Protective orders (also called "restraining orders") are court orders requiring a named individual to remain a certain distance away from another named individual, often in the wake of a stalking or domestic violence charge. There are five kinds of protective orders available to Washington state residents: anti-harassment protection orders, stalking protection orders, domestic violence protection orders, sexual assault protection orders, and extreme risk protection orders (temporary).
This article provides a brief overview of Washington protective orders laws.
Washington Protection Orders: At a Glance
The main provisions of Washington's protective order laws are highlighted in the chart below, with links to additional resources.
| § 7.105.050 et seq. of the Washington Revised Code
|Activity Addressed by Order
|Enjoin contact; exclude from dwelling, employment, school, and daycare; regarding minors: temporary custody; counseling; electronic monitoring; court costs and attorney fees; prohibit the possession of firearms; restrain the respondent from committing any of the following acts against the petitioner and other persons protected by the order: domestic violence; nonconsensual sexual conduct or nonconsensual sexual penetration; sexual abuse; stalking; acts of abandonment, abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation against a vulnerable adult; and unlawful harassment; order possession and use of essential personal effects (may include pets)
|Duration of Order
|Relief may be granted for a fixed period of time or permanently; other than for antiharassment orders, the court shall not grant relief for less than one year unless the petitioner has specifically requested shorter relief. If children are involved, the restraint must be for a fixed period not to exceed one ear
|Penalty for a Violation of Order
|Gross misdemeanor: contempt of court; if assault less than 1st or 2nd degree occurs: Class C felony; if reckless or substantial risk of death or serious injury: Class C felony; if at least two prior protective order violations: Class C felony; may require that the respondent submit to and pay for electronic monitoring
|Who May Apply for Order
|Any person on behalf of self, or minor family or household member. Department of Social and Health Services may seek on behalf of and with the consent of any vulnerable adult
|Can Fees Be Waived?
|There is no filing fee in Washington
|Order Transmission to Law Enforcement
|Entered into statewide judicial information system within one judicial day; copy on or before next judicial day to appropriate law enforcement agency
|Civil Liability for Violation of Order
|Yes, contempt of court
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law
Washington Protective Orders Laws: Related Resources
Get Help with a Protective Order Today
If someone is hurting or threatening to hurt you, there are resources available for you when you're ready. Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline for 24/7/365 support at 800-799-7233. If you've been abused or fear someone may abuse you in the near future, you may want to get a protective order.
Please contact Washington domestic violence attorney for help.