Petitions for Victims of Family Abuse

What are "Family Abuse Prevention Act Orders?"

Domestic violence is an unfortunate reality for some couples. Under Oregon law, if a family or household member has been a victim of abuse, that person can petition the court for a Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) restraining order. “Abuse” is broadly defined to include actions causing or attempting to cause bodily injury and intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly placing a person in fear of imminent bodily injury.

If the court grants the petition, the FAPA Order may include a number of provisions, including an order prohibiting the person who committed the abuse from contacting the victim of the abuse in any manner. The FAPA Order can also include, among other provisions, an award of custody, parenting time, exclusive use of the family residence, and, in some cases, financial relief.

The person against whom the FAPA Order was obtained may request a hearing to contest all or part of the Order. If that is the case, the person who obtained the order must show that abuse occurred within 180 days from the date of the petition, and that there is an immediate risk of further abuse unless the Order stays in place.

Obtaining a FAPA Order

Obtaining a FAPA Order is sometimes a very necessary step a spouse or partner must take to protect his or her safety. If you have been the victim of abuse, you can petition the court for a FAPA Order. This is something most people can do on their own or with the assistance of the victim’s advocate, who is available to assist abuse victims in each of our local circuit courts. We can also assist you in completing a FAPA petition and can represent you at court hearings to establish or maintain the FAPA Order.

Sometimes, a spouse or partner may seek to use the FAPA statutes in an attempt to gain an advantage in a divorce proceeding. If that happens, we can assist you in assessing whether you have a good grounds to contest the FAPA Order. We will be there for you, as well, if you chose to contest the FAPA Order.