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Legal Statutes: Washington

UPDATED August 10, 2017

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Chapter 7.94. Extreme Risk Protection Order Act

back to top7.94.030. Petition for order

There shall exist an action known as a petition for an extreme risk protection order.

(1) A petition for an extreme risk protection order may be filed by (a) a family or household member of the respondent or (b) a law enforcement officer or agency.

(2) An action under this chapter must be filed in the county where the petitioner resides or the county where the respondent resides.

(3) A petition must:

(a) Allege that the respondent poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to self or others by having in his or her custody or control, purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm, and be accompanied by an affidavit made under oath stating the specific statements, actions, or facts that give rise to a reasonable fear of future dangerous acts by the respondent;

(b) Identify the number, types, and locations of any firearms the petitioner believes to be in the respondent's current ownership, possession, custody, or control;

(c) Identify whether there is a known existing protection order governing the respondent, under chapter 7.90, 7.92, 10.14, 9A.46, 10.99, 26.50, or 26.52 RCW or under any other applicable statute; and

(d) Identify whether there is a pending lawsuit, complaint, petition, or other action between the parties to the petition under the laws of Washington.

(4) The court administrator shall verify the terms of any existing order governing the parties. The court may not delay granting relief because of the existence of a pending action between the parties or the necessity of verifying the terms of an existing order. A petition for an extreme risk protection order may be granted whether or not there is a pending action between the parties.

(5) If the petitioner is a law enforcement officer or agency, the petitioner shall make a good faith effort to provide notice to a family or household member of the respondent and to any known third party who may be at risk of violence. The notice must state that the petitioner intends to petition the court for an extreme risk protection order or has already done so, and include referrals to appropriate resources, including mental health, domestic violence, and counseling resources. The petitioner must attest in the petition to having provided such notice, or attest to the steps that will be taken to provide such notice.

(6) If the petition states that disclosure of the petitioner's address would risk harm to the petitioner or any member of the petitioner's family or household, the petitioner's address may be omitted from all documents filed with the court. If the petitioner has not disclosed an address under this subsection, the petitioner must designate an alternative address at which the respondent may serve notice of any motions. If the petitioner is a law enforcement officer or agency, the address of record must be that of the law enforcement agency.

(7) Within ninety days of receipt of the master copy from the administrative office of the courts, all court clerk's offices shall make available the standardized forms, instructions, and informational brochures required by RCW 7.94.150. Any assistance or information provided by clerks under this section does not constitute the practice of law and clerks are not responsible for incorrect information contained in a petition.

(8) No fees for filing or service of process may be charged by a court or any public agency to petitioners seeking relief under this chapter. Petitioners shall be provided the necessary number of certified copies, forms, and instructional brochures free of charge.

(9) A person is not required to post a bond to obtain relief in any proceeding under this section.

(10) The superior courts of the state of Washington have jurisdiction over proceedings under this chapter. Additionally, district and municipal courts have limited jurisdiction over issuance and enforcement of ex parte extreme risk protection orders issued under RCW 7.94.050. The district or municipal court shall set the full hearing provided for in RCW 7.94.040 in superior court and transfer the case. If the notice and order are not served on the respondent in time for the full hearing, the issuing court has concurrent jurisdiction with the superior court to extend the ex parte extreme risk protection order.

2017 c 3 § 4 (Initiative Measure No. 1491, approved November 8, 2016), eff. Dec. 8, 2016.