Filing for a Protection Order

Flow Chart – Which protection order do I file?

Flow Chart – Which court do I file my anti-harassment order?

Adult Filing against an Adult:

Anti-Harassment Protection Order – Facts must qualify as meeting the definition of “unlawful harassment” as follows:  there must be a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses, or is detrimental to such person and which serves no legitimate or lawful purpose.    RCW 10.14.020(1). “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose. RCW 10.14.020(2).

Follow the Flow Chart – Which court do I file my anti-harassment order?  to determine which court to file the Anti-harrasment Petition in.  Superior Court Filing Fee – $53. District Court Filing Fee – $73.00 Petitioner is also responsible for having the other party served.

Domestic Violence Protection OrderParty seeking the order must be a person who is a victim of “domestic violence” or fears violence by a “family or household member.” The term “domestic violence” is defined as physical harm, bodily injury, assault, the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, sexual assault, or stalking. RCW 26.50.010(1). The term “family or household member” has a specific legal definition, including more categories than you might think, and the party requesting the order (“petitioner”) and the other party (“respondent”) must qualify as “family or household members” to one another.[1]

Filing Fee – No charge; sheriff serves the paperwork on the other party.

No-Contact Order –   This type of order is obtained by a prosecuting attorney or city attorney in a criminal case. It is only issued when a person has reported to the police an incident involving criminal harassment (defined differently than unlawful harassment for purposes of a civil anti-harassment order request by a private party) or an act of domestic violence which amounts to a crime.   Criminal charges must be pending or filed; or, the party may receive a no-contact order as a condition of a criminal conviction (finding of guilty). These orders are not sought or dismissed merely at the request of the protected party, except through the prosecuting attorney.

Filing Fee – No charge; sheriff serves.

Sexual Assault Protection Order –   Party seeking the order must meet the following criteria:

          Be a person 16 or older

          Be a victim of nonconsensual sexual assault (a single incident qualifies). The sexual assault does not need to be reported to law enforcement or prosecuted. To qualify for this order you do not have to go to a hospital nor have any physical injuries related to the sexual assault.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If the person for whom protection is sought is a “family or household member” of the respondent, the petitioner cannot get a Sexual Assault Protection Order but instead must seek a Domestic Violence Protection Order (see page 1). Because the definition of “family or household member” includes more than you might think, be sure to look at the definition (footnote) before filing for a Sexual Assault Protection Order.

For how the law defines “sexual assault,” contact the Clerk’s Office at 509-447-2435 or Pend Oreille County Crime Victim Services at 509-447-2274 or visit www.wcsap.org to find a sexual assault program near you.

Filing Fee – No charge; sheriff serves.

 

Children under the Age of 16 Filing a Protection Order

Child (15 years or under) Filing Against an Adult:

Same requirements as adult filing against an adult (above) but if under the age of 16 must have a parent or guardian petition the court on child’s behalf.

 Child (15 years or under) Filing Against a Child (15 years or under):

 Anti-Harassment Protection Order – The parent or guardian of a child under the age of eighteen may petition in superior court for an order of protection to restrain a person under the age of eighteen from contact with that child only in cases where the person to be restrained has been adjudicated of an offense (found guilty of a crime) against the child protected by the order, or is under investigation or has been investigated for such an offense. The judge must consider a number of factors before issuing such an order. See RCW 10.14.040(7) for those factors, or ask the Clerk’s office to show you a copy of that law.

Filing Fee – $53. Petitioner is also responsible for having the other party served.

Domestic Violence Protection Order – Any person 13 years or older who is a victim of domestic violence or fears violence by a “family or household member.”    See definition of “family or household member” in footnote on page 1.

Filing Fee – No charge; sheriff serves.

For more information on any Protection Order please contact the Clerk’s Office at 509-447-2435 or Pend Oreille Crime Victim Services at 509-447-2274


[1] “Family or household member” includes:

·         Spouses and former spouses.

·         Parents of a child.

·         Adults related by blood or marriage.

·         Adults who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past.

·         Persons 13 years of age or older who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past and who    have or have had a dating relationship.

·         Persons 13 years of age or older who have or have had a dating relationship.

·         Persons with a biological or legal parent-child relationship, such as stepparents or grandparents. RCW 26.50.010(2)