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Legal Information: Washington

Restraining Orders

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December 3, 2020

How will a judge make a decision about whether or not to grant the order?

In deciding whether to grant an extreme risk protection order, a judge will consider multiple factors including evidence of whether the respondent:

  • engaged in a recent act or threat of violence against himself/herself or others even if it doesn’t involve a firearm;
  • has a pattern of violent acts or a pattern of threatening acts of violence within the past twelve months;
  • shows behavior that presents an immediate (imminent) threat of harm to him/herself or others;
  • violated a domestic violence protection order, a sexual assault protection order, a stalking protection order, a civil harassment order, a harassment no-contact order, a domestic violence no-contact order, or a domestic or family violence, harassment, sexual abuse, or stalking protection order issued in another state;
  • has a previous or existing extreme risk protection order issued against him/her;
  • violated a previous or existing extreme risk protection order issued against him/her;
  • was convicted of a domestic violence crime;
  • owns, has access to, or has the intent to possess firearms;
  • unlawfully or recklessly used, displayed, or brandished a firearm;
  • has a history of use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against another person or a history of stalking another person;
  • was previously arrested for a felony offense or violent crime;
  • abused controlled substances or alcohol; and
  • recently obtained (bought, borrowed, stole, etc.) any firearms.1

Additionally, during the extreme risk protection order hearing, the judge must consider whether a behavioral health evaluation or drug evaluation (chemical dependency) is appropriate – and can order either one.2

1 Wash. Code § 7.94.040(3)
2 Wash. Code § 7.94.040(6)