What Is A No-Contact Order?
The No Contact Order (NCO) is ordered by a Judge or parole/probation officer (PO), instructing the justice-involved individual (JII) to not have any contact with the listed victim/s or other identified people. The NCO is intended to protect the victim and others while the JII is under supervision and completing court-ordered requirements.
The JII is instructed to stay a minimum number of feet away from the victim’s place of residence, employment and possibly some other known areas that the victim may frequent. They may not have any type of communication with the victim, including communication via mail, email, telephone, text, video, social media and third-person. The prohibition on contact remains in effect even if the victim initiates the contact. For example, if a JII has a no contact order with their spouse, but the spouse invites the JII back into their home, the JII will still face consequences associated with violating the NCO.
Modification of the No Contact Order
The NCO may only be modified by Judge or the parole/probation officer assigned to the case. If one has a Restraining Order (RO), they will need to go to court to modify it before contact will be allowed.
The NCO may be modified after the following probation conditions have been met by the JII:
- The JII must successfully complete 12 classes of their Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP).
- They must successfully pass a polygraph exam showing there have been no probation violations, including no contact.
- If children were present during the incident, then the JII must complete at least 3 required parenting classes before asking for parenting time. The custodial parent will be notified before contact is allowed. If the custodial parent has concerns, they have the right to voice those concerns to the PO. Often parenting time will need to be settled in the family court system.
- A JII must be successful at following any other probation conditions (e.g., drug and alcohol treatment, mandated counseling).
The amount of time it takes to modify the NCO depends on the progress made by the JII and their overall compliance on supervision.
Once the JII has met the above conditions and if both parties agree that they want contact, the PO or Judge may approve non-offensive electronic contact including text, email, phone calls, and social media (no video chat). The listed victim will be contacted for input before contact is approved. If the victim does not want any contact, the NCO remains in place with no changes in allowed contact.
If the JII and victim have had approved electronic contact for four weeks and contact is going well and there are no concerns or current violations of probation, the PO or Judge may modify contact to include in-public, in-person contact. However, the JII will not be approved to cohabitate with the victim at this time. They will also not be allowed contact in a hotel/motel, residence or vehicle.
After four weeks of in-public, non-offensive contact, if contact has gone well and there continues to be no violations of probation, then both parties may ask for a full modification of the NCO. The ultimate decision is up to a Judge or PO.
The listed victim in the case has the right to speak to the PO or victim assistance specialist at any time about any concerns regarding contact with them or their children. Please contact Amy Smith at 503-846-3026 in Counseling and Victims’ Services.
What if a JII violates the No Contact Order?
If a person violates a NCO, they have violated the terms of their probation. They can face serious consequences that can include jail time, community service, monetary fines or other consequences as prescribed, up to and including revocation from probation, which can result in being sentenced for the underlying crime.