Celebrities are not the only individuals with stalkers. In actuality, countless individuals believe they have reason to fear for their safety based on multiple, unwanted interactions with others. Like domestic violence, the court views stalking as a serious criminal problem worthy of strict protective measures. For those being stalked, these measures can provide some relief from constant, frightening harassment. For those falsely accused, these measures can be devastating.
If you are the victim of stalking or if you are accused of stalking, protect your rights and contact us at the Portland, Oregon, law firm of Jensen & Leiberan. Call 503-446-2521 to schedule a consultation.
Obtaining Stalking Protective Orders
Different from a restraining order, a stalking protective order is a permanent court action. Because this action is placed on a permanent criminal record, for the person named as a stalker, life may never be the same. The convicted stalker will find his or her rights hampered, including the right to bear arms. Because employers often run criminal background checks, employment and income opportunities may be closed to him or her. Further, depending on the extent of the order, a father or mother may have restricted or rescinded access to his or her children.
To grant a permanent stalking protective order, according to ORS 163.738(2)(a)(B), the court must find the following three elements to be true:
- The person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly engaged in repeated and unwanted contact with the other person or a member of that person's immediate family or household thereby alarming or coercing the other person;
- It is objectively reasonable for a person in the victim's situation to have been alarmed or coerced by the contact; and
- The repeated and unwanted contact caused the victim reasonable apprehension regarding the personal safety of the victim or a member of the victim's immediate family or household.
Removal of a Stalking Order
Although a stalking order is permanent, under case law it can be removed if the court finds that the criteria for issuing the order are no longer present. The court's focus in such cases is on whether the petitioner continues to suffer "reasonable apprehension" due to the past acts of the respondent. This may sound like an easy standard to meet. However, courts are very leery of vacating stalking orders so they do not lightly find that the standard has been met.
At Jensen & Leiberan, our attorneys will work with you to obtain a stalking protective order, to protect you from an unjustified stalking order sought against you, or help you remove a stalking order if circumstances have changed. Please contact our firm to schedule a consultation. With offices located in Portland, our firm serves residents in the Portland area, the Willamette Valley and throughout Oregon.