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File a Protection Order
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 onsFile a Protection OrderHeadline 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 Version OptionsFile a Protection OrderHeadline 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.
- Anti-Harassment & Stalking Orders
- Domestic Violence Protection Order
- Extreme Risk Protection Order
- Sexual Assault Protection Order
- 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.
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, 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 Version OptionsFile a Protection OrderHeadline for a list of fees.
Know when your protection order is served:
Washington Protective Order Service Brochure (PDF)
"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.
Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO) - Must be filed with Pierce County Superior Court
Filing fee: None
RCW 26.50: Domestic Violence Protection Orders protect a person from an intimate partner, family member or household member who has committed domestic violence, non-consensual sexual conduct or penetration, unlawful harassment, or stalking.
Domestic Violence means:
(a) Physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of physical harm, bodily injury, or assault; nonconsensual sexual conduct or nonconsensual sexual penetration; coercive control; unlawful harassment; or stalking of one intimate partner by another intimate partner; or
(b) Physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of physical harm, bodily injury, or assault; nonconsensual sexual conduct or nonconsensual sexual penetration; coercive control; unlawful harassment; or stalking of one family or household member by another family or household member.
Intimate Partner includes:
- Current or former spouse or domestic partner
- Parents of a child-in-common (regardless of if parents have been married or have lived together at any time)
- Current or former dating relationship (where both persons are at least 13 years of age or older)
Family or Household Member includes:
- Persons related by blood, marriage (includes step-parents/children), domestic partnership, or adoption.
- Persons who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship
- Parent's Intimate Partner & Child
- Grandparent & Grandchild
- Current or former roommates
- Person who is or has been a legal guardian
Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) - Must be filed at Pierce County Superior Court
Filing fee: None
RCW 7.94: An Extreme Risk Protection Order can be filed by a law enforcement agency, a law enforcement officer or a person who is a family or household member of the respondent.
The order is filed against a person who poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to self or others in the near future by having firearms. Factors that demonstrate such a risk can include threatening or violent behavior, threats, or self-harm, and abuse of drugs or alcohol. The order directs a person to surrender their firearms. It would be illegal to access, receive, purchase, possess or have control of firearms. It also restrains the person from obtaining a concealed pistol license and orders surrender of the license if they already have one.
Sexual Assault Protection Order (SAPO) - Must be filed at Pierce County Superior Court
Filing fee: None
RCW 7.90.010(4); RCW 7.90.010(5) A Sexual Assault Protection Order is used to protect from someone who has committed sexual assault.
"Sexual conduct" means any of the following:
(a) Any intentional or knowing touching or fondling of the genitals, anus, or breasts, directly or indirectly, including through clothing;
(b) Any intentional or knowing display of the genitals, anus, or breasts for the purposes of arousal or sexual gratification of the respondent;
(c) Any intentional or knowing touching or fondling of the genitals, anus, or breasts, directly or indirectly, including through clothing, that the petitioner is forced to perform by another person or the respondent;
(d) Any forced display of the petitioner's genitals, anus, or breasts for the purposes of arousal or sexual gratification of the respondent or others;
(e) Any intentional or knowing touching of the clothed or unclothed body of a child under the age of 16, if done for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal of the respondent or others; or Any coerced or forced touching or fondling by a child under the age of 16, directly or indirectly, including through clothing, of the genitals, anus, or breasts of the respondent or others.
"Sexual penetration" means:
(a) Any contact, however slight, between the sex organ or anus of one person by an object, the sex organ, mouth, or anus of another person, or any intrusion, however slight, of any part of the body of one person or of any animal or object into the sex organ or anus of another person including, but not limited to, cunnilingus, fellatio, or anal penetration. Evidence of emission of semen is not required to prove sexual penetration.
Who May File:
- Anyone who does not qualify for a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO) under RCW 26.50 and who is a victim of nonconsensual sexual conduct/penetration
- Anyone on behalf of a minor child, a vulnerable adult, or any other adult who because of age, disability, health or inaccessibility cannot file the petition themselves
Vulnerable Adult Protection Order (VAPO) - Must be filed at Pierce County Superior Court
Filing fee: None
RCW 74.34 A Vulnerable Adult Protection Order is used to protect from someone who has or has threatened to abandon, abuse, financially exploit, or neglect a vulnerable adult.
