Gresham, OR asked in Domestic Violence, Landlord - Tenant and Criminal Law for Oregon

Q: I've threats from a man of death and bodily harm. The man has extensive history of beating women. What do I do?

My neighbor's boyfriend has beaten her repeatedly. I've called the police, which has resulted in his arrest. He has now threatened to kill me. I've never been scared of anyone, but he has visibly changed, his demeanor towards me has become more threatening to my kids and myself. My apartments are attempting to help but it will take time. This man is now aware that I am the one who has sent him to jail multiple times, and is very much pissed. He will hurt me, I just don't know how badly or when. Legally what can I do, so if anything happens to me, the police know who to question. Legally how can I protect my kids and myself against this man?

1 Lawyer Answer
Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: Well first, given this fact pattern, if anything happens to you the police are already likely to be highly suspicious of him. Small comfort to you though. You should ask the Deputy District Attorney prosecuting this creep to immediately have a restraining order entered to protect you. Once in place, any violation of it allows the police to haul him off immediately rather than having to wait for him to break some further law. If, for any reason, that is somehow unavailable to you, you may want to seek your own civil stalking protective order which would offer similar protections. It is not clear whether this fellow is also a tenant and/or the girlfriend is a tenant of your landlord or just a neighbor not having any direct relationship with your landlord. IF he is a tenant, or she is and he still (somehow) visits or stays there, then your landlord can likely remove him rather quickly and have him criminally trespassed from the property such that if he steps foot on the property, the police can haul him away on the spot.

Additionally, of course, you should at least consider what levels of protection you want to have - whistle, pepper spray, taser/stun gun, or even getting a concealed carry permit and/or arming yourself with a handgun/rifle/shotgun in the home or on your person as long as you are willing to devote the time to learn how to safely handle/use them. You must consider the age and temperament of your children and your ability to secure any such weapons from them as well and you might consider taking a variety of safety and/or self-defense classes. Not a solution for this week but may be useful down the road and sadly these sorts of situations tend to go on and on, at least unless and until he remains behind bars. Ultimately moving and possibly a name change, etc. may be worth considering if you believe warranted by the threat. No, you should not have to but reality is reality. The girlfriend likely has civil claims against him she could pursue in court but often these people have no assets to collect from even if she got a Judgment so that may not be much comfort. She also may be entitled to some financial consideration from the Oregon Crime Victims fund and also should consider relocating and/or a name change though domestic violence victims frequently recant their stories, welcome their abuser back, etc.

Depending upon the exact situation and details, both you and/or the girlfriend may want to consult an attorney to help implement some/all of the above suggestions but in the end, unless and until he remains behind bars, a threat to you and yours will remain. Best of luck.

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