How much will it cost to file for a civil anti-harassment order?
There could be a filing fee and a service fee when filing a petition for a civil anti-harassment order, depending on who you are filing against.* If you are seeking an order against an abuser who has stalked you, committed a sex offense against you, or who is a family or household member and committed domestic violence against you, you should file for a domestic violence order of protection or a sexual assault protection order and cannot be charged a fee for filing or serving the order on the abuser.** If you are filing against anyone else, you can be charged the fee.
If you cannot afford the filing and service fees, you may file an application to proceed “in forma pauperis” which allows you to ask the judge to waive the fee. If the judge decides you cannot pay, you will be allowed to proceed “in forma pauperis” and you will not have to pay the filing fee or other related court costs.***
You may still have to pay the cost of having the abuser served with the court papers for a civil anti-harassment order.
Note: The judge may require the abuser to pay the filing fee and court costs, including service fees, and to reimburse you for your costs in the case, including reasonable attorney’s fees.****
* R.C.W. § 36.18.020(2)(d)
** R.C.W. § 10.14.055
*** R.C.W. § 10.14.060
**** R.C.W. § 10.14.090(2)