What do I do now that I have a protection order?
After the Judge or a Commissioner signs your protection order, check to make sure that there are no errors.
Ask the court staff or a Protection Order Advocate for help if the correct boxes have not been checked, if anything is unclear, or if the order has not been signed. Once the order has been checked for accuracy you will need to file it with the Clerk’s Office. The Clerk’s Office can make free, certified copies of the order for you. You can request as many copies as you need. The Clerk will also forward a copy of your full order to law enforcement for service on the respondent if he or she did not appear at the hearing.
Check to make sure that there are no errors. If the correct boxes have not been checked, if anything is unclear, or if the order has not been signed, ask the court staff or a Protection Order Advocate for help.
Your Temporary Order for Protection and Order for Protection are valid as soon as they are signed by a judge or commissioner. However, the abuser cannot be arrested or prosecuted for violating the order until he or she has been served. If you requested that a police officer serve your order you can call the law enforcement agency responsible for service to see if the respondent has been served. Once the order has been served be sure to call the police to report any violations of the order.
The abuser can only be arrested for violating the protection order after he or she has been served with the order and knows that it is in effect
After the abuser has been served, call the police to report any violations of the order. Depending on the circumstances, the police may be able to arrest the abuser right away or forward a report to the prosecutor’s office recommending that charges be filed. If you are not sure if the abuser has been served with the protection order you can call the police department responsible for service.
Register your protection order with WA Protective Order Service, a free, automated service that lets you track the status of a protective order over the phone or internet. You can be register to be notified when the order has been served. 1-877-242-4055 www.registervpo.com
Have a copy of your Protection Order handy at all times
Keep a copy of the protection order with you at all times in case you need to call the police to report a violation.
Who else should have a copy of your Protection Order?
It is a good idea to give copies of your protection order to anyone who may need to enforce the restrictions on the order and who may need to call the police (911) if the respondent were to violate the order. Consider giving copies to your employer and your children’s school or daycare provider. Always carry a copy of the protection order yourself, and consider keeping extra copies at home and in your car. You can request as many free certified copies of the protection order as you need when you file the order with the court. You can also come back to the courthouse to get extra copies if you need them in the future.
Is my Protection Order valid outside of the state that it was issued?
Protection orders are valid in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Tribal lands and US territories. Keep a certified copy with you if you travel out of state.