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, 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).
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 achieved continued 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 expunging several 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. However, we have had success in other counties around the state since that appellate decision.
To contact an Oregon restraining order attorney, call 541-338-9111 or fill out the contact form or live chat (to the right).
Arnold Law represents clients along the Oregon Coast and throughout Western Oregon, including in Portland, Eugene, Springfield, Salem, Corvallis, Cottage Grove, Albany, Newport, Oregon City, Beaverton, Clackamas, Wilsonville, Tigard, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Coburg, Creswell, Florence, Junction City, Lowell, Veneta, Oakridge, Roseburg, Brownsville, Halsey, Harrisburg Klamath Falls, Medford, Ashland, Grants Pass, Glendale, and Bend, and in the following counties: Lane County, Multnomah County, Washington County, Clackamas County, Linn County, Douglas County, Marion County, Coos County, Lincoln County, Benton County, Deschutes County, Josephine County, Klamath County, and Jackson County.