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What are some exceptable reasons for me filing a summons and complaint against my ex-husband? (divorced since September 19, 2012

Stayton, OR |
Filed under: Domestic violence

My ex-husband had used physical force on me four times during the marriage (2 times holding me against the wall, 1 time shoving me, 1 time locking my hands behind my back and holding me facedown on the bed). He was also physchologically abusive to me. I left him on March 17, 2012, and about two weeks after I left, he took me off of his bank account because he knew that I had no money. At the same time he did this, he was sending me messages sayin he loved me and was worried about me through email/facebook. About a month after me leaving, he began to send verbally assaulting messages to me online. He did not threaten to hurt me.( However, during the marriage he did. He said that he had pictured stabbing me, but that he wouldn't literally stab me.) I have not heard from him since July 17.

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

A complaint is just the document that describes claims made in a lawsuit, and a summons is a document that goes with it, explaining the obligation to reply to the suit. So it seems that what you're really asking is if you can sue him, for something.

It seems you're already divorced, so there's no need to sue him again for that. If your most recent contact from him was in July of last year, then it's been more than six months since he's committed any acts of abuse, so you wouldn't qualify for a restraining order.

There are two kinds of restraining orders under Oregon law: Family Abuse Prevention Act orders (or FAPA orders), and Stalking Protective Orders. To qualify for a FAPA order, you must have been the victim of an act of abuse within the previous 6 months. To qualify for a SPO, you have to have been repeatedly contacted by the respondent (person you're trying to restrain) in the past 6 months, in ways that make you reasonably afraid for your safety. In either case, you must have a reasonable basis to fear future abuse. In this case, you've not had any contact with him in 6 months less one day, and that only one message it sounds like; so I don't think you'd qualify for any sort of restraining order.

Which, to me, begs the question: why do you want to sue your ex-husband now; why do you want to stir things up if you haven't heard from him in six months? It sounds like it's a good thing that you're out of that marriage and relationship; I would urge you not to dwell in bitterness and go looking for fresh new conflicts. It's all over now. Let it end so. If he continues to contact you in the future, of course, then you may need a restraining order, or some other sort of relief. But for the moment, you haven't stated any facts that would allow you to sue him for anything in the domestic relations realm.

You could sue him for assault, as a civil tort, but you'd have to show the actual financial extent of the damages you suffered, which would be psychologically very stressful. People have this idea that suing someone will be this glorious redemptive process in which all their old hurts will be vindicated. This idea is staggeringly wrong. Lawsuits are intensely stressful. And expensive, and uncertain. You'd be dragged over all those old injuries, again. Your ex-husband would have every incentive, and right, to question your memory, your honesty, and your motives. And the burden of proof would be on you. My advice stands. Move on.

Please read the following notice: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br> Jay Bodzin, Northwest Law Office, 2075 SW First Avenue, Suite 2J, Portland, OR 97201 | Telephone: 503-227-0965 | Facsimile: 503-345-0926 | Email: jay@northwestlawoffice.com | Online: www.northwestlawoffice.com

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Asker

Posted

Ya, people kept saying that I could take legal action and i preferred not to, not to mention.. I felt that it had been too long. Now that I look into it, it sounds like that's the case. Thanks!

Posted

I completly agree and couldn't have answered this any better, Mr. Bodzin.

My response(s) to the question(s) on this website do not create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is not created until a Fee Agreement has been signed. In addition, my suggestions are based on very limited information provided by the Asker and are given based on my experiences and general circumstances. My suggestions may not ultimately be applicable to the Asker's situation because of the limited amount of information provided. No suggestion is guaranteed to be sucessful. Case specifics should not be shared online. You should seek specific legal advice in a private setting. Shannon L. Hall, Attorney at Law (Licensed in Oregon) 245 East 4th Avenue, Eugene, OR 97401 Phone: 541-434-2411, Email: Shannon@GoodOregonLawyers.com

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3 comments

Jay Bodzin

Jay Bodzin

Posted

Thank you, have some points =}

Jay Bodzin

Jay Bodzin

Posted

If it weren't so late and I hadn't had so little sleep, I maybe wouldn't have said this quite like that

Shannon L. Hall

Shannon L. Hall

Posted

Huh, good to know. Agreeing with my Agreement-you have some points :)

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