How to Find out if a Restraining Order Is Still in Effect in Washington State

By Katharine Flug
Superior courts in Washington state handle all restraining orders.
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Restraining orders are typically put in place by a Superior Court in Washington to help facilitate family law action, such as a divorce. The order will require one parent to stay away from the children in question, as well as the spouse. Restraining orders are often confused with protection orders, which are used to protect people who are afraid of a family or household member, and with no-contact orders, which are used to keep a person who is being charged with a crime away from persons he or she has previously harassed. It is relatively simple to find out the current status of a restraining order in Washington state.

Restraining orders are nearly always temporary measures. If yours has been put in place because of a pending divorce, the order should be valid until the divorce has been finalized and the judge has either removed the order or made it permanent.

If you can’t find the document to check the duration, or you don’t understand what the court has issued, call the clerk’s office of the superior court where your restraining order was issued. Most counties in Washington state have their own superior courts but if your county does not, call your county court’s office and ask to be connected to the superior court with jurisdiction in your area.

Give the clerk your name, the name of the person who the order was filed against, and a case number if you have it. The clerk will check the computer system to see if the restraining order is still valid. They will tell you when it expires, or if the judge has set a specific date.

If you wish to extend the order, ask the clerk to mail or fax you the appropriate forms. You might also be able to download them from the court’s website. The clerk will also provide you with current fee information, if there is a fee to file for an extension in your specific case.

About the Author

Katharine Flug has been writing operations manuals for medical nonprofits since 2008. She served in the U.S. Peace Corps, where she wrote and helped publish educational materials on HIV/AIDS. Flug holds a Bachelor of Arts in gender studies and linguistics from Indiana University.