Legal Protection from Domestic Violence

Information on Court Orders

There are four types of court orders that address domestic violence. Each of these is slightly different, as discussed below:

Click here for court order forms and instructions. You will be directed away from the Skagit DV&SA Services website.

If you have a court order, it is important to remember:

1. Keep a certified copy of your order with you at all times.
2. The order is enforceable throughout the State of Washington.
3. If there is a violation of your court order, call 9-1-1 or your local police. Tell them you have a court order and it is being violated.

Whether or not you have a court order, if you are being harassed, threatened, or assaulted, call 9-1-1, or your local police!

Order of Protection

Civil Order RCW 26.50

Who may obtain?
Any person who is a victim of domestic violence or fears violence by a "family or household member." (Persons who are married, have been married, or have a child in common, adult persons who are related or who reside(d) together and persons 16 years and older who have been/are dating.)

What can an order do?
1. Prohibit contact of any kind.
2. Remove abuser from shared residence and prohibit from entering.
3. Give temporary custody of children and set visitation schedule.
4. Order abuser into treatment/counseling.
5. Can be tailored to individual needs.

How is an order obtained?
Can be obtained in district, municipal, or superior court. The court will review the paperwork and grant or deny a temporary emergency order effective for up to 14 days. The other party is served with the petition, notice of hearing and temporary order. A hearing is scheduled within 2 weeks at which time the court may deny the petition or grant an order effective for up to one year or more.

Contact an advocate at Skagit Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services for more information on how to file and obtain an Order of Protection. Skagit County Court Clerk’s office also provides limited information and forms are available for pick up.

What is the cost?
There is no cost to the petitioner.

What happens if the order is knowingly violated?
Mandatory arrest if abuser violates "restraint" provisions or enters a residence where prohibited from entering. Possible criminal or contempt charges.

Restraining Order

Civil Order 26.26

Who may obtain?
Married persons or persons with a child in common who are filing for divorce, legal separation, custody, or to determine parentage. To qualify a person does not need to have experienced assault or threats of violence.

What can an order do?
A Restraining Order can do all that an Order for Protection does. It may also order child support, order maintenance income, assign property to either party, and establish permanent child custody or use of family home.

How is an order obtained?
Can be obtained in superior court as part of a family law action such as a divorce, legal separation, custody action or paternity determination. A temporary restraining order can be filed at the time of a civil petition and signed by the judge effective until the preliminary hearing. Many persons obtain attorneys to represent them for this process. The county prosecutor or attorney general, when involved in paternity actions, may request a restraining order on behalf of the child.

What is the cost?
Filing fee is $110.00 (plus possible local surcharge) but may be waived. Additional costs can include copy, service and attorneys fees.

What happens if the order is knowingly violated?
Violator may be arrested. Possible criminal or contempt charges.

Anti-Harassment Order

Civil Order RCW 10.14

Who may obtain?
Persons who are seriously alarmed, annoyed, or harassed by conduct which serves no legitimate or lawful purpose. Person does not need to have a relationship with the person harassing them.

What can an order do?
1. Prohibit harassment and contact of any kind.
2. Restrain party from coming within a specific distance from petitioner's workplace, school, residence, etc.

How is an order obtained?
Can be obtained in district or superior court. Person files a petition which involves filling out paperwork. After reviewing your petition the court may grant or deny a temporary emergency order effective for up to 14 days. The other party is served with the petition, notice of hearing and temporary order. A hearing is held within 14 days at which time the court may deny the petition or grant an order effective for up to one year.

What is the cost?
Filing fee is $31.00 in district court and $110.00 in superior court. Additional costs can include copy, service and local surcharge fees. Fees may be waived.

What happens if the order is knowingly violated?
Violator may be arrested. Possible criminal or contempt charges.

No Contact Order

Civil Order RCW 10.99

Who may obtain?
A person who has reported an incident to the police. Criminal charges must be pending or filed. May be a condition of sentencing.

What can an order do?
A No Contact Order can prohibit contact of any kind while criminal case is active and can be a condition of sentencing. Protects a victim while waiting for trial.

How is an order obtained?
A crime must first be reported to the police. If the abuser has been arrested or issued a citation, the victim may ask the prosecutor to request a No Contact Order. (In some jurisdictions, orders are issued via the police or jail.)

What is the cost?
There is no cost to obtain a No Contact Order.

What happens if the order is knowingly violated?
Violator shall be arrested.