Washington State Domestic Violence Protection Orders, Anti-Harassment Protection Order, Sexual Assault Protection Orders and Vulnerable Adult Protection Orders can provide vital protection for individuals in potential danger of violence from others. However, at the other end of the scale, an alleged victim can also use these orders as a weapon or further harassment by making false claims and restraining your freedom and 2nd Amendment rights.
If any kind of Protection Order is granted against someone (commonly called the respondent):
- The Court’s order and the Petition become public record for anyone to read. They are also entered into a database that all Washington State Law Enforcement personnel have access to.
- A court will enter an Order that limits behavior or actions and the police will come and consider arresting an offending party if it is claimed that they violated any aspect of the order.
- Violating a Protection Order is a Crime RCW 26.50.110, RCW 10.14.120. Any violation is automatically a gross misdemeanor, and if the violation includes assaultive behavior, it can be a felony.
- Under certain circumstances, where it is claimed that a firearm or dangerous weapon was used, displayed, or threatened, Protection Orders can take away that weapon and any associated permits to carry them. RCW 9.41.800.
As to each type of order, there are specific remedies, including but not limited to:
- Domestic Violence Protection Orders can exclude you from the dwelling that the parties share, from the residence, workplace, or school of the filing party, or from the day care or school of a child. They can be filed in non-intimate relationships, such as roommates or landlord tenant relationships if you share a room. They can prevent you from knowingly coming within, or knowingly remaining within, a specified distance from a specified location, including your own house. You must turn over all firearms, ammunition and concealed permit to the police department.
- Anti-Harassment Protection Orders are granted in situations where the parties are not related, not sharing a dwelling or in a non-domestic violence situation. These are normally granted in neighbor disputes, business relationships or friendships gone bad. The law gives judges broad authority to do what they think is proper. At minimum, this can include preventing you from making any attempt to contact the prevailing party, keep the prevailing party under surveillance and stay a certain distance from the prevailing party’s residence or workplace. Violation is a crime.
- Sexual Assault Protection Orders, commonly called SAPO Orders are powerful Orders that give the judge broad authority to prevent the offending party from having any contact, including nonphysical contact, with the offended party directly, indirectly, or through third parties regardless of whether those third parties know of the order. Sexual Assault Protection Orders can prevent the offending party from being at the petitioner’s residence, workplace, or school, or from the day care or school of a child, if the victim is a child. These Orders can also prevent the offending party from knowingly coming within, or knowingly remaining within, a specified distance from a specified location; and, lastly, these Orders give the judge any other injunctive relief as necessary or appropriate for the protection of the petitioner. These orders usually stem from unwanted sexual contact with a party and are sometimes a prelude to serious criminal charges. Great care must be taken when dealing with these orders.
- Vulnerable Adult Protection Orders allow a judge to order the relief deemed necessary including: (1) Restraining the offending party from committing acts of abandonment, abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation against the vulnerable adult; (2) Excluding the offending party from the vulnerable adult’s residence for a specified period or until further order of the court; (3) Prohibiting contact with the vulnerable adult by the offending party for a specified period or until further order of the court; (4) Prohibiting the offending party from knowingly coming within, or knowingly remaining within, a specified distance from a specified location; (5) Requiring an accounting by the offending party for the disposition of the vulnerable adult’s income or other resources; (6) Restraining the transfer of the offending party’s and/or vulnerable adult’s property for a specified period not exceeding ninety days; and (7) Requiring the offending party to pay a filing fee and court costs, including service fees, and to reimburse the person bringing the action for costs incurred in bringing the action, including a reasonable attorney’s fee. Any relief granted by an order of protection, other than a judgment for costs, shall be for a fixed period not to exceed five years. RCW 74.34.130.
These Protection Orders can be filed out of anger, revenge, malice, mental health issues, drug problems, control, or harassment. Parties can file protection orders bases on misstatements, exaggerations and false accusations to establish control in and out of the courtroom. Though we have general advice on how to Fight Protection Orders, when protection orders are predominately based on exaggeration and false accusations, it takes a lot more experience and work to prevail, and this must be done in a short time frame.
