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Washington State law allows you to ask a judge to grant an order to protect you from another person. You might seek a “Protection Order” for a number of reasons. These include if the person is abusing, threatening or exploiting you. A Protection Order means that person is not allowed to contact or harm you.

 

When asking for a protection order you will see the words “petitioner” and “respondent.” The “petitioner” is the person asking for a protection order (you). The “respondent” is the person you are asking the Court to protect you from.

 

For help with Protection Orders, call (206) 263-2339.


Learn About Protection Orders    ↓ Ask for Protection Order     Other Types of Protection    Court Forms    Resources     FAQ 

 

 

Learn About Protection Orders

 

Five types of Protection Order are available from King County District Court. You can choose which one best meets your needs. They are:

  1. Antiharassment Protection Order
  2. Stalking Protection Order
  3. Domestic Violence Protection Order
  4. Sexual Assault Protection Order
  5. Extreme Risk Protection Order (temporary)

 

A. Antiharassment Protection Order

This protects you against “unlawful harassment.” The law defines this in detail. Generally, it means someone has seriously alarmed, annoyed or harassed you, without a valid reason. You can ask for an Antiharassment Protection Order for yourself, your minor child, a vulnerable adult or other adult you are responsible for.

 

B. Stalking Protection Order

This protects you from being stalked. The law defines this in detail. Generally, it means someone has scared you by harassing or following you on purpose again and again. Stalking can be in-person or online. A stalker could be an intimate partner, family member, someone you live with or another person. You can ask for a Stalking Protection Order for yourself, your minor child, a vulnerable adult or other adult you are responsible for.

 

C. Domestic Violence Protection Order

This protects you from violent intimate partners, family members or someone you live with. The law defines this in detail. Generally, it means someone has hurt you physically or threatened to hurt you. It also can mean they have behaved sexually in a way that harms you – even once! This type of protection order also can protect you from “coercive control.” Coercive control is behavior that causes you to suffer physical, emotional or psychological harm. You can ask for a Domestic Violence Protection Order for yourself, your minor child, a vulnerable adult or other adult you are responsible for.

 

D. Sexual Assault Protection Order

This protects you from sexual assault. The law defines this in detail. Generally, it means someone has behaved sexually in a way that harms you – even once! You can ask for this type of protection against anyone who has harmed you. If the other person is an intimate partner, family member or someone you live with, you could choose a domestic violence protection order. You can ask for a Sexual Assault Protection Order for yourself, your minor child, a vulnerable adult or other adult you are responsible for.

 

E. Extreme Risk Protection Order                                       

This helps protect you or other people from firearms danger. The law defines this in detail. Generally, it means you believe another person could use a firearm to harm you, themselves or other people. You can ask for this type of protection order against an intimate partner, family member or someone you live with. District Court can issue this type of order on a temporary basis. For a longer-term order, District Court must transfer your case to King County Superior Court. For additional information, see: 

 

 

Ask for Protection Order

It is helpful to have a lawyer, but you are not required to hire one. You can do the work yourself to ask for a protection order.

 

You will ask a judge for a Protection Order using forms the Court provides. This is called “filing a Petition for Protection Order.” The court forms use the words “petitioner” and “respondent.” The “petitioner” is the person asking for a protection order (you). The “respondent” is the person you are asking the Court to protect you from.

 

How to file a protection order petition:

  1. Decide which one of the following types of protection you want to ask for. More than one type might apply, but you will need to choose the one that best fits your situation. See “Learn about Protection Orders” for more information.
    1. Antiharassment Protection Order
    2. Stalking Protection Order
    3. Domestic Violence Protection Order
    4. Sexual Assault Protection Order
    5. Extreme Risk Protection Order

       

  2. Fill out a Petition for Protection Order Form. You also can ask for a hard copy of this form at one of the eight District Court courthouse locations.

     

  3. Fill out a Law Enforcement and Confidential Information Form (LECIF). You also can ask for a hard copy of this form at one of the eight District Court courthouse locations. You must sign this form or the court will not accept it.

     

  4. Give your filled-out forms to the Court in one of these ways:

 

Temporary Protection Orders: If you are in immediate danger, you can ask the Court for a Temporary Protection Order. You often will be able to see a judge the same day you file your Petition for Temporary Protection Order. A temporary order protects you during the time it takes until the Court schedules a full hearing for you and the other person to appear before a judge.

 

What happens after I give the Court my Petition for Protection Order?

