Petitioning for a Restraining Order

No one should live in fear of being abused or harmed. Unfortunately, both women and men can become victims of domestic violence in a relationship. The State of Washington recognizes how agonizing it can be when a victim feels fearful of his or her life, which is why they permit victims of abuse to petition for a restraining order when necessary.

Regardless of the situation, petitioning for a restraining order through the Washington court system can be overwhelming. If you believe you need a restraining order against someone, contact our legal team at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson today for legal guidance. We can review the specific facts of your case and explain how we can help.

Petitioning for a Restraining Order Seattle Attorney, WA

At Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson, our skilled restraining order attorneys in Washington are dedicated to protecting our clients from violence. If you have been a victim of abuse and desire to file a restraining order, reach out to us today. Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson has over two decades of experience specializing in various family law practice areas, including restraining orders.

For the skilled legal representation you need, call (206) 712-2756 to contact Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson. We will help you fill out the necessary paperwork and provide experienced legal advice. If you live in the greater King County and/or Snohomish County area including Everett, Edmonds, Gold Bar, Darrington, Brier, Brothell, Arlington, Monroe, Marysville, Stanwood, Sultan, Woodway, or Mill Creek, our family law attorneys are prepared to take your call.


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Information Center


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What is a Restraining Order in Washington?

A restraining order, also known as a protection order, is a court order designed to protect a person from harm in situations involving domestic violence, harassment, stalking, or sexual assault. A restraining order prevents the alleged abuser from threatening, stalking, or committing any further acts of violence towards the victim. 

Depending on the situation, a restraining order may prohibit direct or indirect contact with the victim. An order may also prohibit the alleged abuser from getting close to the victim’s property or premises. If the abuser violates the terms and/or conditions of a restraining order at any time, he or she will be arrested.

It’s important to note that there is no set time limit for a restraining order. It can last for a specified period of time or for an indefinite period, until further order from the judge.


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Domestic Violence in Washing State

Domestic violence is a common, pervasive problem in America. In Washington, state law (RCW 26.50.010) describes domestic violence as physical harm, bodily injury, assault, the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, sexual assault, or stalking of one intimate partner by another intimate partner. Domestic violence is also classified as physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, sexual assault, or stalking of one family or household member by another family or household member. 

Per the statute, “intimate partners” are described as:

  • Spouses or domestic partners
  • Former spouses or domestic partners
  • Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time
  • Couples presently or previously residing together who have or have had a dating relationship
  • Individuals who are 16 or older and who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past and who have or have had a dating relationship
  • Individuals who are 16 or older who have had a dating relationship 

Per the statute, “family or household members” are described as:

  • Individuals related by blood or marriage
  • Individuals who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past
  • Individuals who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship, including stepparents and stepchildren and grandparents and grandchildren

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How Do I File a Restraining Order in Washington?

If an individual feels that they are the victim of domestic violence, they may petition Washington courts for a restraining order. There are four types of restraining orders, or protection orders, intended for specific situations: 

  • Anti-harassment protection orders – This type of restraining order is available to victims of harassment. An anti-harassment protection order can restrain the respondent from contacting the victim and ensure they are under surveillance.
  • Domestic violence protection orders – A domestic violence protection order can help survivors of domestic violence feel safe and secure. It requires a perpetrator of domestic violence to stay away from the victim and violation of the court order will result in an arrest by law enforcement.
  • Sexual assault protection orders – A sexual assault protection order is a court order that can help protect a victim of sexual assault from any further abuse.
  • Vulnerable adult protection orders – A vulnerable adult protection order is meant to keep a vulnerable adult safe from their abuser(s). It can be filed in cases of abuse, abandonment, financial exploitation, or neglect.

The petitioner, who is the person filing the case, must choose which type of restraining order they will pursue. After they file an application, the court will then issue a temporary order and set a hearing if the alleged facts, made by the petitioner, meet the legal definition of domestic violence. 

After a temporary protection order is issued, the alleged abused, or respondent will receive paperwork to fill out. The order will last for 14 days or until the next hearing. A temporary restraining order will give the victim full protection until a Full Order hearing, approximately two weeks later.


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Additional Resources 

King County, WA: Protection Orders – Access the official website for King County, Washington to read about protection orders, also known as restraining orders. You can learn about the purpose of a restraining order, how long it lasts, and how to modify/terminate an existing order.

Washington Courts: Immediate Retraining Order – Click the link to visit the official website for Washington Courts and view court forms regarding restraining orders. You can access various forms such as Restraining Order, Proof of Personal Service, Temporary Family Law Order, and Immediate Restraining Order.


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Restraining Order Seattle Attorney | King County & Snohomish County

If you’re a victim of domestic violence or any other type of intimate violence and are seeking protection, do not risk your safety. Learn about how to petition for a restraining order by speaking to an experienced family law attorney today. At Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson, Washington lawyer Shana E. Thompson has been serving clients petitioning for restraining orders since 2000. She can ensure that all legal criteria for the filing process are properly followed. 

Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson serves clients in Seattle, Redmond, Issaquah, Mercer Island, Bellevue, Kenmore, Woodinville, Renton, Tukwila, White Center, and SeaTac. To schedule a consultation about your case, call (206) 712-2756 as soon as possible. Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson is prepared to aggressively represent you.


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