With the Domestic Violence Protection and Sexual Assault Protection Orders, a person can immediately lose their gun rights. They will be required to turn their firearms and/or concealed permit into the police department. Mere possession of firearms, ammunition and concealed permit could lead to criminal charges. You could lose these rights for up to a year or more.
Even if firearm possession is not a primary concern, there are other consequences of allowing a protection order to remain in place. Many rental companies will not lease an apartment or home to you. Background checks may indicate you are subject to a protection order and you may lose out on that job or volunteer opportunity.
Victims who initiate contact can get you arrested
These orders prohibit contact one-way only. In other words, the person who initiated the order can still approach, call, or otherwise contact an alleged abuser, who has the responsibility to immediately stop the contact or face possible violation charges. In abuse cases, police often choose to err on the side of the victim. You could be arrested, even if the protected party is continuing the communication.
Dealing with the contents of these orders
Why would the other party do this? What motivates the other party? What facts are not distorted, which ones are? What is the whole story? How is a judge or third party likely to understand it? What evidence is available? How can it be gotten? How do you and your lawyer best lay out your case to defeat the protection order? Are there any witnesses or video footage or digital evidence? The ability to rapidly investigate and secure favorable evidence is the key to winning these cases. Thoroughly investigated and prepared cases tend to win more than cases that are not.
Defending your freedoms
The allegations must be thoroughly investigated. No stone is left unturned. Many times the accusations of the initiating party are vague and generic. The filing of the order is often done months after the alleged incident occurred. The filing usually follows a dispute with the responding party (divorce, argument, break up or death in the family). These types of situations raise a red flag and require the expertise of an attorney.
We have seen strong accusations crumble under a thorough investigation and vigorous defense. We will take the time to properly prepare and then know when to speak, when to wait and when to be aggressive. Cases are won and lost on facts but they can also be won and lost based on the quality of the lawyering. Do not blow these orders off. They can come back and haunt you in the future. Get help.
Call Crary, Clark, Domanico & Chuang, P.S. for a vigorous defense.
Entrust us to represent you. Over the course of our lengthy legal careers we have litigated and fought a wide variety of complicated and emotionally tangled disputes, familial disputes, abuse, harassment and sexual behavior cases in the legal arena. We fully understand what is at stake here. But you must contact us immediately, as these protection orders are difficult to overturn on appeal. You have a much better chance to prevail at the trial level. Protect your rights and protect your future. Call use today for a free consultation.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Can a protected party still contact me, even after a protection order is granted?
Yes- it’s a one way order. There is nothing prohibiting the protected party from contacting you. In fact, it is a crime to respond to that person if there is a valid protection order.
Q: We have kids in common, what can I do so I can see my kids?
As long as the protection order does not list the kids as a protected party, you may contact them. BEWARE- you cannot have contact with the other person. You cannot even ask a third party to communicate with the protected party, as that can be a violation of an order. You can’t call the house where the protected person is living, even though they might not answer the phone. These types of situation call for an attorney to advise you on how to proceed.
Q: I was only given two days’ notice for the hearing. Is that right?
Personal service shall be made upon the respondent not less than five court days before the hearing (don’t count weekends or court holidays). RCW 10.14.070; If you didn’t have enough time, the judge must continue the hearing, unless you allow the hearing to go forward, which is never a good idea. But they must also renew the order to accommodate the new hearing date.
Q: Can I get mutual restraining orders?
No- Mutual orders are not allowed, but the court may realign the designation of the parties where the court finds the original petitioner is the perpetrator. RCW 26.50.060 (4) and (5).
Q: Can I lose my guns?
- Court shall require surrender to law enforcement or other person if clear, cogent, and convincing evidence shows use, display, or threat with firearm or other deadly weapon in a felony or ineligibility of respondent to possess a firearm.
- Court may require surrender if the above is shown by a preponderance. RCW 26.50.060 (1)(j), RCW 26.50.070, RCW 9.41.040 and RCW 9.41.800.
