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The Oregon Restraining Order Guide: What Proof Do You Need

The Oregon Restraining Order Law Guide

If you find yourself needing to file a restraining order in Oregon, it's important to go about it the right way and through the proper legal channels. The appropriate protocol can differ from court to court, so the first thing you need to do is check with your local jurisdiction to make sure all requirements are met. Filing and being granted a restraining order in Oregon can give you the peace of mind you deserve, and we at Kollie Law are here to help you every step of the way. We service Medford and surrounding areas and would be happy to give you a free consultation to help you navigate the legalities of filing a restraining order in Oregon.

How to file a restraining order in Oregon

A restraining order in Oregon is a legally binding document that mandates that a particular person must remain a minimum distance away from you at all times. This document is issued by a court of law when you feel that your safety is at risk. Some of the things a restraining order will dictate are:

  • Specific locations where the person is not allowed to visit

  • Items the person cannot have in their possession 

  • Permitted parenting visits/hours

  • Temporary custody arrangements

What proof do you need in Oregon?

Before you file a restraining order in Oregon, you need to be aware of what proof you will need. Certain criteria have to be met in order for you to apply and be considered for a restraining order. These include:

  • Your age and the age of the respondent: Both of you must be a minimum of 18 years old. If you are under 18, the respondent must be older than this minimum requirement.

  • Your relationship: The respondent must be your current or former spouse, your registered domestic partner, or someone with whom you had or are currently having a sexual relationship. The sexual relationship must have happened within the last two years. You can also file a protective order against someone who is related to by blood, marriage, adoption, or with whom you share a child. 

  • Instances of abuse: The respondent must have caused you physical harm or made you feel they would be violent within the previous 180 days. This also includes being forced to participate in sexual acts against your will. It is also important to note that if the respondent was in prison or resided more than 100 miles from your residence, these periods are not eligible to be included in the 180 days. This rule ensures that you can still apply for a restraining order if these were your circumstances during those 180 days.

  • Threat of imminent danger: Your safety must be in danger at the time you file a restraining order. The respondent must be a physical threat to you or your children. Legally, a judge cannot give you a restraining order in Oregon to assist with obtaining temporary custody of children you and the respondent share. It is also important for you to note that rude, mean, or even threatening behavior is not sufficient cause to warrant the granting of a restraining order in Oregon. 

Where do you file a restraining order?

You will need to file your restraining order in the county where either you or the respondent lives. Take your documents directly to the Circuit Court courthouse and file your paperwork there. You can visit the Oregon Courts website to find the nearest courthouse near you.

How much does it cost to file a restraining order in Oregon?

Filing a restraining order in Oregon won’t cost you anything. All you need to do is properly fill out the paperwork and file it at your local Circuit Court courthouse as mentioned above.

How do I properly fill out the paperwork before filing?

When filling out paperwork to file a restraining order in Oregon, some specific instructions must be adhered to. These instructions are as follows:

  • You must answer all questions honestly.

  • You must fill out all the information legibly.

  • You must use blue or black ink.

If you need assistance filling out your paperwork, the court can appoint an advocate to help you. However, you need to know that this advocate can’t answer any legal questions for you. Our best advice to you when filling out your paperwork is to make sure you put the name of the county at the top of every form in the provided spot. If you don’t do this, it could interfere with the amount of time you have to wait for your hearing to be scheduled.

What forms do I need to submit with my application?

Several forms must accompany your application for a restraining order in Oregon. These are:

  • Petition for Restraining Order to Prevent Abuse

  • Confidential Information form (CIF)

  • Notice of Filing of CIF

  • Restraining Order to Prevent Abuse.  This is the actual document the court will review for the consideration of a restraining order against the respondent. 


You will also need to provide the court with your current address and phone number. This address must be somewhere within the state of Oregon and is where the court and/or sheriff will attempt to reach you if needed. The court will send all communications to this address and phone number. During this process, you are required to regularly check your phone messages and mail to make sure you don’t miss any important information. If you miss a required hearing simply because you didn’t check your mail or phone messages, your case may be dismissed altogether.

What happens after the paperwork is filed?

Once your paperwork has been filed for a restraining order in Oregon, the county clerk will notify you of the day, time, and location of your hearing. At your hearing, the judge will carefully review all of the paperwork you submitted. Be prepared to answer any questions the judge may have for you. If the judge approves your restraining order, you will receive a copy of the order.

