How to File a Restraining Order in Washington State

File a Restraining Order How to File a Restraining Order in Washington State

A Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining a Restraining Order in Washington State

Gun violence and other crimes are at an all-time high across Washington, according to local news stations. With 50% more shootings than last year, some victims may seek out restraining orders in Washington State.

Crimes like assault, stalking, and harassment can also warrant restraining orders. However, many victims of crime struggle to gather evidence and follow the appropriate process to file their requests. This makes getting a restraining order somewhat difficult unless you have a DoNotPay account.

Who Can Obtain a Restraining Order in Washington State?

Under Washington law, anyone can pursue a restraining order against another party that has been harassing them. In Washington, harassment refers to anyone who stalks you, annoys you, or makes you feel unsafe (with or without a justified purpose).

You can also get a restraining order against another person who has committed malicious acts toward you. Such acts include:

  1. Bodily injury
  2. Any kind of assault
  3. Verbal threats of intent to cause such harm
  4. Making you fearful of any type of physical assault, regardless of direct verbal threats

In order for a Washington court to hear your case, at least one of the following must apply:

  • At least one of the threatening actions must have taken place in Washington
  • If the actions took place outside of Washington, you must show that the harassment has been part of an ongoing pattern
  • You must show proof that you've had to relocate or enroll in a safety program directly because of the harassment
  • The harassing party agrees to appear in court after receiving the petition
  • The petition is served within the harassing party's county of residence

The Restraining Order Hearing Timeline

If you are in an emergency, you should never wait for a formal restraining order hearing. Call 911, and you should be able to have a temporary restraining order set into place. This temporary order goes into effect immediately and won't expire for two weeks.

Two weeks is usually plenty of time to schedule a hearing, though an extension may be necessary. During the hearing, the court will decide if the harassing party was justified in their crime. They may ask the following questions:

  • Did the harassing party initiate the harassment?
  • Have they been given a clear indication that you are uncomfortable with their actions?
  • Do the harassing party's actions interfere with your privacy and safety?

If found guilty of any of these, the harassing party will have to cease contact with you immediately after the hearing. The consequences range from a $15 fine to a Class C felony charge if they violate this restraining order.

Types of Restraining Orders in Washington State

In Washington State, you can get several types of restraining orders:

Types of Protective Orders in Washington:Used When:
General Restraining OrderMost commonly used in family law cases. It can also apply to property, alimony, and custody disputes.
No Contact OrderUsually automatically filed in the event that a harassing party is arrested. It may need to be renewed after the harasser is released on bail.
Civil Anti-Harassment OrderUsually for smaller disputes between neighbors or coworkers.
Domestic Violence Order of ProtectionFor cases involving a physical assault between two spouses or any two family members. No fee is required to apply for this order.
Vulnerable Adult Protection OrderUsed when one party fails to care for or takes advantage of an adult in a vulnerable state. It can apply to elderly or disabled individuals, as well as past victims of injury or abuse.

How to File Your Own Restraining Order in Washington State

All types of restraining orders in Washington have the same basic filing process:

  1. Print out a restraining order from this page, or visit your local courthouse directly.
  2. If required, pay the service and filing fees required to process the order (usually around $110). If you can't afford these, another application can be filed requesting the judge to waive the fees.
  3. Your harasser will be served the papers within a few days. Your court hearing should also be scheduled within two weeks' time.
  4. Gather any evidence that could prove the harassing party's guilt.
  5. If successful, the judge will grant you a restraining order. A final protection order usually lasts for one year, though it can be extended up to three years.

Since it can be difficult to fill out the initial paperwork on your own, most people will visit the courthouse directly. Unfortunately, most people can't make time in their busy schedules to do this.

If the harassment has been ongoing for months, they may not even feel safe leaving their homes. They might also feel like they need to stay home as often as possible to protect children or animals from harm. This causes abuse to go on for months without end.

DoNotPay Quickly Guides You Through Restraining Orders in Washington

DoNotPay recognizes that going through with a restraining order can feel intimidating and exhausting. That's why we've put together a simple instructional product for any type of protective order.

Here's how to apply for a restraining order in Washington State with the help of DoNotPay:

  1. Search for relationship protection on DoNotPay.

     

  2. Answer a few easy questions on our File a Restraining Order product.

     

  3. Submit the form, and you’re done.

After you're finished, DoNotPay will:

  • Quickly process your answers
  • Give you simple instructions on how to proceed with your restraining order
  • Stand by you with reliable support if you have any additional needs

DoNotPay Offers Domestic Protection in Every State

Even if your harasser lives in a different area of the country, DoNotPay has you covered. Whether it's the West Coast, East Coast, or any state along the South Coast, we know every law to successfully prove your case.

Protect Yourself With Other DoNotPay Products

DoNotPay has assisted hundreds of users with breaches of contract, workplace discrimination claims and suing any malicious party in small claims court. When you sign up with DoNotPay, you'll always get the security that you deserve.

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