Stalking Order of Protection
Also See: Washington Stalking Statute
Also See: Washington Civil Stalking Law
§ 7.92.040. Petition -- Who may file
A petition for a stalking protection order may be filed by a person:
(1) Who does not qualify for a protection order under chapter 26.50 RCW and who is a victim of stalking conduct; or
(2) On behalf of any of the following persons who is a victim of stalking conduct and who does not qualify for a protection order under chapter 26.50 RCW:
(a) A minor child, where the petitioner is a parent, a legal custodian, or, where the respondent is not a parent, an adult with whom the child is currently residing; or
(b) A vulnerable adult as defined in RCW 74.34.020 and where the petitioner is an interested person as defined in RCW 74.34.020(10).
§ 7.92.030. Petition for stalking protection order -- Creation -- Contents
There shall exist an action known as a petition for a stalking protection order.
(1) A petition for relief shall allege the existence of stalking conduct and shall be accompanied by an affidavit made under oath stating the specific reasons that have caused the petitioner to become reasonably fearful that the respondent intends to injure the petitioner or another person, or the petitioner's property or the property of another. The petition shall disclose the existence of any other litigation or of any other restraining, protection, or no-contact orders between the parties.
(2) A petition for relief shall be filed as a separate, stand-alone civil case and a petition for relief may be made regardless of whether or not there is a pending lawsuit, complaint, petition, or other action between the parties.
(3) Forms and instructional brochures and the necessary number of certified copies shall be provided to the petitioner free of charge.
(4) A person is not required to post a bond to obtain relief in any proceeding under this section.
(5) If the petition states that disclosure of the petitioner's address would risk abuse of the petitioner or any member of the petitioner's family or household, that address may be omitted from all documents filed with the court. If the petitioner has not disclosed an address under this subsection, the petitioner shall designate an alternative address at which the respondent may serve notice of any motions.
§ 7.92.100. Burden of proof -- Issuance of protection order -- Remedies
(a) If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the petitioner has been a victim of stalking conduct by the respondent, the court shall issue a stalking protection order.
(b) The petitioner shall not be denied a stalking protection order because the petitioner or the respondent is a minor or because the petitioner did not report the stalking conduct to law enforcement. The court, when determining whether or not to issue a stalking protection order, may not require proof of the respondent's intentions regarding the acts alleged by the petitioner. Modification and extension of prior stalking protection orders shall be in accordance with this chapter.
(2) The court may provide relief as follows:
(a) Restrain the respondent from having any contact, including nonphysical contact, with the petitioner directly, indirectly, or through third parties regardless of whether those third parties know of the order;
(b) Exclude the respondent from the petitioner's residence, workplace, or school, or from the day care, workplace, or school of the petitioner's minor children;
(c) Prohibit the respondent from knowingly coming within, or knowingly remaining within, a specified distance from a specified location;
(d) Prohibit the respondent from keeping the petitioner and/or the petitioner's minor children under surveillance, to include electronic surveillance;
(e) Order any other injunctive relief as necessary or appropriate for the protection of the petitioner, to include a mental health and/or chemical dependency evaluation; and
(f) Require the respondent to pay the administrative court costs and service fees, as established by the county or municipality incurring the expense and to reimburse the petitioner for costs incurred in bringing the action, including reasonable attorneys' fees.
(3) Unless otherwise stated in the order, when a person is petitioning on behalf of a minor child or vulnerable adult, the relief authorized in this section shall apply only for the protection of the victim, and not the petitioner.
(4) In cases where the petitioner and the respondent attend the same public or private elementary, middle, or high school, the court, when issuing a protection order and providing relief, shall consider, among the other facts of the case, the severity of the act, any continuing physical danger or emotional distress to the petitioner, and the expense difficulty, and educational disruption that would be caused by a transfer of the respondent to another school. The court may order that the person restrained in the order not attend the public or approved private elementary, middle, or high school attended by the person protected by the order. In the event the court orders a transfer of the restrained person to another school, the parents or legal guardians of the person restrained in the order are responsible for transportation and other costs associated with the change of school by the person restrained in the order. The court shall send notice of the restriction on attending the same school as the person protected by the order to the public or approved private school the person restrained by the order will attend and to the school the person protected by the order attends.
§ 7.92.130. Protection orders -- Duration
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section or RCW 7.92.160, a final stalking protection order shall be effective for a fixed period of time or be permanent.
(2) Any ex parte temporary or final stalking protection order may be renewed one or more times. The petitioner may apply for renewal of the order by filing a petition for renewal at any time within the three months before the order expires. If the motion for renewal is uncontested and the petitioner seeks no modification of the order, the order may be renewed on the basis of the petitioner's motion or affidavit stating that there has been no material change in relevant circumstances since entry of the order and stating the reason for the requested renewal. The court shall grant the petition for renewal unless the respondent proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the respondent will not resume acts of stalking conduct against the petitioner or the petitioner's children or family or household members when the order expires. The court may renew the stalking protection order for another fixed time period or may enter a permanent order as provided in this section. The court may award court costs, service fees, and reasonable attorneys' fees as provided in RCW 7.92.100.
(3) Any stalking protection order which would expire on a court holiday shall instead expire at the close of the next court business day.
(4) The practice of dismissing or suspending a criminal prosecution in exchange for the issuance of a stalking protection order undermines the purposes of this chapter. This section shall not be construed as encouraging that practice.
(5) If the court declines to issue an order for protection or declines to renew an order for protection, the court shall state in writing on the order the particular reasons for the court's denial.
§ 7.92.190. Modification or termination of protection orders
(1) Upon application with notice to all parties and after a hearing, the court may modify the terms of an existing stalking protection order.
(2) A respondent's motion to modify or terminate an existing stalking protection order must include a declaration setting forth facts supporting the requested order for termination or modification. The nonmoving parties to the proceeding may file opposing declarations. The court shall deny the motion unless it finds that adequate cause for hearing the motion is established by the declarations. If the court finds that the respondent established adequate cause, the court shall set a date for hearing the respondent's motion.
(3) The court may not terminate or modify an existing stalking protection order unless the respondent proves by a preponderance of the evidence that there has been a substantial change in circumstances such that the respondent will not resume acts of stalking conduct against the petitioner or those persons protected by the protection order if the order is terminated or modified. The petitioner bears no burden of proving that he or she has a current reasonable fear of harm by the respondent.
(4) A court may require the respondent to pay the petitioner for costs incurred in responding to a motion to terminate or modify a stalking protection order, including reasonable attorneys' fees.
(5) In any situation where an order is terminated or modified before its expiration date, the clerk of the court shall forward on or before the next judicial day a true copy of the modified order or the termination order to the appropriate law enforcement agency specified in the modified or termination order. Upon receipt of the order, the law enforcement agency shall promptly enter it in the computer-based criminal intelligence information system, or if the order is terminated, remove the order from the computer-based criminal intelligence information system.
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