If you or your children are being abused or are at risk of domestic abuse in Oregon but are unsure of what to do because of Governor Brown’s Stay at Home Order, you should know that you still have options for keeping yourself and your family safe. Even during the state of emergency and associated court closures, the courts are continuing to handle a limited number of cases, including restraining orders and protection orders.

An Oregon resident can seek a Family Abuse Protection Act (FAPA) restraining order against any adult that you are married to, were previously married to, or with whom you have recently been in a sexual relationship, when that person

  • Physically injures you or your minor children (under age 18)
  • Attempts to physically injure you or your minor children
  • Threatens to physically injure you or your minor children or causes you to fear such an injury,
  • Forces you to have sexual relations against your will by force or by threat of force.

Although many parts of Oregon’s courts are currently closed, the Courts are still processing FAPA orders and similar orders for your safety and protection.

If you need to obtain a protective order during the Governor’s state of emergency, you have several options:

  • You can download the appropriate forms from the State Courts Website, fill them out, and file paper copies of them at the courthouse during the court’s accepted hours. Those hours vary by county and may be subject to court staff availability during the pandemic (see below).
  • You can download and complete the forms on your computer, register for an e-filing account with the Oregon Justice Department, and e-file the forms yourself.
  • You use the Court’s iForm Guided Interview to fill and file the forms online.
  • You can hire a Commons Law Center attorney (if you are income-qualified for our services) to complete and e-file the form for you.

Further, if you are below 125% of the federal poverty line, you may qualify for free help from one of Oregon’s three Legal Aid organizations. Or, if you do not qualify for free or reduced-rate legal help, you can call the Oregon State Bar’s Lawyer Referral Service to find a private attorney to help you.

Note that there are no court filing fees for FAPA order filings, but individual lawyers may charge you for legal help. At The Commons Law Center we handle these matters on an affordable flat-fee basis so you will never have surprises, and the exact amount of the fee will vary depending on your qualified income.

The Commons Law Center can help you file for a FAPA order

If you would like to speak with a Commons Law Center Attorney about a restraining order or any other family law situation, please email us at hello@thecommonslawcenter.org or call (503) 850-0811. One of our law clerks will gather your basic information to determine if we are able to help you. If we can help, you will be able to schedule a phone call or video chat with a qualified attorney to discuss your situation and help you understand your options.

Oregon County Court Resources

If you do decide to file things on your own, below you can find specific information for various Oregon counties operations during the state of emergency. If we have not provided information for your county, or for the most up-to-date information, you can look up the details at the Oregon Courts website.

Getting a FAPA Order in Multnomah County

  • The court will continue to hear in-custody restraining order violation cases. You can still submit your application for a Restraining Order at the Justice Center every day before 12pm.
  • Motions for Immediate Danger Orders will be heard at 1:15pm at the downtown courthouse daily.
  • You can email questions to MulFamilylaw@ojd.state.or.us.

Getting a FAPA Order in Clackamas County

  • FAPA and other Protective Orders can be filed in person daily from 8am to 10:30am.
  • The court will continue to hear Immediate Danger, Protective Order, and Restraining Order violation cases.

Getting a FAPA Order in Washington County

  • FAPA and other Protective Orders can be filed in person daily from 8am to 10:30am.
  • The court will continue to hear Immediate Danger, Protective Order, and Restraining Order violation cases.
  • Washington County has cancelled their phone hours. If you have any questions, you must go to the Courthouse in person.

About the author 

Elise Hampton

Elise Hampton is a staff attorney at The Commons Law Center focused on Family Law, Asset Preservation, and Small Business Law.

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