Note: Federal firearms prohibition applies when: (1) the person had actual notice of the hearing and an opportunity to be heard;(2) the order restrains the person from harassing, stalking or threatening an intimate partner or child; and either (3) the court finds the person presents a credible threat of harm to the intimate partner or child or (3) the order contains explicit language restraining the person from using, attempting to use or threatening to use physical force against the intimate partner or child.18 USC 922(g)(8). The majority of permanent orders entered will invoke the federal prohibition, but the federal definition of an “intimate partner ” only includes a spouse, former spouse, other parent of a child, or a cohabitant or former cohabitant.18 USC 921(32). Washington protection orders can so be issued in cases involving relatives by blood or marriage and dating relationships.
The cops will show up and ask for all your guns. They will keep them at the police station until you win your case, or if you lo
Q: Should I bring live witnesses to the hearing?
No- generally, the court will not allow witnesses to testify at the hearing. If you are relying on live witnesses testimony for your defense, you will be disappointed and unlikely to prevail. If you want witness testimony, you must provide a properly signed affidavit to the court. It must be signed and dated with the location of signing. However, the court may allow the petitioner and respondent to add additional comments to the court, but that’s about it.
To get the order terminated, you need to file a motion. Once you've filed the motion, a hearing is held within a week. During this period, it's critical to avoid violating the restraining order as this could worsen your case in court. Make sure to obey the order until it has been lifted.How do I fight a protective order in Washington state? ›
In order to remove a restraining order, also known as a protection order, in Washington state a person should ask the court to modify the terms of the order or terminate it. They can receive help from a protection order advocate, who is with the office of the county in which they filed the case.How do I drop a restraining order in Washington state? ›
If you want to drop your restraining order, you need to go back to the court that issued your order and fill out a request (motion) to dismiss the order. You may have to talk to the judge and tell him/her why you want to drop the restraining order.How do you respond to a temporary restraining order in Washington state? ›
If you get served with a temporary restraining or protection order, you will need to check the order for the date, the time, and the location of the court hearing where you will be allowed to tell your side of the story. You must appear at this hearing or a default order will be issued against you.What is one reason prosecutors may decide to dismiss cases? ›
A prosecutor may drop a criminal charge if it is determined that the evidence against the accused isn't strong enough. Or, perhaps new evidence is found which undercuts the prosecution's case against the defendant.Can you cancel a restraining order before the hearing? ›
The person applying to remove or vary the order must notify the court and prosecutor of the evidence that they seek to rely on. An application to revoke or vary a restraining order may be decided without a hearing.Can a protection order be appealed? ›
The complainant or respondent can apply to court to cancel or change a protection order, upon providing a good reason. Written notice of such an application must be given to the court and the other person.Can you appeal a protection order in Washington state? ›
If the court issues an extended order for protection, the adverse party can file an appeal to the district court.Can a protection order be withdrawn? ›
A protection order may be varied, withdrawn or set aside if the complainant makes an application for variation or rescission, but only if the court is satisfied that the application is being made freely and voluntarily.Can the court remove a restraining order? ›
In short, yes. If you are a person protected by a restraining order, you can apply to the court to have it discharged/revoked.
If you are reported to the police for breaching your restraining order, the police will usually sign a criminal complaint which means that you are then in contempt of court. You may also be arrested, depending on the type of order in place and the nature of the breach committed.How do I fight a no contact order in Washington state? ›
You must contact the court clerk to request that the judge grant you a hearing. Keep in mind that the judge has discretion whether to grant or deny you a hearing at all. If the judge does not grant a hearing in the matter, the No Contact Order stays in effect.Do you have to go to court for a restraining order? ›
Therefore, to obtain one, you will need to report the individual to the police and take them to court for their crimes. It will only be when the judge believes there is a reasonable chance that the victim of the crime will continue to be harassed by the perpetrator that a restraining order will be granted.How long does a temporary restraining order last in Washington state? ›
Temporary orders last for a fixed period of up to 14 days. If the court permits service of the abuser by publication or mail, the order will last for a fixed period up to 24 days. Your ex parte temporary order should clearly state the expiration date. Final order for protection.What happens if the petitioner violates a restraining order in Washington state? ›
Penalties for Protection Order Violations in Washington:
Violation of a protection order is usually considered a gross misdemeanor, which RCW §9A. 20.021 defines as punishable by up to one year in jail, a maximum fine of $5,000, or both. In addition to these penalties, RCW §26.50.
