Similar to most other legal matters, obtaining a protection order is complex and in some situations getting the necessary protection is critical. When the wrong type of protection order is sought, or when the proper procedure is not followed, an individuals may not get the protect they need. As always, seeking the advise and counsel of an attorney is always recommended.
In Washington State, there are two broad types of protection orders; criminal and civil. Under the civil category, there are six different types of protection orders, including; Anti-harassment, Domestic Violence, Extreme Risk, Sexual Assault, Stalking, and Vulnerable Adult.
Each type of protection order has a set of criteria, set forth by statute, that is required. For example, a person can ask the court for a domestic violence protection order only against someone who is a family member or household member. Knowing what protection order to seek is very important in getting the relief that is desired.
A petition for a protection order must also be filed in the correct court. Typically, and in King County, an anti-harassment and stalking protection orders are filed in District Court, while all others are filed in Superior Court, with some exceptions. One exception is when the case involves property or child custody issues. In those situations, the case probably should be filed in Superior Court.