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Contesting A Protective Order – Anatomy of a Contested Hearing

How Can I Contest a Protective Order in Oregon?

At Mark C. Cogan, P.C., our experienced restraining order defense attorneys in Oregon know that there are a lot of questions surrounding protective orders. Particularly, defending yourself against a restraining order once it has been served.

This guide provides a detailed look at each step of the contested hearing as well as strategic insights into the most critical components of the hearing.

Preparing for the Protective Order Pre-Hearing in Oregon

Our Oregon restraining order attorneys believe, before anything else, preparation is the key to success.

Preparing for a contested protective order hearing in Oregon will look different for every case.

However, some common themes emerge, and you can expect a well-prepared lawyer to do many or all the following:

  • Confer with our client about their goals and strategy regarding testimony;
  • Review the facts of the case with the client;
  • Determine if there are any witnesses to subpoena for the client;
  • Determine what additional investigation needs to be done;
  • Research relevant case law involving past protective order cases with similar or analogous facts to the client’s case;
  • Prepare client and/or witnesses to testify;
  • Prepare client and/or witnesses for cross-examination;
  • Conduct research on the Judge assigned to the case;
  • Prepare exhibits to be entered into evidence; and
  • Prepare and file a trial memorandum, which summarizes the key facts and arguments for the Court ahead of the contested hearing for the Judge and the opposing party to review.

Prior to the contested hearing, our restraining order lawyers in Oregon will also submit the trial memorandum to the other party directly, or to his or her attorney.

The trial memorandum is typically 20-30 pages of detailed and thorough legal reasoning that can be intimidating and may lead to the other party softening their position while they try to understand the legal aspects outlined in the memorandum.

The document will also outline the key issues and facts of the case for the judge to help build our client’s credibility and put the Judge on our side before the contested hearing even begins.

What Happens During a Contested Protective Order Hearing in Oregon?

The contested hearing follows a basic process that is the same regardless of the particulars of the facts involved.

The steps in a contested hearing go as follows:

  1. Opening Statements: Both parties have an opportunity to make opening statements. A good attorney will keep this concise and will provide an effective roadmap so the Judge hones in on key evidence and arguments that will be made on the client’s behalf.
  2. Petitioner’s Case-In-Chief: The Petitioner presents their witnesses by asking them direct questions and may attempt to enter exhibits into evidence.

If the other party fails to enter the evidence properly, having a skilled protective order defense attorney on your side could help you keep the other side from introducing their best evidence.

  1. Cross-Examination of Petitioner’s Witness(es): At the end of the Petitioner’s questioning of each of their own witnesses, the Respondent can ask that same witness questions. This is called “cross-examination.” These questions are limited in scope to the topics covered in the questioning by the Petitioner. The purpose is to “impeach” (attack the credibility) of the witness and to clarify issues to which the witness testified.

If the Petitioner has failed to prove the legal elements necessary for a protective order, then the Respondent can ask the court to dismiss the case without delay.

  1. Respondent’s Case-In-Chief: The Respondent presents their witnesses by asking them direct questions and may attempt to enter exhibits into evidence.
  2. Cross-Examination of Respondent’s Witness(es): At the end of the Respondent’s questioning of their own witnesses, the Petitioner can ask that same witness questions.
  3. Concluding Statements: Both parties have an opportunity to make closing statements. A good attorney will apply the facts of the case to the applicable legal standards to argue that a protective order should or should not be issued. The attorney will also highlight why their client is more credible, based on the testimony of the parties.

What are the Possible Outcomes When Contesting a Protective Order in Oregon?

At the end of the contested hearing, the Judge will consider all the evidence presented and enter a ruling.

Three basic outcomes are possible:

  1. The protective order is continued, meaning that it will remain in effect against the Respondent. Depending on the type of protective order, this will remain in effect for a year or indefinitely.
  2. The protective order is modified, meaning that it will be continued but the Judge will change one or more of the conditions or prohibitions under the protective order.
  3. The protective order is dismissed, meaning that it is no longer in effect and the Respondent has no further prohibitions.

Have You Been Served with a Protective Order in Oregon? We Can Help.

If you have been served with a protective order and would like to contest it, contact our skilled restraining order lawyers in Oregon at Mark C. Cogan, P.C. at 503-476-3541 or online to discuss your case today. We can help you contest the protective order starting with a free and confidential first consultation. Please contact our criminal attorneys in Portland, OR for legal help.

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