File a Protection Order

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WHAT IS A PROTECTION ORDER?

A protection order is issued to protect a person from another person whose behavior is considered abusive, threatening, intimidating, harassing, causes emotional distress or fear, causes physical harm, or other harmful behaviors.

Click File a Protection Order to fill out the Petition for a Protection Order for Anti-Harassment or Stalking and Law Enforcement and Confidential Information Form.  Anti-Harassment and Stalking Protection Orders may be filed at the District Court.  All other protection orders should be filed with Superior Court.

Click here to request a fee waiver by filling out the Financial Declaration, Motion, and Order to Waive Fees form. 

Click here to access the Community Resource List.

Click here to access other court forms.

  1. Anti-Harassment & Stalking Orders
  2. Domestic Violence Protection Order
  3. Extreme Risk Protection Order
  4. Sexual Assault Protection Order
  5. Vulnerable Adult Protection Order

Anti-Harassment Order (AHPO) & Stalking Protection Order (STK) - File in District Court

Filing fee: Yes, please see the fee schedule for anti-harassment protection orders.  Stalking protection orders do not have a fee.

Helpful Instructions:

After you submit the Protection Order petition to District Court for Anti-Harassment or Stalking, you will need to contact us as soon as possible online through Live Chat, by phone at (253) 798-7487, or in person at the counter on the 2nd floor of the County-City Building (Room 239) which is located at 930 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma WA 98402.  Your protection order petition will not be processed until you speak with someone from the court and pay the filing fee.

Your protection order petition will be ready for judicial review once a District Court clerk has confirmed your case and all fees have been paid.  Petitions submitted and confirmed by the court before 11:00 AM will be scheduled for review and may be heard in court the same day.  Whereas petitions submitted and confirmed after 11:00 AM will be processed the following business day. 

In order to have the other party (respondent) served, you will need to know the person's full name and address and any provide any other identifying information about the person such as date of birth, phone number, and email address.

Anti-harassment filing fees will not be refunded if the petition is not granted by the judge. The filing and certified copy fees must be paid by cash or credit card (personal checks are not accepted). In some circumstances the District Court will waive the filing fee and costs.  If you want the court to consider a waiver of fees, you must give the court detailed information about your income and expenses to justify the waiver.  A fee waiver is not automatically granted by the judicial officer.  Click here for a list of fees.

Know when your protection order is served:

1-877-242-4055
www.registervpo.com
www.vinelink.com
Washington Protective Order Service Brochure (PDF)

Definitions:

"Unlawful Harassment" means: 

(a) A knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person that seriously alarms, annoys, harasses, or is detrimental to such person, and that serves no legitimate or lawful purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and must actually cause substantial emotional distress to the petitioner; or 

(b) A single act of violence or threat of violence directed at a specific person that seriously alarms, annoys, harasses, or is detrimental to such person, and that serves no legitimate or lawful purpose, which would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and must actually cause substantial emotional distress to the petitioner. A single threat of violence must include: 

  • (i) A malicious and intentional threat as described in RCW 9A.36.080(1)(c); or 
  • (ii) the presence of a firearm or other weapon. 

"Stalking" means any of the following: 

(a) Any act of stalking as defined under RCW 9A.46.110; 

(b) Any act of cyberstalking as defined under RCW 9.61.260; or 

(c) Any course of conduct involving repeated or continuing contacts, attempts to contact, monitoring, tracking, surveillance, keeping under observation, disrupting activities in a harassing manner, or following of another person that: 

  • (i) Would cause a reasonable person to feel intimidated, frightened, under duress, significantly disrupted, or threatened and that actually causes such a feeling; 
  • (ii) Serves no lawful purpose; and 
  • (iii) The respondent knows, or reasonably should know, threatens, frightens, or intimidates the person, even if the respondent did not intend to intimidate, frighten, or threaten the person. 

Protection Order Petition Transfer Process

RCW 7.105.060:  If a Protection Order is filed with District Court and one or more of the following conditions listed below applies, the case, transfer order (including the circumstances and findings supporting the transfer), and all other submitted files will be transferred to the Pierce County Superior Court via printed copies, CD/DVD, thumb drive, or by other electronic means.  The petitioner will be contacted and given information regarding the transfer which will need to be filed in the Superior Court Clerk's office located on the first floor.

  • The respondent (restrained person or person responding to the petition) is under the age of 18
  • The petition would affect the use or enjoyment of real property (shared home, buildings, and/or land) or would exclude a party from a shared dwelling (place of residence)
  • The petitioner and respondent either have or have had other cases directly involving each other in Superior Court
  • The order would interfere with the care, control, or custody of the respondent's minor child
  • The Court is unable to verify whether there is a potentially conflicting matter or related orders involving both the petitioner and respondent (RCW 7.105.105; RCW 7.105.555)

District Court Protection Order Courtroom Schedule

Protection Order petitions are reviewed by a Judge each morning.  Temporary order hearings are held at 1:00 PM and final order hearings are held at 1:30 PM virtually through Zoom.

All submitted petitions that are marked complete by the clerk before 11:00 AM will be reviewed and heard in virtual court the same day.  If the submitted petition is completed after 11:00 AM, it will be reviewed and heard the following business day.  

The following list shows the days and times of the courtrooms who hear Protection Order (Anti-harassment & Stalking) cases.

DAY
COURT ROOM
JUDGE
Monday839
935
Pro Tem Judge
Judge Buttorff
Tuesday936Judge McCann
Wednesday839
604
Pro Tem Judge
Judge Williams
Thursday541Judge Padula
Friday542Judge Christopher


 Court Accommodations & Accessibility

If you need a language interpreter or disability accommodation to access the court or any court document, please contact District Court Customer Services online through Live Chat or call (253) 798-7487.