Respondents Guide – What to Do When Served with A Protective Order in Oregon
What Should I Do After I Have Been Served with A Protective Order in Oregon?
At Mark C. Cogan, P.C., our experienced restraining order defense attorneys in Oregon know that once you have been served a formal court document stating that a protective order has been ordered against you, there are multiple next steps. So, what do you do?
The following guide will help answer that question and others you will have when faced with a protective order in Oregon.
What Immediate Steps Should I Take After Being Served with a Restraining Order in Oregon?
First, you should read the basics of protective order thoroughly and carefully. Then read it again. The order will include strict prohibitions, such as no contact with the petitioner and no use of firearms. Failure to follow these strictly can land you in jail and harm your chances of success.
Next, you should seriously consider hiring a restraining order defense attorney in Oregon to protect your rights.
Many people choose to represent themselves in these matters to save costs in the short run.
However, many people do not fully appreciate the possible consequences of a protective order, which can be devastating. If you lose your case, you may be prohibited from living at your ordinary residence or owning a gun – temporarily or possibly for life.
There may also be collateral consequences, such as losing a job or custody of your children.
There are many benefits to hiring a lawyer that can give you a huge advantage and will greatly increase your chances of success.
Finally, you must inform the Court that you are contesting the protective order. Failure to do so will result in the protective order automatically being continued against you. You have 30 days from the date you were served with the protective order to request a “contested hearing.”
How Do I Prepare for a Contested Protective Order Hearing in Oregon?
Once you request a contested hearing, the court will schedule a hearing within 21 days of receiving the request.
At this stage, you should work closely with your attorney to develop your case. If you do not have an attorney, you should review the court’s particular rules regarding evidence, witnesses, trial procedures, and required notices to the other party.
If you have an attorney, your attorney will take multiple steps to position you for success at the contested hearing:
First, an attorney will gather evidence, determine possible routes for further investigation, and develop legal tactics and strategies for your case. An attorney will also assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case based on experience and intimate knowledge of the judge, jurisdiction, and possibly even the opposing counsel.
Next, an attorney may reach out to the petitioner and attempt to negotiate an agreement to avoid the contested hearing altogether. Attorneys are uniquely positioned in that they are not prohibited from having contact with the other party.
Finally, an attorney will prepare witnesses and evidence for the contested hearing. In some cases, the attorney may also file documents with the Court ahead of the contested hearing to prime the Judge to see the case in a light most favorable to you before the hearing has even begun.
What are the Potential Outcomes of a Contested Protective Order Hearing in Oregon?
The last stage is to attend the contested hearing. Remember, it is the Petitioner’s burden to prove their case. The legal standard in contested hearings is “preponderance of the evidence,” meaning that the petitioner bears the burden of proving that there was a greater than 50% chance that the legal requirements of the protective order were met.
Several outcomes are possible:
- If the petitioner fails to appear, the judge may dismiss the protective order.
- If the parties came to an agreement prior to the contested hearing, the judge will most often adopt the agreement of the parties in lieu of a hearing.
- If the petitioner appears and wins, the protective order will be upheld for a year or longer (in some cases indefinitely) depending on the statute.
- If the petitioner appears and loses (meaning they failed to carry their burden of proof), then the protective order will be dismissed.
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 more legal help.