Restraining Order Laws and Cases In Oregon

Under ORS 107.718(1), a court may issue a restraining order on a showing that the petitioner "has been the victim of abuse committed by the respondent within 180 days preceding the filing of the petition and that there is an immediate and present danger of further abuse to the petitioner." See also ORS 107.710(1). ORS 107.705 defines "abuse" as: "(1) the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members: "(a) Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury. "(b) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly placing another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; "(c) Causing another to engage in involuntary sexual relations by force or threat of force". An overt threat is not required in order to authorize the issuance of an abuse prevention restraining order. Instead, Family Abuse Preservation Act requires that the respondent has "intentionally, knowingly or recklessly" placed the petitioner in fear of "imminent serious bodily injury." ORS 107.705(1); ORS 107.710(1). In addition, the petitioner must be in immediate danger of further abuse. Id. In Cottongim v. Woods, 145 Ore. App. 40, 44, 928 P.2d 361 (1996), we held that the respondent's behavior fulfilled the statutory definition of abuse because it "deviated considerably from that which a reasonable person would exhibit under similar circumstances, and a reasonable person faced with such behavior would be placed in fear of imminent serious bodily harm." Cottongim, 145 Ore. App. at 45. Also see: Fogh v. McRill, 153 Ore. App. 159, 165, 956 P.2d 236, rev den 327 Ore. 431, 966 P.2d 221 (1998), for the proposition that a restraining order is improper where there is no overt threat and only a "minimal level" of physical conflict. That case involved a domestic dispute in which two discrete physical acts had occurred: the plaintiff thought that the defendant had pushed a table into her, and the defendant splashed water into the plaintiff's face. Fogh, 153 Ore. App. at 162-63. Fogh only peripherally addressed the requirements of a Family Abuse Preservation Act order and is distinguishable from the circumstances here. Fogh was an action for dissolution of a domestic partnership and for economic damages. In that case, we found that the plaintiff "did not have sufficient cause to oust the defendant from the partnership property by obtaining a Family Abuse Preservation Act order.