Newberg, OR asked in Domestic Violence and Family Law for Oregon

Q: I violated a civil restraining order, I sent messages to my wife on Facebook.She is mentally ill /possible sociopath

My wife of 21 years started showing many antisocial symptoms after we had troubles ( only time in 21 years we have had a single argument or issue) she has revealed a huge amount of mental issues and began becoming aggressive and gaslighting type actions . She was able to obtain an order against me and it's caused me serious mental trauma . I tried to respect the order but watching my entire life be destroyed I couldn't sit and be powerless .i sent her messages begging for this to end and go to counseling immediately . I have never once hurt my wife nor would I ever , the order felt malicious but I didn't contest to respect her wishes but I am suffering very real trauma .I am terrified to go to jail and I need to know what to do to avoid jail incarceration. I have no criminal record and I am a severely empathetic man . I deeply love my wife and I couldn't sit and do nothing while she destroys our marriage and my mental health .

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3 Lawyer Answers
Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott
Answered
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: I understand the temptation but you need to understand that if she complains or anyone calls the violation to the court's attention, you will be jailed, with the main question being not if but for how long, and that being up to the Judge. It can also be expensive regardless of how it all turns out. A court Order for No Contact means exactly that and Judges are not forgiving of challenges to, and violations of, their authority. Further, according to the court record, your wife has said in no uncertain terms that she does not want to have contact with you and a court has determined, either provisionally or permanently, that you pose a danger to her and that at a minimum any contact with her by you is unlawful and harassing. You may disagree but unless and until the Order is lifted, it does not make a lick of difference at this point. If you do not control your behavior, the police will. It is that simple.

If you want any of that to change, you need to challenge and/or get the restraining Order rescinded. Then, and only then, do you have any other possibilities. Further, with ever having such a restraining order against you, there may well be negative effects and impacts on you for the rest of your life. Plus placating your wife's feelings rather than challenging it is not likely to help her cope with her problems in the long run in my opinion.

Joanne Reisman agrees with this answer

Jessica Larsen
Jessica Larsen
Answered
  • Domestic Violence Lawyer
  • Salem, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: You must obey the restraining order. Contact of any type (including texts, Facebook messages, and contact through a third party) is a violation of the restraining order. She can report the violation to the police, and you could face jail time for contacting her.

Joanne Reisman agrees with this answer

Joanne Reisman
Joanne Reisman
Answered
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: A restraining order means what it says. You cannot violate it under any circumstances even if you feel it has been incorrectly issued. Your remedy is spelled out in the notice you got with the restraining order to request a hearing. What you need to do is hire an Attorney to assist you. Besides setting aside the restraining order you can seek other remedies like having a guardian appointed for your wife if she is mentally unstable. The most extreme remedy is to seek to have her committed to a mental health facility for treatment. Just be aware that there is a very high threshold you have to establish before the State will intervene in someone's life. So just because the person is not living an ideal life doesn't mean the State will do anything about it. I think you have to establish that the person is a danger to themselves or others, but civil commitments is not my area of expertise. So if that is a path you want to go down, discuss what you need to prove with the Attorney you hire. Meanwhile do not contact your wife under any circumstances and do not solicit anyone else to be your proxy and contact her, except for an Attorney you hire to represent you.

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