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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 top7.94.040. Hearings on petition--Grounds for order issuance

(1) Upon receipt of the petition, the court shall order a hearing to be held not later than fourteen days from the date of the order and issue a notice of hearing to the respondent for the same.

(a) The court may schedule a hearing by telephone pursuant to local court rule, to reasonably accommodate a disability, or in exceptional circumstances to protect a petitioner from potential harm. The court shall require assurances of the petitioner's identity before conducting a telephonic hearing.

(b) The court clerk shall cause a copy of the notice of hearing and petition to be forwarded on or before the next judicial day to the appropriate law enforcement agency for service upon the respondent.

(c) Personal service of the notice of hearing and petition shall be made upon the respondent by a law enforcement officer not less than five court days prior to the hearing. Service issued under this section takes precedence over the service of other documents, unless the other documents are of a similar emergency nature. If timely personal service cannot be made, the court shall set a new hearing date and shall either require additional attempts at obtaining personal service or permit service by publication or mail as provided in RCW 7.94.070. The court shall not require more than two attempts at obtaining personal service and shall permit service by publication or mail after two attempts at obtaining personal service unless the petitioner requests additional time to attempt personal service. If the court issues an order permitting service by publication or mail, the court shall set the hearing date not later than twenty-four days from the date the order issues.

(d) The court may, as provided in RCW 7.94.050, issue an ex parte extreme risk protection order pending the hearing ordered under this subsection (1). Such ex parte order must be served concurrently with the notice of hearing and petition.

(2) Upon hearing the matter, if the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence 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, the court shall issue an extreme risk protection order for a period of one year.

(3) In determining whether grounds for an extreme risk protection order exist, the court may consider any relevant evidence including, but not limited to, any of the following:

(a) A recent act or threat of violence by the respondent against self or others, whether or not such violence or threat of violence involves a firearm;

(b) A pattern of acts or threats of violence by the respondent within the past twelve months including, but not limited to, acts or threats of violence by the respondent against self or others;

(c) Any dangerous mental health issues of the respondent;

(d) A violation by the respondent of a protection order or a no-contact order issued under chapter 7.90, 7.92, 10.14, 9A.46, 10.99, 26.50, or 26.52 RCW;

(e) A previous or existing extreme risk protection order issued against the respondent;

(f) A violation of a previous or existing extreme risk protection order issued against the respondent;

(g) A conviction of the respondent for a crime that constitutes domestic violence as defined in RCW 10.99.020;

(h) The respondent's ownership, access to, or intent to possess firearms;

(i) The unlawful or reckless use, display, or brandishing of a firearm by the respondent;

(j) The history of use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force by the respondent against another person, or the respondent's history of stalking another person;

(k) Any prior arrest of the respondent for a felony offense or violent crime;

(l) Corroborated evidence of the abuse of controlled substances or alcohol by the respondent; and

(m) Evidence of recent acquisition of firearms by the respondent.

(4) The court may:

(a) Examine under oath the petitioner, the respondent, and any witnesses they may produce, or, in lieu of examination, consider sworn affidavits of the petitioner, the respondent, and any witnesses they may produce; and

(b) Ensure that a reasonable search has been conducted for criminal history records related to the respondent.

(5) In a hearing under this chapter, the rules of evidence apply to the same extent as in a domestic violence protection order proceeding under chapter 26.50 RCW.

(6) During the hearing, the court shall consider whether a mental health evaluation or chemical dependency evaluation is appropriate, and may order such evaluation if appropriate.

(7) An extreme risk protection order must include:

(a) A statement of the grounds supporting the issuance of the order;

(b) The date and time the order was issued;

(c) The date and time the order expires;

(d) Whether a mental health evaluation or chemical dependency evaluation of the respondent is required;

(e) The address of the court in which any responsive pleading should be filed;

(f) A description of the requirements for relinquishment of firearms under RCW 7.94.090; and

(g) The following statement: “To the subject of this protection order: This order will last until the date and time noted above. If you have not done so already, you must surrender to the (insert name of local law enforcement agency) all firearms in your custody, control, or possession and any concealed pistol license issued to you under RCW 9.41.070 immediately. You may not have in your custody or control, purchase, possess, receive, or attempt to purchase or receive, a firearm while this order is in effect. You have the right to request one hearing to terminate this order every twelve-month period that this order is in effect, starting from the date of this order and continuing through any renewals. You may seek the advice of an attorney as to any matter connected with this order.”

(8) When the court issues an extreme risk protection order, the court shall inform the respondent that he or she is entitled to request termination of the order in the manner prescribed by RCW 7.94.080. The court shall provide the respondent with a form to request a termination hearing.

(9) If the court declines to issue an extreme risk protection order, the court shall state the particular reasons for the court's denial.

2017 c 3 § 5 (Initiative Measure No. 1491, approved November 8, 2016), eff. Dec. 8, 2016.