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Know the Laws: Washington

UPDATED August 10, 2017

Stalking Protection Orders

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A stalking protection order is a civil order that provides protection from a person who is stalking or cyberstalking you regardless of your relationship to him/her.  However, if you are being stalked by a current or former intimate partner, someone you are related to, or someone who you live(d) with, please see our Domestic Violence Orders for Protection (DVOP) page since that order may be the appropriate one to file.

Basic info and definitions

back to topWhat is the legal definition of stalking in Washington?

For the purposes of getting a stalking protection order, the petitioner has to be a victim of “stalking conduct.”*  The law defines “stalking conduct” as any of the following:

  • Any act of stalking as defined under by law;
  • Any act of cyberstalking as defined by law;
  • Any course of conduct involving repeated or continuing contacts, including attempts to contact, monitor, track, keep you under observation, or follow you that:
    • would cause a reasonable person to feel intimidated, frightened, or threatened;
    • actually causes you to feel intimidated, frightened or threatened; and
    • The stalker knows or reasonably should know his/her conduct threatens, frightens, or intimidates you, even if the stalker did not intend to intimidate, frighten, or threaten you.
If the stalking-like behavior serves a lawful purpose, it cannot be considered stalking.**

Note: The judge cannot deny your order because you did not report the stalking to the police.  Also, the judge cannot require you to show proof of the abuser’s intentions behind his/her actions in order to grant you a stalking protection order.***

* R.C.W. § 7.92.040
** R.C.W. § 7.92.020(3)
*** R.C.W. § 7.92.100(1)(b)

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back to topWhere can I file for a stalking protection order?

A petition for a stalking protection order can be filed in the county where you live, unless you have moved to get away from the stalker. Then you can file in either the county where you previously lived or the county where you currently live.*

* R.C.W. § 7.92.050(8)

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