An Overview of Washington’s New Protection Order Act

An Overview of Washington’s New Protection Order Act

There are many types of protection orders for different scenarios where someone has done another person wrong and they want protection.  Anyone can file a civil protection order to protect themselves and set legal boundaries in a variety of cases from domestic violence to extreme risk protection orders and more. 

In July 2022, the state of Washington enacted a new law that streamlines the entire process surrounding protection orders and makes getting a protection order easier. This month marks the deadline for superior courts to begin offering electronic submissions of protection order petitions. 

Washington’s Civil Protection Orders

In the state of Washington, there are 6 different types of civil protection orders. Each protection order can be filed for specific reasons and are a way for petitioners to protect themselves, or to protect a third party: 

  • Domestic violence – Relief from domestic violence against anyone within a household.
  • Sexual assault – Non-consensual sexual conduct.
  • Stalking – Unwanted obsessive advances or attention.
  • Vulnerable adult – vulnerable adults who have been abandoned, abused, financially exploited, or neglected, or threatened with these acts.
  • Extreme risk – Anyone who is a potential danger to themselves or others and should not be permitted to possess firearms.
  • Antiharassment – Unwelcome harassing pattern of conduct that causes substantial distress.

In many cases, there can be an overlap in the type of wrongful conduct, and in the past, that meant adding additional steps in the event that a petitioner needed to file for a different type of protection order. 

With the current legislation, petitioners can now access the necessary protection order forms and file them online, instead of having to travel to a courthouse and physically appear in a courtroom. 

In King County District Court, the county where the office of Burke Brown Attorneys operates, you can easily access the forms online. The forms can be filed in person, by email, or e-filed through their website.  In addition, full hearings are now available remotely for convenience or safety reasons. Remote hearings open up access to the courts for both parties – the petitioner who is seeking the order and the respondent who is defending against the order.  

Electronic filing and remote hearings allow parties in rural or smaller counties to access attorneys anywhere.  For example, if you are in southwest Washington, your courthouse might offer Zoom hearings which means you can easily get a Seattle attorney to help you, if you want.

What If A Protection Order Has Been Filed Against Me?

The intended purpose of the Protection Order Act is to help empower people experiencing wrongful conduct to easily seek safety and security through a court order. Unfortunately, just like with any other law, there are people who seek to exploit the law with ill-motive and to cause harm. 

At Burke Brown Attorneys, we have seen dozens of cases where individuals have abused the lax protection order petition requirements to harm someone they know. They utilize the protection order to tarnish an otherwise clean record to get their way emotionally, or for long-term schemes to have the upper hand against the respondent in future legal scenarios. 

Whatever their reasoning, you should not have to suffer the consequences of their malicious behavior.

From a petitioner’s perspective, sometimes the other side gets an attorney and argues that it is the petitioner who is the abuser or harasser. In those instances, a petitioner may want the help of an attorney to protect against a counter-attack and to remove the disadvantage that comes from not having an attorney when the other side has an attorney. 

Sometimes petitioner’s just find the legal system too unfamiliar and need to make sure they are successful in court because the stakes are so high.

Whatever the situation, protection order proceedings have a lot at stake and can take a lot of different postures.  A lawyer can help advance and protect a party’s interests. If a protection order has been filed and served, regardless of the circumstances, there is no time to waste. The timeline for preparing a hearing is 14 days or less! 

You deserve to have an experienced and dedicated firm like Burke Brown Attorneys as your legal counsel. We can step in quickly; call us now at (206) 452-4030 or fill out a contact form on our website to schedule your initial consultation.

The following two tabs change content below.

Burke Brown Attorneys

Latest posts by Burke Brown Attorneys (see all)