Restraining Orders

In family law, there are different types of restraining orders: 

  • Temporary Order for Protection: A Temporary Order for Protection provides protection from another person during the period of time it takes for a court to conduct a hearing determining the necessity of a Permanent Order. Temporary Protection Order requests may be filed in Municipal, District, or Superior Court. A Temporary Order requires filing a petition and judge approval. Once these prerequisites are met, a Temporary Order is immediately entered. The party against whom the Order is entered, the Respondent, is served a copy of the Order by the local sheriff.
    Subsequent to entry of a Temporary Order, a judge will set a hearing date two weeks after the initial hearing to adjudicate whether a Permanent Order is appropriate. If children are involved in the proceeding, the Permanent Order hearing is held in Superior Court. The Respondent is permitted to attend the hearing to provide the court his or her account of the events preceding the Order petition. If the Respondent is absent from the hearing, the Petitioner is required to demonstrate the Respondent properly received notice of the hearing.

An Order for Protection can provide the following protection:

    • Prohibit the Respondent from having any contact with the Petitioner, including threats, harassment, stalking, and/or molesting the Petitioner or their child or children.
    • Prevent the Respondent from appearing at the Petitioner’s home, work, school, or the school or daycare of their child or children.
    • Prohibit the Respondent from having any contact with a child or children, or it may establish a visitation schedule for the Respondent’s contact with a child or children.
    • Order the Respondent to attend counseling or undergo a drug/alcohol evaluation.
    • Provide the Petitioner use or possession of essential personal effects or a vehicle.
    • The Respondent can be ordered to attend counseling or have a drug/alcohol evaluation.
    • The order can also grant the Petitioner the use or possession of essential personal effects or a vehicle.

Orders for Protection are registered in a state-wide computer system and are enforced throughout Washington and other states. Orders are entered for a fixed period of time or on a permanent basis. However, orders entered for protection of a child or children are limited in scope to one year or less. Orders protecting a child or children are renewable, and must be renewed by the court, unless the Respondent demonstrates he or she is no longer a risk to the individuals specified in the Order for Protection.
The party protected by an Order for Protection should always carry a certified copy of the Order. The police must be shown a copy of the Order upon responding to a violation in order to enforce the Order. It is a criminal offense to violate the terms of an Order for Protection and the Respondent will be arrested if he or she violates the Order.

  • Restraining Orders: If a family law action such as a divorce, paternity, legal separation, non parental custody petition, petition for a parenting plan, or a parenting plan modification is filed a Restraining Order may be requested. Restraining Orders are entered first on a temporary basis. They may be made permanent at the end of the case. A Restraining Order may order the Respondent to stay away from the Petitioner and the child/children and exclude him or her from the Petitioner’s home, workplace, daycare, or school. The Respondent can also be ordered not to remove the child/children from the jurisdiction of the court. Other restraints may be added if appropriate.

The Restraining Order can be enforced in the same way as an Order for Protection. If a violation of the order is reported, the police must enforce the order by arresting the Respondent.

  • Anti-Harassment Orders: This order applies when a person has been seriously intimidated, annoyed, or harassed. Parties involved are generally not married, have not lived together, and have no child/children in common. The Petitioner must prove that the other person’s conduct was such that it would cause any reasonable person to suffer serious emotional distress, and that the other person’s conduct was intentional or willful and did not serve any legitimate or legal purpose. This is different from the definition of domestic violence and may not involve the same penalties for violations. A petition for an Anti-Harassment Order is typically filed in district court.

If you need legal assistance or representation with any kind of restraining order, please contact Eagle Law Offices, P.S.


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