Restraining Orders

Who Qualifies for a Restraining Order?

In order to obtain a restraining order, you have to have experienced domestic abuse as defined by Oregon Law in the past 180 days by:

  • a current or former spouse;
  • an adult related by blood, marriage or adoption;
  • someone you are living with or have lived with in the past;
  • someone you have been in a sexually intimate relationship with, within the two years immediately preceding the filing of the restraining order; or
  • someone you have had a child with.
  • If you are under 18 years old, you cannot get a restraining order unless the person you are filing against is over 18 and:
    • is your spouse or former spouse, or
    • is someone with whom you have been in a sexually intimate relationship but you do NOT have to have lived together.

Any time during which the person you are filing against is in prison or has lived more than 100 miles from you does not count as part of the 180-day period. This means you may be able to get a restraining order even if it has been more than 180 days since you were abused.

Applying for a Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) Restraining Order

Restraining orders can be obtained at the Clackamas County Courthouse (807 Main Street Oregon City, OR 97045). The required paperwork has to be turned in before 11:00am in order for it to be reviewed and ready for court at 1:00 p.m. the same day. There is no cost to apply for a restraining order and you do not need an attorney in order to file. To apply for a restraining order in Clackamas County, follow these steps:

Pick Up the Paperwork

The restraining order paperwork is a packet that includes approximately twenty pages and takes most people approximately 45–60 minutes to complete. The packet can be picked up Monday–Friday at several locations: 

All three locations are in downtown Oregon City with metered parking and public transportation accessibility.

You can complete the paperwork at the courthouse, at home, or at one of the following agencies: Victim Assistance Program, Clackamas Women’s Services, or Los Niños Cuentan. Advocates from each of these agencies are available to answer questions you may have while completing the paperwork.

Turn in the Paperwork

In order to have your Restraining Order application considered by the judge the same day, your paperwork must be turned in before 11:00 a.m. at the courthouse “Information” window. Try to arrive early as there is generally a waiting line by 10:30am.  You will then have a two hour break and need to return to the courthouse to see the judge at 1:00pm on the same day. When you turn in your paperwork, the staff person at the “Information” window will tell you which courtroom to go to for the 1:00 p.m. hearing.

Go to the Courtroom

Restraining order applications are reviewed by the judge in court at 1:00 p.m. Please be aware that there may be other people in the courtroom waiting for their restraining order applications. When it is your turn, you will be called to the front of the courtroom to speak with the Judge. If your situation qualifies for a restraining order and the Judge has no additional questions, a temporary restraining order will be signed. The Judge may have questions about your application and will ask them at this time. If the Judge approves your temporary restraining order, you will then be provided copies of the court order for yourself and copies to give to the Sheriff’s Office; who will serve them on the abusive person that you have listed.

Next Steps

After the respondent (the person you have filed against) receives the temporary restraining order, s/he has 30 days to ask for a hearing. If the respondent asks for a hearing, it must be held within 21 days of that request. If the respondent contests (fights) the temporary order, then you will have a contested restraining order court hearing to determine if the temporary restraining order will continue. If a contested hearing is scheduled, the court will notify you by mail.

A Note About Court

Many survivors of abuse describe going to court as one of the most difficult parts of their experience. It is hard to talk about abuse in front of other people and to know what to expect of the court process. Many survivors also wonder what to wear—you do not need to wear a suit, but do wear clean, modestly cut clothes. Advocates from the agencies mentioned above are available to accompany you to court on most days and can assist you with a personal safety plan for when you are in court. 

Additional Resources

Legal Aid Services of Oregon (LASO) is a non-profit organization that provides legal representation on civil cases to low-income clients throughout Oregon. The LASO website has many legal resources for domestic violence victims including instructions on how to get a restraining order under the Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA), an order to protect Elderly Persons or Persons with Disabilities from Abuse, and/or how to prepare for a contested Restraining Order hearing. (503-655-2518//1-800-228-6958)

St Andrew Legal Clinic (SALC) is a public interest law firm that provides legal services to low-income families. SALC works to protect families from domestic violence by providing legal advocacy for issues of adoption, child custody and support, protection orders, guardianship, parenting time, and spousal support. SALC offers a sliding scale—fees are based on income, family size, and ability to pay. The Clackamas County office is located at 421 High Street, Suite 210 in Oregon City (503.557.9800)

Oregon State Bar Association (OSB) provides a lawyer referral service and modest means program. The OSB also offers a ½ hour one-time only consultation with an attorney. (1-800-452-7636)