best outcomes for our clients. We are equipped with specific knowledge that relevant Oregon cases require, particularly the ones involving protected speech (State v. Rangel and its progeny).

Sealing or “Expunging” the Dismissed Protective Order

Attorney Mike Arnold pioneered the movement for sealing of protective order files in Oregon, effectively causing the court to expunge the records. Arnold created a groundbreaking motion arguing that it was within the inherent power of the court to expunge such cases. Our attorneys have achievedcontinued success sealing stalking order records in several Oregon counties, such as Lane County and Multnomah County. In Lane County alone, our firm has been instrumental in expungingseveral protective order files for clients who have been wrongly accused. However, recently a Lane County judge denied an unopposed motion to seal a stalking order file and this was upheld on appeal

  • Representative Cases

    STALKING ORDERS AND RESTRAINING ORDERS

    Wrongful Use of Civil Proceedings - False Stalking Order to Gain Custody

    Received a $50,000 judgment through bankruptcy adversarial proceeding due to mother lying to get a stalking order.

    Restraining Order - Lying about Fear to Gain Custody

    Mother lied about being afraid of father. She dismissed it after being cross-examined and confronted with dozens of text messages she sent to father.

    Stalking Order - Lying about Rape to Gain Custody

    We won a dismissal after trial. Court made findings of fact that stalking order was brought for an improper purpose.

    Sexual Harassment - Setting up co-worker for a sexual harassment lawsuit

    Negotiated a dismissal and a mutual no-contact agreement after discovering that petitioner made similar allegations against another employer in California.

    Stalking - Young woman files after older man stops buying her things

    Young woman lied about stalking incidents to gain a stalking order to spite her much older friend who bought her car, surgery, etc. Petitioner lied to the court; the firm proved the lies in trial and case dismissed.

    Stalking Order – Dismissed

    Mother obtained stalking order on Father to keep him from seeing his child for weeks. We were able to demonstrate motives for obtaining a stalking order to gain advantage in a custody case to keep child from Father. After Mother put on her case and she and her witnesses were cross-examined, judge dismissed the order without requiring any evidence or testimony from Father at all.

    Restraining Order – Upheld with Attorney Fee Award

    Husband took Restraining Order out on Wife after she applied for one to protect herself from him. After a hearing on both orders, Wife’s Order was upheld, Husband’s Order dismissed, and Husband ordered to pay all attorney fees for the firm’s time on the case.