Domestic Violence Protection Order Respondents

The State of Washington considers accusations of domestic violence very seriously. Unlike some criminal charges, alleged victims cannot cease legal action against the accused once they file a complaint. When victims of domestic violence feel threatened, they can petition the court to grant an order of protection.

Washington has several processes to protect alleged victims from domestic violence. On top of filing a protection order, petitioners can request to have their real address substituted to mask their actual location. Petitioners may also request to have the respondent give up their weapons. Protection orders are usually filed because of valid concerns about domestic violence. But there are occasions when the procedure is weaponized by petitioners who misrepresent the facts to obtain protection orders that make the respondent look bad in court.

Because domestic violence protection orders can reflect poorly on the respondent in court, it is not unheard of for petitioners to fabricate their entire case for legal gain. More often, the petitioner is misrepresenting reality by including some facts intermixed with exaggerations or fabrications. Even in instances where a petitioner is able to provide evidence, that doesn’t imply that a protection order is warranted. A qualified family law attorney can provide guidance and representation in these types of cases.

Petitioners and respondents are often engaged in marital or custodial battles in court when a protection order request is filed. While the application may be quickly granted, it doesn’t legally close pending or ongoing cases related to either party. Domestic violence protective orders are only issued to protect an alleged victim of domestic abuse.

For those that have had an order of protection filed against them, it is recommended to contact an experienced Seattle family law attorney.

Washington Attorney for Domestic Violence Protection Order Respondents in Seattle

Often, family law deals with families who are fractured and have questions as to what should happen next. It takes an attorney with the right knowledge and sensitivity to provide meaningful and healing family law services. When approaching a domestic violence protection order, family lawyers must act swiftly and tactfully to ensure their client’s needs are met. Otherwise, the impact the order has in subsequent court hearings might be devastating.

The legal team at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson are dedicated to providing the kind of legal service that fights for the good of families. Our seasoned family law attorneys have devoted themselves to advocating for the futures of parents and children alike, and they have the necessary experience required to fight for your rights.

If you are the respondent in a domestic violence protection order, contact us today at (206) 712-2756 to schedule your first consultation and strategy session. We are here for you, to fight for you, and to advocate for your future. Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson assists clients in the Seattle metropolitan area, including Bellevue, Tacoma, Kent, Everett, Shoreline, Renton, and many more cities in the surrounding area.

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What Are Domestic Violence Protection Orders?

Domestic violence protection orders are a court-issued order designed to protect the petitioner, whose duration depends on the circumstances of the abuse, and if a formal hearing has been conducted or not. Some protection orders can be issued permanently. However, most require renewal on an annual basis. When the court perceives that the petitioner is in imminent danger of being abused by a family or household member, the court can issue a temporary ex parte protection order before the formal hearing date, usually some weeks later Ex Parte literally means “for one party” and involves a court proceeding with only one party present. That party is often the petitioner and their representative. Once the respondent is served with the order, they will have to wait until the formal hearing to dispute the claims.

This kind of protection order is issued for domestic violence situations involving family or household members. Listed below are the two types of qualifiers that determine if it is domestic abuse or not in the eyes of the court:

  • Family or Household Members include:
    • Domestic partners or former domestic partners
    • Spouses or former spouses
    • Persons related to you by blood or marriage
    • Someone you have or have had a ‘dating relationship’ with
    • Someone you share a child in common with
    • Step-Parents, Step-Children, Grandparents, or Grandchildren
  • Domestic Violence Standards:
    • Bodily injury
    • Assault
    • Sexual assault
    • Physical harm
    • Stalking
    • Causing fear that any of these things are going to happen in the near future

Implicitly included in this list are violent acts such as slapping, choking, hitting, pushing, biting, and any behavior that causes harm or makes one fearful of being harmed.

A Domestic Violence Protection Order serves as the following. It can:

  • Prohibit the respondent, the abusive person, from harassing and/or contacting the petitioner, the person seeking protection. The respondent may be ordered to have no contact with the petitioner, including in person, by mail, by telephone, or through third parties.
  • Exclude the respondent from petitioner's residence (even if shared), school, business, or place of employment, or from coming to the school or daycare of minor children.
  • Restrain the respondent from cyberstalking or keeping someone under physical or electronic surveillance.
  • Award temporary custody of minor children to one parent, establish temporary visitation, and restrain one parent from interfering with custody.
  • Order the respondent to participate in treatment or counseling.
  • Prohibit the respondent from removing the children from the state.
  • Restrain the respondent from committing further acts of abuse.

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Court Practices Regarding Protection Orders

Often, but not always, courts will issue an Ex Parte temporary protection order on the same day they receive a petition. A formal hearing date will be included in the documentation, which is usually no later than 10-15 days after the temporary order was issued. From there, the order will be directed to whichever law enforcement department is responsible in the jurisdiction the respondent lives in. After serving the order, the respondent is required by law to follow its conditions.

At the formal hearing, the judge will consider all of the evidence, documentation, and argumentation from the petitioner. They will also allow the respondent to dispute the claims by providing their proof and arguing as to why the order is unnecessary. It is highly recommended to obtain qualified legal counsel for a protection order hearing.

If the formal hearing results in the issuance of a protection order, the length of time the order is active will be set by the judge. When or if the protection order approaches its expiration date, the petitioner must provide current evidence that indicates a need for it to continue if they wish to renew. At a renewal hearing, much like the initial hearing, it is highly recommended to obtain knowledgeable legal counsel to assist you in preparing and going through the court protection order process.

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Impact of Protection Orders on Court Proceedings

If a court issues a protection order for domestic abuse, it can reflect quite poorly on the respondent in any ongoing or future court cases. Family law proceedings that involve child custody, divorce, or domestic abuse charges can all be very negatively tainted by the issuance of a protection order.

Any future case you are involved in, both civil and criminal, can be negatively impacted by the issuance of a domestic violence protection order. Job applications, government assistance, and much other law or finance-related matters can be affected. If you have been served with a domestic violence protective order already, don’t worry, not all is lost. Depending on the facts of your case, a seasoned family law attorney can work with you and the evidence of the case to dispute the accuracy of the petitioner’s claims.

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Additional Resources Washington Restraining Order Information – This is a nonprofit organization devoted to providing domestic abuse victims with information and assistance. It is an excellent place to start for a simple but comprehensive explanation of the protection order process in the state of Washington as well as all other US states and territories.

Revised Code of Washington Domestic Violence Prevention – This is the official location of the Revised Code of Washington. This link provides all of the relevant state legal information about domestic violence prevention and its associated laws. This is an excellent point of reference to understand exactly what the state laws are regarding domestic violence protection orders and their stipulations.

Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV) -  Visit the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV) webpage to read more information about ending domestic violence. WSCADV's mission is create communities where all people can live and love without fear. The organization also increases survivors' options to live safely and indepedently from an abusive partner. 

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Domestic Violence Protection Order Attorney in King County, Washington

A lot hinges on the smooth handling of a family law case. Life doesn’t wait, and without fighting for your future, it may not treat you fairly either. At Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson, it is our highest honor to listen to, work with, and provide aid to our clients in every kind of legal matter they and their families find themselves in.

Domestic violence protection orders can imply many different things to judges, and they can also significantly impair personal, professional, and public reputations. To give yourself a fighting chance, if you are facing a protection order, contact us today at (206) 712-2756 to schedule your initial consultation and strategy session. Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson All Rights Reserved. Lawyer Website Design by Internet LAVA. | Site Map