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Legal Information: Washington

Restraining Orders

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December 3, 2020

Do I have to register my protection order in Washington in order to get it enforced?

No. Neither federal law nor Washington state law1 requires that you register your protection order in order to get it enforced. (However, if your order is not entered into the registry, it may be more difficult for a Washington law enforcement official to determine whether your order is real, and it could take longer to get your order enforced.)

Washington state law says that if you show an order of protection from another state to a police officer for enforcement, the law enforcement officer must enforce it if it appears to be a valid order. The out-of-state protection order is valid if the court that gave it to you had the legal authority (power) to do so and it has not expired, or been changed/dismissed by the court. Also, the abuser must have been told about the hearing for the protection order and been given an opportunity to be present at the hearing (even if s/he never showed up at the hearing).2

1 R.C.W. § 26.52.030(2)
2 R.C.W. § 26.52.020