  • If you filed for a Temporary Protection Order (“Emergency” Order):
    • The Court will schedule you to meet with a judge the same day, or the next business day, if possible. This meeting is called a “hearing.
    • You will have a second hearing (full hearing) within 14 days after you filed your petition. The Court will tell you the date, time and place for the hearing.
  • If you did not file for a Temporary Protection Order (“Emergency” Order):
    • A judge will decide if your petition is eligible for a full hearing. If so, your hearing will be scheduled within 14 days after you filed your petition. The Court will tell you the date, time and place for the hearing.
    • The Court will let you know if a judge decides your petition is not eligible for a full hearing. You will then have up to 14 days to file an amended petition.
      • If you do not file an amended petition, or if the amended petition is not sufficient, the Court will dismiss your case.
  • The person you are asking to be protected from (the “respondent”) must be given a copy of your petition. This is called “being served.” The petition can be served to the other person in several ways:
    • Another person can give it to them for you
    • You can ask the Court to request that the police serve the petition
    • If you filed for a Temporary Protection Order and the Court orders the respondent to surrender weapons, the Court will request law enforcement to attempt to serve the other person


 

What happens at my hearing?

  • It is important to come to the hearing. If you do not attend, the Court will dismiss the case and you will not be given a Protection Order.

     

  • At the hearing, you and the person you are asking to be protected from will see a judge.
    • You and the other person will have a chance to speak
    • The judge might or might not ask questions
    • The judge will decide if anyone else may speak or ask questions

       

  • You can ask other people to come with you to the hearing to help you. These could be your lawyer, sexual assault advocate or other helpers.

     

  • To help you remember what you want to tell the judge, it is helpful to make a list. You also can bring copies of any items that might help you explain your case. This can include medical or police records and other things that help you make your case. See the Presenting Evidence Sheet for more information.

     

  • The judge will decide whether to give you a Protection Order based on the evidence and state law.

     

  • If the judge grants you a Protection Order, you and the other person will receive copies. The order will tell the other person what they can and cannot do. It also will list how long the order will last.

 

Transfer of case to Superior Court. In some instances, state law requires District Court to transfer a Protection Order case to King County Superior Court. District Court will let you know if your case must be transferred and will provide you more information at that time.

 

 

Other Types of Protection

A Protection Order is one way to help keep you and other people safe. However, Protection Orders do not meet everyone’s needs. Other legal remedies might be better for you. You can speak with a lawyer for details. Court staff cannot provide you legal advice.

 

You might also hear about other types of orders. These are not available in District Court:

 

  • Vulnerable Adult Protection Orders protect vulnerable adults from various harms. Such harms include abandonment, abuse, financial exploitation and neglect. Vulnerable Adult Protection Orders only are available in Superior Court. You may, however, be able to file for one of the following Protection Order types in District Court on behalf of a vulnerable adult:
    1. Antiharassment Protection Order
    2. Stalking Protection Order
    3. Domestic Violence Protection Order
    4. Sexual Assault Protection Order
    5. Extreme Risk Protection Order

       

  • No-Contact Orders are requested by the prosecuting attorney in a criminal case to protect the victim or witness of a crime. For details, contact the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office or your local city's prosecuting attorney.

 

 

 

Court Forms


Resources

Brochures & Instructions

 

Community Resources 

Below are items from outside the Court that might be helpful to you. King County District Court provides these materials as a courtesy and is not responsible for their content:

 

FAQ

No. It is helpful to have a lawyer, but you are not required to hire one. The law allows you to fill out the forms yourself and give them to the court. See Ask for Protection Order. Doing the work yourself might take several hours. Court staff are not allowed to give you legal advice.

The court does not charge a fee for filing a Petition for Protection Order.

The court will give you a hearing notice that includes:

  • The date and time of your hearing
  • Which District Court courthouse the hearing will be held at
  • How to attend by video or telephone, instead of in person

 

At the courthouse, TV screens will show which courtroom you must go to. Or, you can ask the District Court clerks for help.

 

Yes. You can attend in whichever way is best for you. The hearing notice the court gives you will list details for attending by video, by telephone or in person. In some cases, the judge might require you to attend in person.

The day of your hearing, visit the District Court e-Filing / Case Access Portal. You will need to register for a free portal account, if you don’t already have one. Look up your case number on the Portal to see which judge is scheduled for your case. Another judge might hear your case if the scheduled judge is out sick or absent for other reasons. You also can ask the court clerks for help.

The court will provide you with an interpreter at your hearing if you need one. You will not have to pay for this. You can request an interpreter when filling out the Petition for Protection Order form.

Yes. The person you are asking to be protected from will receive a copy of your Petition for Protection Order. They also will see any other evidence you give to the court. This information is also available to the public for anyone to see. Before you file any attachments, you can black out (redact) any sensitive information. Sensitive information can include your home address and account numbers (leave last four digits).

  • Call 911 immediately
  • Show the police your certified copy of the Protection Order

 

The police might arrest the person for violating the Protection Order.


If the Protection Order is about to end, you can ask a judge to extend it for more time. You will need to fill out and give the court a Motion for Renewal of Protection Order. A judge will decide at a hearing whether or not to extend the Protection Order.


You or the person you are being protected against can ask a judge to end the Protection Order. To ask to end the order, fill out and give the court a Motion to Modify or Terminate Order for Protection . A judge will decide at a hearing whether or not to end the Protection Order.


Contact

For help with Protection Orders, call the Court at (206) 263-2339.