Washington Protective Orders Laws

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 four (4) kinds of protective orders available to Washington state residents: restraining orders, domestic violence protection orders, no-contact orders, and civil anti-harassment protection orders.

What Are the Specific Protective Order Laws In Washington?

Washington protective order laws allow for 24-day temporary orders, which may be extended as needed, and orders of protection lasting as long as one year (which also may be extended).

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

This is the most commonly requested order. It is a civil order from the court telling the family or household member who threatened or assaulted you not to harm you again.

The main provisions of Washington's protective order laws are highlighted in the chart below, with links to additional resources.

Code Section 26.50.01, et seq.
Activity Addressed by Order Enjoin contact; exclude from dwelling, employment, school and day care; regarding minors: temporary custody; counseling; electronic monitoring; court costs and attorney fees
Duration of Order Restraining order to protect minors: maximum 1 year, may be extended. Ex parte temporary order: maximum 14 or 24 days, may be reissued
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 2 prior protective order violations: Class C felony
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 consent of any vulnerable adult.
Can Fees Be Waived? Yes
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 constantly changing -- contact a Washington criminal defense attorney or domestic violence lawyer, or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Washington Protective Orders Laws: Related Resources

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