Protecting Survivors, a.k.a. “Victims” of Domestic Violence
F.A.PA. (Family Abuse Protection Act), Also known as
Services: Attorney Jennie Clark can help you obtain a restraining / FAPA order by helping you properly fill out your paperwork prior to attending an ex parte hearing before a judge. She also represents survivors of domestic violence if the respondent challenges the restraining order in a contested restraining order hearing.
Her services are available in the following Oregon counties: Multnomah County, Washington County, Clackamas County. She is also available in the following Oregon Cities: Portland, Milwaukie, Gresham, Hillsboro, Beaverton, Oregon City, Lake Oswego.
Survivors/Victims of Domestic Violence: Domestic violence between spouses and partners is a historically serious social problem that can result in serious injury or death. Those who have been victims of domestic violence deserve protection and need help recognizing the dynamics of abuse. Sometimes abuse can happen so gradually that the abused becomes jaded to the abuse. It is somewhat like putting a frog in water and very gradually heating the water. The frog will die because the frog won’t realize that the water has become too hot. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyBKz1wdK0M
It is important that those who are working through a stressful situation obtain the representation that they deserve. Petitioners sometimes lose a cases because they do not emphasize the necessary legal elements for a restraining/FAPA order but focus on issues not relevant under Oregon law. Jennie Clark, Attorney at Law, prepares her clients to provide judges with the facts that matter. She encourages her clients to focus on the relevant facts and helps them obtain the necessary witnesses and the relevant evidence. She also helps her clients stay emotionally grounded and focused during a very frightening and intimidating process.
Where can I find resources if I am a survivor of domestic violence?
There are lots of resources, but here is a few helpful link and some phone numbers:
Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
Multnomah County Victim Advocate: (503) 988-3222
Portland Women’s Crisis Line: (503) 235-5333; 1-888-235-5333
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE
What is needed to obtain an order of protection under the Family Abuse Protection Act (FAPA)?
What is the applicable statute for restraining/FAPA orders?
The applicable statute is at ORS 107.700.
How does one initially obtain a restraining order: Initially anyone who feels that they have been a victim of abuse may go the county courthouse and fill out free paperwork to obtain a temporary protective order. Shortly after the paperwork is filled out (within a 1/2 day or the following business day), a judge hears the petitioner’s case ex parte (meaning that the judge only hears one side of the story). If the petitioner’s case meets the necessary elements, the judge will issue a temporary restraining order under the Oregon FAPA laws. After the respondent (the accused or restrained person) is served with the restraining order, the restrained person will often be ordered out of a shared home and will lose custody of any joint children. Additionally, if a person violates a restraining order, he/she can be arrested and held in jail until a hearing. The restrained person will have the right to request a hearing within 30 days of being served. If the restrained person does not challenge the retraining order the restraining order will remain in place for one year. If the restrained person disregards the order within the one year period of time, the restraining order can often be renewed and the D.A. will may press criminal charges.
Where can I obtain the forms for obtaining an order of protection under the Family Abuse Protection Act (FAPA)?
Many courts now have the forms on-line, which may be found by an on-line search. You may also check with your local court for the forms. Courthouse information for forms is listed below:
|MULTNOMAH County Courts
Trial Court Administrator
Multnomah County Courthouse,
1021 SW Fourth
|Office Phone: (503) 988-3957
Office Fax: (503) 988-5773
Info Phone: (503) 988-3957
TTY Phone: (503) 988-3907
|CLACKAMAS County Courts
Trial Court Administrator
Clackamas County Courthouse,
807 Main Street
Oregon City, OR
|TCA Phone: (503) 655-8670
Office Fax: (503) 650-3962
Info Phone: (503) 655-8447
TTY Phone: (503) 650-3036
|WASHINGTON County Courts
Trial Court Administrator
Washington County Courthouse,
150 N. First
|Office Phone: (503) 846-8767
Office Fax: (503) 846-2951
Info Phone: (503) 846-8888
TTY Phone: (503) 846-4863
Click Oregon Courthouse info to obtain information regarding other counties.
I serve the following counties: Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington
What if I don’t have any witnesses?
By its very nature, domestic violence often occurs in private with few witnesses and limited evidence to meet the petitioner’s burden of proof. If the petitioner is sincere, the judge will make a credibility finding based upon the petitioner’s sincerity and the respondent’s lack thereof, especially when there is corroborating evidence in favor of the petitioner, such as a phone call to the police. However, it is sometimes advisable to negotiate a settlement in light of the evidence available. Sometimes, the respondent will agree to keep the restraining order in place if he/she can merely obtain his/her possessions. Thus, the negotiations may center on arranging for the respondent to obtain his/her possessions via a neutral party. There are endless possiblities when negotiating a settlement, as opposed to trying a case. For instance, the petitioner can craft a no-contact agreement that may last longer than the one-year restraining order and settle for some monetary damages. If the respondent violates the agreement, the agreement can be later be used as evidence used against the respondent for obtaining a permanent stalking order. Sometimes both parties file restraining orders against each other and neither party wants to risk losing; thus, settlement negotiations are a good thing because if both orders are upheld and one party violates the restraining order, both parties could risk going to jail.
What if I want to contact the person that I obtained a restraining order against? When you file the restraining order you can choose to keep such contact as e-mail contact. If there are logistics that you still need to work out with the person, then you should avail yourself of an option, such as e-mail, when filing the restraining order. You can also petition to modify the restraining order if you later realize that you need to have contact on a limited basis. Please do not contact the person that you obtained a restraining order against without modifying your restraining order. If you continuously try to contact the restrained person, this can be used against you in a contested restraining order hearing to show that you are not afraid of the restrained person or that you have some sort of ulterior motive for obtaining a restraining order. It also sends a message to the restrained person that you are not serious about the restraining order.
Should I contact the District Attorney? This is up to you to decide based upon the overall situation. As a general rule, I recommend that charges are pressed, if there is evidence that you have been physically harmed. If you are in Multnomah County, you may contact the District Attorney’s office at (503) 988-3222 after you have made a police report.
What if I need a phone to call 911 but cannot afford phone service?
Many phone carriers, including Verizon, have a cell phone program for victims of domestic violence. http://www.verizonwireless.com/aboutus/hopeline/index.html
Can I take time off work in order to obtain a restraining order? Generally yes, if your employer employs six or more employees and you have worked more than 25 hours a week for the last 180 days. It is advisable to put a request for an accommodation in writing. It is an unlawful employment practice for certain employers to deny reasonable time off work for victims of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking. Most employers with six or more employees may not discriminate or retaliate against an employee because the employee takes leave off work to obtain a restraining order or to deal with safety related matters. (See ORS 659A.190 to 659A.285; ORS 659A.805; OAR 839-005-0160 and 839-005-0170; OAR 839-009-0345)