Antiharassment or Stalking Protection Orders RCW 10.14

Who may obtain an Anti-Harassment Protection Order?

Persons who are seriously alarmed, annoyed or harassed by a course of conduct which serves no legitimate or lawful purpose. Parents may petition on behalf of a child against an adult. Under Washington law, “course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time.

Who may obtain a Stalking Protection Order?

Persons who are subject to repeated or continuing contacts, attempts to contact, monitoring, tracking, keeping under observation, or following of another that: would cause a reasonable person to feel intimidated, frightened, or threatened and that actually causes such a feeling; serves no lawful purpose; and the stalker knows or reasonably should know threatens, frightens, or intimidates the person, even if the stalker did not intend to intimidate, frighten, or threaten the person.

What can a Protection Order do?

Prohibit harassment, stalking or contact of any kind. Also, the order can restrain a party from coming within a specified distance from a specific location such as the petitioner’s residence, workplace or school.

How do I obtain an order?

A petitioner submits paperwork which the court then reviews. If the petition is accepted, a hearing will be set at which the court may grant or deny an emergency temporary order which is effective for up to 14 days. Another hearing is then set within 14 days. At that hearing the court may deny the petition, or grant a protection order which is in most circumstances effective for up to one year. The other party, who is the respondent, must be served with the petition, notice of the hearing, and the temporary order-if one has been entered.

When should I file my petition in Superior Court instead?

You should file the petition in Yakima County Superior Court if:

1. You are requesting relief that affects the residential schedule of-and contact with-children you have with the  respondent, or you have had a family law case filed in Superior Court; 2. The Superior Court has heard, or is hearing, any other case in which you and the respondent are parties. 3. You are asking the court to exclude or remove the respondent from a home you share; 4. The person needing protection has been found to be a vulnerable adult in Superior Court; or 5. The respondent is under 18 years of age; 6. The petition alleges acts of domestic violence or sexual assault. If any of the above circumstances apply to a petition which has been filed in District Court, the petition will likely be transferred to Superior Court, and you will be told when the next hearing will take place there. You can access information about acquiring protections order through Superior Court here.

What information will I need in order to file a petition?

You will need the full name, address and date of birth of the respondent. In your petition, state specific acts that support your need for a protection order: 1. Dates and times the acts were committed; 2. Why you believe the acts or statements were directed at you; and 3. Whether there has been a course of conduct of harassment.

How do I prove my case?

A protection order petition is your action brought against the other party, the respondent. You are responsible for providing all relevant information to the court in support of your petition, and proving to the court that the respondent is stalking, or unlawfully harassing you, by a preponderance of the evidence. The court cannot investigate the incidents for you, as the judge is a neutral decision-maker. If available, include any documents you believe are relevant, photographs, sworn witness statements, voice mails, text messages or police reports. If you are requesting an emergency temporary order from the judge at the first, or ex parte hearing, you must state what irreparable harm will occur if the temporary order is not granted.

How will the Respondent know of the hearing?

At the first ex parte hearing, the court will inform you whether law enforcement will serve the paperwork on the respondent, or whether you will be responsible for private service. A process server cannot be you or anyone related to you; they must also be an adult over the age of 18.

How do I get started?

The Anti-Harassment Protection Order packet and forms are available here. You may also pick up a packet in person from the court at either the Yakima or Grandview offices. Please bring photo identification with you. Ex parte hearings are at 3:00 PM in Yakima, Monday through Thursday. In Grandview, the hearings are at 3:00 PM Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Completed petitions must be received by 11:00 AM in order to be heard that same day.

Is there a filing fee?

Yes, there is a filing fee of $83.00. If you cannot afford the fee, and are asking the court to waive it, please fill out the waiver application and declaration.

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