ORS 107.097 and ORS 107.139 allow the court to immediately enter custody and parenting time orders in emergency circumstances. The request must be filed with a motion to modify, or a petition to establish, a custody and parenting time judgment.
A request for immediate danger order must be based on evidence clearly showing that if the court does not take action, the child will be at risk of serious physical or emotional injury. The evidence cannot be based on speculation or hypothetical or contingent circumstances or a lack of information. This is an extreme form of remedy only granted by the court in limited circumstances. For example, if a child is known to be living in a home where occupants regularly use illegal drugs and leave the child unattended for long periods, the court may grant an immediate custody order. If the child has made disclosures of physical or sexual abuse to which the parent with whom the child is living has not swiftly and appropriately responded to ensure no continued abuse occurs and/or made comments that police should not be involved, the court may grant an immediate danger custody order.
Procedurally, the party requesting this form of relief must often appear before the court to file the request, and be available the day the order is requested. Often, the party (and or her attorney) must wait until a judge is available to hold a brief hearing. Generally, the requesting party must notify the other parent of the time and place the hearing will be held, and give the other parent the opportunity to be present. County procedures vary greatly for this kind of relief. An attorney can be of particular value to assess whether an immediate danger order request is appropriate, and to assist in gathering information and case planning to ensure the best results.
Separately, an attorney can be of great assistance to ensure compliance with the court’s order by the other parent, if and when an immediate danger order is granted. Many forms are available on a court’s website for private use, but these are limited to forms most commonly needed. An attorney can provide you with a much longer list of remedies and options and assist you in determining which course of action is best in your case.
NOTICE: The above summary is meant for informational purposes and is not intended to be legal advice. It is meant merely as a broad overview of the rules applicable to the majority of cases, and does not diminish the need to consult with a professional regarding your specific circumstances.