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

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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. You can find the current status of a restraining order in Washington state by calling the court clerk. The clerk can also give you guidance on the terms of the order, such as whether it includes provision for child support and temporary custody. Restraining orders are powerful legal documents. If the order is violated, the violator may be arrested.

About Washington State Restraining Orders

Restraining orders are nearly always temporary measures. If yours has been put in place because of a pending divorce, for example, the court will usually set up a temporary order for 14 days, which gives the court time to schedule a hearing. The judge will then decide whether to extend the order for a fixed period. The restraining order becomes permanent if it is incorporated into the final decree. Otherwise, the judge will remove it.

Ask the Court Clerk

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.

Extending a Restraining Order

If you wish to extend a protection 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. Washington State restraining orders can be complicated, so you may wish to hire an attorney to explain your rights.


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.

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