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Legal Information: Washington

Restraining Orders

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December 3, 2020

Who can file for a stalking protection order? Can a minor file?

If you do not qualify for a domestic violence order of protection, you may be eligible for a stalking protection order if you are the victim of stalking or cyberstalking, as defined by law. A minor who is at least sixteen can file on his/her own.1 Also, you can file on behalf of a minor child if you are:

  • the child’s parent;
  • the child’s legal guardian; or
  • if you are an adult who lives with the child - but only if the person the child is filing against is not his/her parent.2

You may also file on behalf of a “vulnerable adult” who is the victim of stalking if you are what the laws considers to be an “interested person.”3 A vulnerable adult is defined as someone who:

  • is 60 years old or older and is not physically or mentally able to care for himself or herself;
  • was declared incapacitated by a judge;
  • has a developmental disability;
  • was admitted into a facility;
  • is receiving services from a home health care aide or agency, a hospice, or an individual provider; or
  • is directing his/her own care and receiving services from a personal aide.4

An interested person is anyone who proves to the judge that:

  • s/he is interested in the welfare of the vulnerable adult;
  • s/he has a good faith belief that the court’s intervention is necessary; and
  • at the time the petition is filed, the vulnerable adult is unable to protect his or her own interests due to incapacity, undue influence, or duress.5

Note: If you file on behalf of a minor or a vulnerable adult and the judge issues an order, the protections only apply to the victim, not to you, even though you are the “petitioner” (unless the order says otherwise).6

1 R.C.W. §§ 7.92.040; 7.92.050(2)
2 R.C.W. § 7.92.040(1),(2)(a)
3 R.C.W. § 7.92.040(2)(b)
4 R.C.W. § 74.34.020(22)
5 R.C.W. § 74.34.020(12)
6 R.C.W. § 7.92.100(3)