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Legal Information: Washington

Restraining Orders

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December 3, 2020

How do I extend my protection order?

You can renew a final (nonpermanent) sexual assault protection order one or more times, as needed.  To apply for a renewal of a final (nonpermanent order), you would file a motion for renewal within 3 months before the order expires in which you would state the reasons why you want to renew the order.  A hearing on the motion will be held within 14 days (or within 24 days if the judge allows service by publication or service by mail).  Under exceptional circumstances, you may be able to appear at the hearing by telephone if necessary to prevent further sexual abuse.1

In order for the judge to deny the renewal, the abuser would have to prove at a hearing that:

  • there has been a “material change in circumstances;” and  
  • the abuser is therefore “not likely” to engage in, or attempt to engage in, physical or nonphysical contact with you once the order expires.2  

It is not enough, however, for the abuser to just prove that a lot of time has passed since the order was issued and s/he has followed the terms of the order during that time.  (However, those factors can be considered along with other factors presented by the abuser.)2  To read all of the factors that the judge can consider when deciding if, in fact, there has been a material change in circumstances, go to What factors will a judge take into consideration when deciding whether or not to extend my order?

If the judge rules in your favor, the sexual assault protection order can be renewed for another fixed time period or it can be permanent order (last forever).2

1 R.C.W. § 7.90.121(1),(2),(4)
2 R.C.W. § 7.90.121(3)(b)