Step 1: Get and fill out the necessary forms
To start your case, you will need to fill out the necessary forms for a domestic violence order for protection.
You can find the forms from the civil clerk at the courthouse, but you may want to find them before you go and fill them out at home or with an advocate from a shelter. Write about the incidents of violence, using specific language (slapping, hitting, grabbing, threatening, etc.) that fits your situation. Include details and dates, if possible. Clerks can show you which blanks to fill in, but they cannot help you decide what to write. Note: Remember to bring photo ID and do not sign the forms until you are in front of a notary or a clerk. The clerk may be able to notarize the forms for you.
You will need to provide a safe mailing address. If you are staying at a shelter, you may want to give a P.O. Box, not the street address. If you do not have a safe address, do not fill it out - ask the clerk first how you can keep your address confidential.
You will find links to forms online on our WA Download Court Forms page. Most shelters and other domestic violence prevention organizations can provide support for you while you fill out these papers and go to court. Go to WA Advocates and Shelters to find an organization in your area and to find contact information for the courthouse in your area, click on WA Courthouse Locations.