B. M. v. Deaton

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Stalking Protective Order
  • Date Filed: 12-09-2020
  • Case #: A172903
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, P.J. for the Court; James, J.; & Haselton, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

ORS 30.866 requires courts to "assess the objective reasonableness of a person's apprehension over personal safety by examining the cumulative effect of the relevant unwanted contacts on that person." P.M.H. ex rel. M.M.H. v. Landolt, 267 Or App 753, 759 (2014).

Respondent appealed a “stalking protective order” issued against her by the circuit court. Respondent argued that sufficient evidence to merit the order was not established in the record. Petitioner argued that the order was justified because of repeated offensive conduct, including false allegations to police and her employer. Under ORS 30.866(1), the order is justified only if Respondent subjected Petitioner to “repeated and unwanted contact” and that contact “cause[d] reasonable apprehension regarding the personal safety of the victim or a member of the victim’s immediate family or household.” This standard means that the contact could "reasonably cause apprehension or fear resulting from the perception of a threat of physical injury.” Elliott v. Strope, 307 Or App 156, 161 (2020). Although highly objectionable, the Court found that false allegations are not sufficient to cause a “reasonable apprehension” against one’s person. Therefore, the Court held that the order is not justified on the record because no evidence supported Respondent posing a physical threat to Petitioner. Reversed.  

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