N.M.G. v. McGinnis

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Stalking Protective Order
  • Date Filed: 04-20-2016
  • Case #: A156079
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Flynn, J. for the Court; Duncon, P.J.; & Lagesen, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

To establish the basis for a stalking protective order, speech-based contacts must be threats that instill a fear of imminent and serious personal violence that is objectively likely to be followed by unlawful acts.

Respondent appealed the trial court's entry of a stalking protective order and agrued that trial court erred by basing the protective order on texts and voicemail messages because those messages contained protected speech. Respondent sent several texts and voice mail messages, demanding that Petitioner come speak to him, that made Petitioner afraid. Respondent also posted a message at her old work with her name, number, and the address of someone with a similar name to her. Protective orders require two occassions that Respondent contacted Petitioner while "subjectively aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the contact was unwanted by the recipient." For speech to be the basis for a protective order, the speech must be an express threat that "instills in the addressee a fear of imminent and serious personal violence from the speaker, is unequivocal, and is objectively likely to be followed by unlawful acts." The Court held that the messages were speech-based and did not rise to the level of a threat of imminent and serious personal violance that was objectively likely to be followed by unlawful acts. Because the messages do not satisfy the speech based contact requirements, they could not be used as the basis for the protective order. Reversed.

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