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Legal Information: Washington

Restraining Orders

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December 3, 2020

What protections can I get in a civil anti-harassment order?

It will be up to the judge to decide what is appropriate to stop the harassment by the abuser. The judge can do such things as:

  • order the abuser not to contact you (or attempt to contact you);
  • order the abuser not to make any attempts to keep you under surveillance (i.e., following you, watching you);
  • require the abuser to stay a certain distance away from your home and workplace;1

Note: If both you and the abuser are minors (under 18) and attend the same school, the court can order the abuser to attend a different school (but only if the abuser is being investigated or has gone to court for committing a criminal offense against you).2

If it is shown that an abuser has used, displayed (shown), or threatened to use a firearm/weapon in a felony, previously committed any offense that makes him/her ineligible to possess a firearm, or if the judge believes that the abuser’s possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon presents a serious and immediate threat to you or someone else, the judge may also:

  • require the abuser to surrender any firearm or other dangerous weapon or any concealed pistol license; and
  • prohibit the abuser from obtaining or possessing a firearm or other dangerous weapon or a concealed pistol license.3

Note: The surrender of any firearm/weapon or prohibition on getting or having a firearm/weapon may be for a period of time less than the length of the anti-harassment order.3

1 R.C.W. § 10.14.080(6)
2 R.C.W. § 10.14.040(7)
3 R.C.W. §§ 10.14.080(6)(d); 9.41.800