Prosecutors exercise the most discretion in three areas of decision making: the decision to file charges, the decision to dismiss charges, and plea bargaining. Once an arrest is made, a prosecutor screens the case to determine if it should be prosecuted or dropped.What is the most common reason cases are rejected by prosecutors? ›
In other words, prosecutors have the difficult task of assessing limited case facts in front of them and rejecting cases 1) that do not involve enough evidence to support a conviction, and 2) for which prosecution would not be in the best interest of justice and victims.How do you get a prosecutor to drop charges? ›
There are multiple ways a defendant or their attorney can convince a prosecutor to drop criminal charges. Examples include lack of probable cause, presenting exculpatory evidence, showing police violated their rights, or partaking in a pretrial diversion program.Is a restraining order a criminal record? ›
Does a restraining order affect your record? Unless a restraining order is breached, it will not appear on your criminal record. However, it will be recorded both by the police and in court records, if you fall foul of the law in the future, a past restraining order can be used as evidence against you in court.How do I get a court order removed? ›
Apply in writing to the court in which the order was given stating that you wish to make an application to have your order varied or discharged. Your application should explain how your circumstances have changed since the original order was made and the reason why you believe it should be varied or discharged.
'The prosecutor, the defendant or any other person mentioned in the order may apply to the court which made the order for it to be varied or discharged by a further order. ' This is important as it allows the person who is protected by the order to support or even initiate, any application to vary or discharge.How much does the attorney cost for a protection order? ›
There are no costs involved in applying for a protection order, unless an attorney is used. When legal representation is involved, each party usually bears his/her own costs, unless one party acted fictitiously or unreasonably, in which event a court may make a cost order against that party.How long can a restraining order last? ›
A restraining order can either last for a specific amount of time, or it can be issued for an indefinite period. The duration of the order will depend on the circumstances, the severity of actions and potential ongoing risk to the victim. The usual period for a restraining order runs between 10 days and one year.Will I go jail for breaching restraining order? ›
Should a Respondent be found guilty of contravention of a protection order he/she, depending on the seriousness of the matter will either be fined or imprisoned for a period not exceeding 5 years. Contravening a protection order is a serious and very prevalent matter in our courts and should be seen in a serious light.What happens if complainant does not appear in court? ›
In a warrant case which is instituted upon a complaint, and on any day fixed for hearing of the case, if the complainant is absent and the offence may be lawfully compounded or is not a cognizable offence, the magistrate may in his discretion at any time before the charge has been framed, can discharge the accused.How long does a police protection order last? ›
An EPO can be made for a maximum period of 8 days, with a possible extension of up to a further seven days,to a maximum of 15 days.What is the sentence for harassment without violence? ›
For the offence without violence, the basic offence of harassment, up to six months imprisonment can be imposed.Why would a judge order no contact? ›
A no contact order will be made where the risk of harm to a child cannot be reasonably managed. Where the court does not consider direct contact to be appropriate (i.e. a no contact order is made), it must consider whether it is safe and beneficial for the child to make an order for indirect contact.How can a victim get a no contact order lifted in Oregon? ›
The victim must file a Petition to Waive the No-Contact Order with the court that has jurisdiction over the case; and. The court must find, after a hearing on the Petition, that waiving the no-contact order is in the best interest of the parties AND the community.Is there anyway around a no contact order? ›
ask the court to change the order. The court can drop the "no contact" part of the order but keep the "no abuse" part of the order. You can still have an order saying that they can't abuse you, but they won't get in trouble just for contacting you or being with you.