You will also need to make sure that a copy of the restraining order is delivered to the respondent. The court will arrange for the sheriff’s office to receive a copy of the paperwork, and then the sheriff’s deputy can serve the papers for you. Legally, you cannot serve the papers to the respondent yourself. However, if you prefer, you can hire a private process server or even any mentally competent adult to deliver the restraining order to the respondent.

It is important to note that the person who delivers the restraining order must complete a certificate of service which must then be filed with the court. The form is included with the original paperwork to the sheriff’s office, but some private process servers provide their own. It is also important to discuss with the court clerk ahead of time how you plan to get the restraining order served to the respondent. The respondent can’t be held responsible for violating the restraining order until they have been served.

What if the respondent wants to have a hearing?

Once the respondent has been served with the restraining order, he or she has 30 days from that date to request an additional hearing to attempt to have the order changed or overturned. In this case, you can expect the hearing to be scheduled quickly. Typically, you will only have 1-2 days to prepare for it. If the hearing is going to be at a later date, you will be notified of the date, time, and location by letter or possibly by phone. 

If the respondent doesn’t contest the restraining order, the order will stand. After 30 days have passed, the only allowable changes are:

  • Restrictions place upon the respondent

  • Removal from the home of the respondent 

  • Permissible contact between you and the respondent

  • Custody or parenting time arrangements.

A judge may determine a hearing is necessary to discuss circumstances involving the custody of any minor children. The date and time for this hearing will be outlined by the judge on the front page of the restraining order.

What happens during the hearing?

It is extremely important to be aware that you are required by law to attend all hearings. If you don’t, the restraining order you filed may be withdrawn. If there is an emergency situation that makes it impossible for you to attend the hearing, you must let the court clerk know as soon as possible to explain your circumstances. Your lawyer can attend the hearing with you or on your behalf. Some judges will let you attend via video or phone. If you want to know exactly what the courts in your jurisdiction allow concerning hearing appearances, contact the court directly.

This particular type of hearing is held for a judge to determine whether this restraining order should stand as is, whether changes should be made, or whether it should be dismissed. Even if you and the respondent agree to potential changes in the restraining order, the judge may not necessarily agree to what you want changed. 

During this hearing, you will again be required to provide proof that you were previously abused by the respondent, and you must also have reason to believe that you are still at risk for further abuse. If required, you will need to give testimony and possibly have witnesses appear. During the hearing, the judge may also ask you to see evidence of the abuse including photos, doctor’s notes, and any other relevant information. 

How long do restraining orders in Oregon last?

A restraining order in Oregon is typically in effect for one year from the date and signature of the judge on the document. However, it may be canceled or dismissed early.

If you are still in danger, you can renew your restraining order in Oregon. Your renewal can be for one year, but you can renew it consecutively as long as the threat of danger to you from the respondent still exists. To renew your restraining order, you need to file for a renewal before the expiration of your current order. You can easily obtain renewal paperwork online, or pick it up at your local court office.

What happens if the restraining order is violated?

In the event the respondent violates the restraining order, call the police immediately. The respondent will be arrested. Probation, fines,  and/or jail time are the punishments for violating a protective order. 

The first time the respondent violates the restraining order, he or she will likely be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor, which carries a potential sentence of up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $6250. If he or she has previously violated the restraining order or has a history of stalking, the violation will likely be charged as a Class C Felony and carry with it a potential 5-year prison sentence and fines of up to $125,000.

Can a restraining order be canceled?

If for some reason you want to cancel the restraining order you filed, you can do so by filing the appropriate paperwork at the courthouse. After you have filed, the judge will have the option of dismissing the order. It usually takes several days from the day you file the cancellation for a decision to be reached and for your local police to be informed of the restraining order’s dismissal. 

Filing a restraining order in Oregon conclusion

If you are in a situation where you need to protect yourself by filing a restraining order in Oregon, you don’t have to do it alone. The legal protocol differs from court to court, and we can remove any guesswork for you. At Kollie Law, we have years of experience and can help you get the safety and peace of mind you deserve. Give us a call today for a free consultation. We service Medford, Oregon, and surrounding areas. 

*Nothing herein constitutes legal advice. You should obtain independent legal counsel regarding your specific factual situation.


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