Protection Orders

What is a Protection Order?

A restraining order or protective order is an order issued by a court to protect an individual, and the general public, in a situation involving alleged domestic violence, harassment, stalking, or sexual assault. In Oregon, there are numerous laws that protect survivors of domestic violence. The Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) provides protection orders for survivors of domestic violence.

FAPA Protection Orders

  • Is it necessary to prove abuse by the respondent to get a FAPA protection order?
    • Yes. Your statement serves as proof.
    • In order to qualify for a FAPA, one or more of the following must have occurred in the past six months:
      • The other person tried to or did cause you physical injury
      • The other person threatened to hurt you physically
      • The other person made you engage in involuntary sexual relations by force or threat of force
  • Can anyone get a FAPA protection order?
    • No. A person can only seek a FAPA protection order against a family or household members.
    • “Family or household members” are considered:
      • Spouses/Domestic Partners
      • Former spouses/Domestic Partners
      • Adult persons related by blood, marriage or adoption
      • Persons who are cohabiting or who have cohabited with each other
      • Persons who have been involved in a sexually intimate relationship with each other within two years immediately preceding the filing of a domestic violence report
      • Unmarried parents of a child

Restraining orders are designed to protect those in imminent danger of further abuse by an abuser, including:

  • Menacing, intimidating, interfering with, or molesting or attempting to do any of these things to the victim and/or any children in the victim’s custody
  • Contacting or attempting to contact the victim
  • Remaining in a residence in the victim’s name, even if it is jointly in the names of the victim and the abuser
  • Removing personal items from a residence without the presence of a police officer

The court may also grant any relief considered necessary for the victim’s safety and well‐being, including emergency financial assistance from the abuser. To be eligible for a restraining order, the victim must have experienced abuse within the last 180 days by any “family or household members.” Restraining orders generally last for one year but can be renewed. There is no fee for filing a restraining order. Although you do not need an attorney to file for a restraining order, it is recommended that you have one.

Stalking protective orders

Stalking protective orders may be available even when restraining orders (FAPA orders) are not. Stalking in Oregon occurs when a person “knowingly alarms or coerces another person or a member of that person’s immediate family or household by engaging in repeated and unwanted contact with the other person.” To qualify as stalking, your situation must meet both of these requirements:
  • A reasonable person in the victim’s situation would have been alarmed or coerced by the contact.
  • The contact causes “reasonable apprehension” about the safety of the victim or member of the victim’s immediate family or household.
What qualifies as “contact”?
  • Visual or physical presence
  • Following
  • Waiting outside the home, property, place of work or school of the other person or of a member of that person’s family or household
  • Communicating directly with the other person or through another person via mail, e‐mail, telephone, or any other form of communication
  • Communicating with a third person who has a personal or business relationship with the other person for the purpose of affecting their relationship
  • Causing damage to the other person’s home, property, place of work or school

Non-threatening, non‐physical confrontation may be constitutionally protected and can make getting a stalking order problematic. The stalking protective order will specifically say what the stalker is prohibited from doing. Stalking orders do not have specific end dates and judges have the authority to make them permanent. You can get a stalking order even if you already have a restraining order against the stalker. There is no fee for filing a stalking protective order.


Further References

Domestic Violence and the Law brochure (Portland State University)

How to Get a Restraining Order in Multnomah County (Legal Aid Services of Oregon)

Domestic Violence Resource Center - Restraining Order Eligibility

Marion County - Restraining Orders

Washington State Courts - Information on Protection Orders