There is no filing fee for a domestic violence order for protection. You do not need a lawyer to file for an order for protection. However, you may wish to have a lawyer, especially if the abuser has a lawyer. If you can, contact a lawyer to make sure that your legal rights are protected.What does until further order of the court mean? ›
What we do is we draft the stipulation and the parties sign it. And then when that gets submitted to court, the judge signs it and that is the further order of the Court. Doesn't mean they're making the decisions. They're just making the agreement you guys signed the stipulation, the New Order of the Court.What can the police do about harassment? ›
The court can order the person harassing you to stay away from you - this is called getting an 'injunction'. The court can also award you compensation. If the person keeps harassing you after you get an injunction, they've broken the law - this means they could go to prison.What are the grounds for a restraining order in Washington state? ›
Domestic Violence Protection Order
May be filed by someone who is experiencing physical harm, bodily injury, assault, stalking, sexual assault OR who fears imminent physical harm or bodily injury by a family or household member.
A person charged with a No Contact Order violation in Washington State is exposed to a gross misdemeanor. A conviction can carry a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail, loss of gun rights, and a $5000 fine.What qualifies as harassment in Washington state? ›
(1) A person is guilty of harassment if: (a) Without lawful authority, the person knowingly threatens: (i) To cause bodily injury immediately or in the future to the person threatened or to any other person; or. (ii) To cause physical damage to the property of a person other than the actor; or.What is the difference between a restraining order and a protection order in Washington state? ›
A “restraining order” is one kind of court order, but there are in fact a number of different types of protection orders used to prevent contact that are typically what a party seeking protection needs. Protection orders are put in place to prevent contact between two people.What happens if you are not arraigned within 72 hours? ›
If charges are not filed after the 72 hour period following your arrest, you will be released, but the state still reserves the right to file charges later, as long as they file charges within the statute of limitations.Can a DVPO be revoked? ›
8 A DVPO must state the period for which it is to be in force. This will be for a minimum of 14 days and a maximum of 28 days, beginning with the day on which it is made. 5.6. 9 There is no power for the court to vary or revoke the DVPO once it is made and after the end date it will automatically lapse.How do I remove a protective order in CT? ›
- Getting Your Case Dismissed. The surest way to get a protective order dropped is to beat the criminal domestic violence charges it is based on. ...
- Expiration of a Restraining Order. ...
- Petition to Modify Protective Order.
If you believe the protection order was granted improperly or that it is no longer needed, you can file a motion asking the court to “dissolve” (terminate or cancel) the protection order. After you file the motion, the court will decide whether or not to schedule a hearing.How long does an order of protection last in Tennessee? ›
Tennessee law allows an Order of Protection to be in effect for up to one year, but it can be extended if the order is violated.How do I fight a protective order in Oklahoma? ›
Contest the protective order in court. Find out when the next hearing is and be sure to be in court to present your defense. Contact an Oklahoma City protective order defense lawyer to find out how they can help. You must have a legal expert at your side when you show up in court.Does an Order of Protection show up on a background check in Tennessee? ›
Orders of Protection do show up on background checks. Once an Order of Protection has been granted, it is on your record. Anyone can find it, even if it gets dismissed.Can the petitioner violate an Order of Protection in TN? ›
It is a Tennessee criminal offense to knowingly violate an order of protection or a restraining order. To be convicted of a violation, the respondent must have received notice of the petition for an order of protection and must have had the opportunity to appear and be heard.How many days is a temporary protection order effective? ›
A court can grant a TPO that will be effective for 30 days. The court will schedule a hearing on the issuance of a PPO prior to or on the date the TPO expires.How many days is the effectivity of permanent protection order? ›
A temporary protection order is effective for 30 days. A permanent protection order is effective until the court revokes it. It can be revoked if the person in whose favor the permanent protection order was issued requests the same. 4.1.What is the difference between a protective order and a restraining order in Oklahoma? ›
Temporary restraining orders last only until the courthouse closes the first day following the incident that prompted the emergency temporary order. Emergency orders of protection last until the hearing for the final order of protection. In most cases, that is within 14 days.Can a victim violate a protective order in Oklahoma? ›
H. At no time, under any proceeding, may a person protected by a protective order be held to be in violation of that protective order. Only a defendant against whom a protective order has been issued may be held to have violated the order.