Your Troutdale/East County Attorney for Restraining Orders
Restraining Orders in Oregon
Restraining Orders in Oregon are technically called “Family Abuse Prevention Act” (FAPA) Orders. FAPA orders are serious business – and the Judge’s decision to uphold or dismiss a contested FAPA order depends not only on what you say in Court, but how your case is presented and what evidence is allowed or not allowed into evidence.
The rules of evidence and court procedures apply in FAPA cases – whether you have an attorney on your side or not.
The rules of evidence control which testimony and documents are allowed into evidence, and which are not. I have seen cases won or lost based on the application of these rules, irrespective of what other evidence might have existed. This is why if you are serious about seeking or defending against a FAPA order, you should retain a qualified and experienced trial attorney like myself.
FAPA orders are not just about being prohibited from contacting someone. It is not uncommon for people to tell me that they believe there is no reason to fight a FAPA order against them since they don’t want to communicate with the other person anyways. There are many other reasons why you do not want a FAPA upheld against you. These can be called “collateral consequences,” and can impact your Constitutional rights under Oregon and Federal Law, affect your ability to rent an apartment and jeopardize employment opportunities. Give me a call if you’d like to discuss this further
Former Deputy District Attorney in Multnomah County:
Restraining orders are not something to take lightly
I have litigated Restraining Order matters for over 21 years, first as a Deputy District Attorney prosecuting restraining order contempt of court violations, and since 2002 as a private attorney representing both Petitioners seeking to uphold contested restraining orders and Respondents seeking to have them dismissed. I have also vigorously defended people facing criminal contempt charges for allegedly violating these orders.
If Someone Has Obtained a Restraining Order Against You
Some of the consequences are:
- Facing arrest if the Petitioner accuses you of violating the order.
- Facing criminal contempt if the District Attorney’s Office decides to prosecute the alleged violation.
- Being convicted of criminal contempt (without the right to a jury trial) if the Judge believes you violated the restraining order.
- Facing up to 6 months in jail.
- Being placed on probation with further threat of jail and fines.
- Being subject to a Federal firearm possession prohibition.
- Having to file with the Court a firearm affidavit listing firearms you own, and who is going to take possession of them for you.
YOU CAN BE ARRESTED AND CHARGED
If the police and then the District Attorney’s office believe that you violated the restraining order, they can arrest and charge you with contempt of court. You do not have the right to a jury trial, yet you can be sentenced to 6 months in jail for each violation.
YOU WILL BE PROHIBITED FROM POSSESSING FIREARMS UNDER BOTH OREGON AND FEDERAL LAW
Restraining orders (FAPA orders) can restrict your right to possess and purchase firearms, under both Oregon State and Federal Law: In the Oregon court, the Judge may order you to not possess firearms or ammunition as part of the “other relief” provision in the temporary or final order. FEDERAL LAW prohibits most individuals who have a FAPA order against them from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition while subject to restraining orders that (1) were issued after a hearing for which the respondent received notice and (2) contain certain findings required by the federal law.
Further, upon being served with the FAPA order you will have to provide a firearm affidavit to the Court listing firearms you own and possess, and designating whether you will forfeit them or have a third party take their possession. That third party will also have to sign the affidavit.
If you have sought a restraining or stalking order that the Respondent is contesting, or if you have been served with an order that you want to contest…
YOU CAN LOSE LEGAL CUSTODY OF YOUR CHILDREN
If a restraining order (FAPA order) is not contested, or if it is but you lose, the presumption under Oregon law is that the other parent should have custody of the children.
RESTRAINING ORDERS (FAPA ORDERS) ARE NOT EXPUNGABLE OR OTHERWISE REMOVABLE FROM YOUR RECORD
There is currently no legal means in Oregon to expunge a FAPA Petition or Order – but at least if you contest it and prevail, you can show that the Court did not find you to have committed acts of abuse.