Where Can I Go For Help?
Go to the nearest District Court or to the Snohomish County Superior Court for application forms. If you choose to go to the Superior Court, go directly to the Clerk's Office Protection Order Assistance Program, Room C-125, on the first floor of the Snohomish County Courthouse, in Everett. It is important to use each courts "mandatory forms" when filing any DV protection orders. There is a list of resource agencies on this page, if you need additional help.
Who Can Be Protected?
If you or your children are the victims of physical or sexual abuse, or threatened abuse, you can be protected under the Domestic Violence Protection Order Act. This applies if you are related to the abuser as a family member, were married, have ever lived together, have a child(ren)together, you are a stepparent or stepchild, blood relation other than parent or child, or have an established dating relationship and are 16 years of age or older.
What Will Happen?
The Protection Order Office will give you the protection order packet to fill out. You are the petitioner and the party you are filing against is the respondent. You will need the respondents name, middle name, birthday and address as well as a description of the person. You do not have to have the Date of Birth to file, however it is recommended. You will also need to describe the domestic violence. Domestic violence includes physical harm, bodily injury, assault, including sexual assault, stalking, OR inflicting fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault between family or household members. You will then go to the courtroom and Judge/Commissioner will review your completed forms and determine if you qualify for a temporary protection order. The clerks will process your signed order, give you copies and explain to you how to have the respondent served his/her copy. As this process may take from two to six hours, it is best that children not to be at the courthouse, so please arrange for child care during this time. Children are generally NOT allowed in the courtroom.
What An Order For Protection Can Do:
An Order for Protection CAN restrain the Respondent from:
- Causing you, or your minor children, physical harm;
- Contact by phone, mail, directly or indirectly;
- Your home, school, workplace and daycare or school of the minors;
100 yards from your home, school, workplace and daycare or school of the minors;
- Interfering with your custody/care of minor children;
- Removing your children from the State of Washington;
- An Order for Protection may also remove the Respondent from the family home.
What An Order for Protection Cannot Do:
- Establish or order payment of child support;
- Legally assign property to either party;
- Establish permanent child custody; or
- Grant permanent use of the shared residence.
These issues must be decided in separate court actions.
Why is an Order for Protection Important?
It lets the Respondent and the police know that you are serious in your determination to be safe. Violations of some provisions within the order may be a crime. If the Respondent threatens or harms you, or comes to a place the court has ordered him or her to stay away from, call the police at 911.
A Temporary Order for Protection can be issued immediately and give you protection until a Full Order hearing, approximately two weeks later. Under certain conditions your Temporary Protection Order may be transferred from District Court to Superior Court for the full year Protection Order hearing. You may modify or terminate a Temporary or Permanent Protection (or one year as well) by going back to court. Until a judge or commissioner modifies (changes) or terminates (ends) your order, it will be enforced by the police as it is.
An Order for Protection may be issued for up to one (1) year or longer at a court hearing; if there is proof the respondent has been served the Temporary Protection Order. This allows him/her to be present at the hearing.
How Can I Renew My Protection Order?
If you would like to renew your Superior Court protection order we recommend you start that process 60 days before it expires. You can get the forms at the Clerk's Office Protection Order Assistance Program, Room C-125, on the first floor of the Snohomish County Courthouse, in Everett.
What Will It Cost?
The forms are free and there isn’t any filing or service fees for domestic violence protection orders within the State of Washington.
What are the different types of protection orders I can get from the County Clerk’s Office?
- Domestic Violence Protection Order: There has been a recent assault or threat of bodily harm between a family or household member.
- Anti Harassment Protection Order: A continuous course of conduct that is annoying, alarming, and disturbing between family or household members.
- Anti Harassment Under 18: A continuous course of conduct that is annoying, alarming, and disturbing; the person you are filing against is under 18 and the police are investigating the minor for a crime involving you or your minor.
- Vulnerable Adult Protection Order: You are a Vulnerable Adult or are filing on behalf of a Vulnerable Adult who is over 60, does not have functional, mental or physical ability to care for him or herself.
- Sexual Assault Protection Order: You are a victim of nonconsensual sexual conduct or nonconsensual sexual penetration committed by someone you do not have a relationship with.
- Family Law Restraining Order: Contact our Family Law Facilitator.