"Vulnerable Adult" includes a person:
(a) Sixty years of age or older who has the functional, mental, or physical inability to care for himself or herself; or
(b) Subject to a guardianship under RCW 11.130.265 or adult subject to conservatorship under RCW 11.130.360; or
(c) Who has a developmental disability as defined under RCW 71A.10.020; or
(d) Admitted to any facility; or
(e) Receiving services from home health, hospice, or home care agencies licensed or required to be licensed under chapter 70.127 RCW; or
(f) Receiving services from a person under contract with the department of social and health services to provide services in the home under chapter 74.09 or 74.39A RCW; or
(g) Who self-directs his or her own care and receives services from a personal aide under chapter 74.39 RCW. "Abuse," for the purposes of a vulnerable adult protection order, means intentional, willful, or reckless action or inaction that inflicts injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or punishment on a vulnerable adult. In instances of abuse of a vulnerable adult who is unable to express or demonstrate physical harm, pain, or mental anguish, the abuse is presumed to cause physical harm, pain, or mental anguish.
"Abuse" includes sexual abuse, mental abuse, physical abuse, personal exploitation, and improper use of restraint against a vulnerable adult, which have the following meanings:
(a) "Improper use of restraint" means the inappropriate use of chemical, physical, or mechanical restraints for convenience or discipline, or in a manner that:
- (i) Is inconsistent with federal or state licensing or certification requirements for facilities, hospitals, or programs authorized under chapter 71A.12 RCW;
- (ii) Is not medically authorized; or
- (iii) Otherwise constitutes abuse under this section.
(b) "Mental abuse" means an intentional, willful, or reckless verbal or nonverbal action that threatens, humiliates, harasses, coerces, intimidates, isolates, unreasonably confines, or punishes a vulnerable adult. "Mental abuse" may include ridiculing, yelling, swearing, or withholding or tampering with prescribed medications or their dosage.
(c) "Personal exploitation" means an act of forcing, compelling, or exerting undue influence over a vulnerable adult causing the vulnerable adult to act in a way that is inconsistent with relevant past behavior, or causing the vulnerable adult to perform services for the benefit of another.
(d) "Physical abuse" means the intentional, willful, or reckless action of inflicting bodily injury or physical mistreatment. "Physical abuse" includes, but is not limited to, striking with or without an object, slapping, pinching, strangulation, suffocation, kicking, shoving, or prodding.
(e) "Sexual abuse" means any form of nonconsensual sexual conduct including, but not limited to, unwanted or inappropriate touching, rape, molestation, indecent liberties, sexual coercion, sexually explicit photographing or recording, voyeurism, indecent exposure, and sexual harassment. "Sexual abuse" also includes any sexual conduct between a staff person, who is not also a resident or client, of a facility or a staff person of a program authorized under chapter 71A.12 RCW, and a vulnerable adult living in that facility or receiving service from a program authorized under chapter 71A.12 RCW, whether or not the sexual conduct is consensual.
"Financial Exploitation" means the illegal or improper use of, control over, or withholding of, the property, income, resources, or trust funds of the vulnerable adult by any person or entity for any person or entity's profit or advantage other than for the vulnerable adult's profit or advantage. "Financial exploitation" includes, but is not limited to:
(a) The use of deception, intimidation, or undue influence by a person or entity in a position of trust and confidence with a vulnerable adult to obtain or use the property, income, resources, government benefits, health insurance benefits, or trust funds of the vulnerable adult for the benefit of a person or entity other than the vulnerable adult;
(b) The breach of a fiduciary duty, including, but not limited to, the misuse of a power of attorney, trust, or a guardianship or conservatorship appointment, that results in the unauthorized appropriation, sale, or transfer of the property, income, resources, or trust funds of the vulnerable adult for the benefit of a person or entity other than the vulnerable adult; or
(c) Obtaining or using a vulnerable adult's property, income, resources, or trust funds without lawful authority, by a person or entity who knows or clearly should know that the vulnerable adult lacks the capacity to consent to the release or use of the vulnerable adult's property, income, resources, or trust funds.
(a) A pattern of conduct or inaction by a person or entity with a duty of care that fails to provide the goods and services that maintain the physical or mental health of a vulnerable adult, or that fails to avoid or prevent physical or mental harm or pain to a vulnerable adult; or
(b) An act or omission by a person or entity with a duty of care that demonstrates a serious disregard of consequences of such a magnitude as to constitute a clear and present danger to the vulnerable adult's health, welfare, or safety including, but not limited to, conduct prohibited under RCW 9A.42.100.
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.
Pro Tem Judge
|Pro Tem Judge|
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.