How do I know if I qualify for a restraining order?
What are the requirements for getting a restraining order?
1. Age – You must be at least 18 year old or you are younger than 18 and the person who abused you is at least 18 and
- you are (or were) married to that person or
- you have been in a sexual relationship with that person
2. Relationship – The person who abused you is:
- your husband, wife, or domestic partner
- your former husband, wife, or domestic partner
- an adult with whom you are living (or did live) in a sexual relationship
- an adult with whom you have been in a sexual relationship in the last two years
- an adult related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption
- the parent of your child
3. Abuse – In the last 180 days*, the person who abused you must have:
- physically injured you or
- tried to physically injure you or
- made you afraid that he or she was about to physically injure you or
- made you have sexual relations against you wishes by using force or threats of force
(*any time period when the person who abused you was in jail or lived more than 100 miles from your home does not count as part of the 180 day period. This means you may still be able to get a restraining order even if it has been more than 180 days since you were abused, for instance, the abusive person is getting out of prison).
4. Ongoing danger – You are in danger of more abuse very soon, and the person who abused you is a threat to the physical safety of you or your children.
If you live in Josephine County, here are the steps to apply for a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order):
- Pick up the paperwork (either at the Safe House Alliance office at 103 S Kerby, Cave Junction, 541-592-2515, the main Courthouse, the Family Court in Grants Pass, or you can print the paperwork from the court website: Oregon Judicial Department). Please note, the relationship and type of abuse will determine which TRO is needed (if you need help deciding see: Info about Protection Orders).
- It takes approximately two hours to complete the paperwork. An advocate at the Alliance can help you fill it out. Please note: We cannot offer legal advice, but can help you navigate the paperwork so you understand what it is asking.
- Once you have completed the TRO paperwork, you can take it to the Family Court at 4th and F street in Grants Pass or we can file it by faxing it to their office and you have the option to appear by phone the next day, when the case is being heard by the Judge.
- If you file in person, you will need to arrive at the Family Court at 8:00 am; they are open Monday through Friday.
- Give your completed TRO to the clerk at the window up the stairs.
- You will need to be sworn in by the clerk, so bring valid identification. Not having valid ID will NOT prevent you from getting a restraining order (If you don’t have valid ID, the judge will have you sworn in in his presence).
- The courtroom doors open at 8:30 at which time you will go in and sit in the benches.
- Restraining orders are done between 8:30 and 9:00am, so it is important to get there early, as it is first come, first served, (unless it is a complicated case where both parties are getting a TRO against one another).
- The judge will call your name and ask you to come forward to the table and have you answer a few questions.
- If your TRO is granted, the judge will sign it and explain that it is not valid until it is served.
- The person who abused you will get a copy of the complete TRO and have an opportunity to contest it. (If that person does contest it, the Alliance can help you prepare for the hearing, call 541-592-2515).
- You can have someone serve the TRO to the person who abused you, but it is generally served by the sheriff.
If you are granted a TRO, it will last for 1 year (unless you wish to have it dropped and complete the DV class). It may give you custody of your children and use of the home. If you still need a TRO after one year, it can be renewed, which is a much less time consuming process.
*******Remember, some abusers do not care about having a restraining order and it may make them angrier and they may violate it. Please complete a safety plan to ensure your safety and the safety of your children. The advocates at the Safe House Alliance can work with you to help you find ways to stay safe. Although a TRO does not keep all abusers away, it gives you an extra level of safety because violations can be documented by the police, and the police may arrest the abuser if they violate the TRO.