If you or your children are the victims of physical or sexual abuse, or threatened abuse, you can be protected under the Domestic Violence Protection Order Act. This applies if you are related to the abuser as a family member, were married, have ever lived together, have a child together, or have an established dating relations and are 16 years of age or older.
Filing an Order for Protection
You will fill out forms that ask (petition) the court for a Temporary Order for Protection. In the forms the victim is called the petitioner, and the alleged abuser is called the respondent. The forms ask for such information as a description of the abuse, the respondent's date of birth, and a place to serve the respondent with the legal papers. The judge/court commissioner will review your completed forms, may ask you some questions, and will make a decision based on the information provided.
Protection Order Packet - Download Protection Order Packet(This packet is now used for all types of Protection Orders - Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Anti-Harassment. You must designate the type of Order you are requesting in the documents where indicated.)
There are multiple types of court orders that address domestic violence. To learn about what type of protection you might need, please Click Hereor use the flowchart at the bottom of this page to help determine what kind of protection order you need.
Domestic Violence Protection Orders
For the protection of family members and others who have a household relationship with the abuser and have experienced acts of violence or stalking or who are fearful that acts of violence will occur. Additional resources for Domestic Violence Support can be found at Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Sexual Assault Protection Orders
For the protection of victims of nonconsensual sexual conduct who do not have a household relationship with the abuser.
There is no fee for forms, filing documents, or certified copies when asking for a Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Vulnerable Adult, Stalking, or Extreme Risk Protection Order.
There is no fee required for service of documents on the respondent if service is performed by law enforcement.
A $53 filing fee may apply in Anti-Harassment Protection Orders filed in Superior Court
What the Order Can & Cannot Do
An Order for Protection can restrain the respondent from:
Causing you or your minor children physical or sexual harm
Molesting, harassing, threatening, or stalking you or your children
Interfering with your custody/care of minor children
Removing your children from the State of Washington
Provide protection for your pet(s)
An Order for Protection may also remove the respondent from the family home and order him/her to pay the fees for obtaining the order.
An Order for Protection cannot:
Establish or order payment of child support
Legally assign property to either party
Establish permanent child custody
Grant permanent use of the family home
These issues must be decided in separate court actions.
Importance of the Protection Order
The importance of the Order for Protection is that it lets the respondent, and the police know that you are serious in your determination to be safe. Violation of an order is a crime. If the respondent threatens or harms you or comes to a place the court has ordered him/her to stay away from, call 911.