Domestic Violence Protection Orders | Fighting or Defending | An Attorney’s Prospective

Domestic Violence Protection Orders | Fighting or Defending | An Attorney’s Prospective


As a Aeattle-based attorney whose litigated a wide variety of domestic violence protection orders throughout the Puget Sound region, both prosecuting and defending them I’ve come to some
generalities about them that are worth sharing and that are of interest I think to anybody
that’s involved in this kinda litigation domestic violence protection orders are civil domestic
violence protection orders are part of the domestic violence
prevention act and I I believe that the origins of the
concept have to do with that there is behavior in relationships be it intimate or be it familial or just be it I’ll living in a as a
household that are unacceptable but for whatever
reason don’t rise to the level of criminal prosecution so I like to think about a gray area
behavior or civility ends that and but the behavior must stop but
it doesn’t rise to criminal and the way the domestic violence
prevention act or domestic violence protection orders defines that gray area is that its behavior that’s either
intending to inflict the fear of or actually is physical harm to somebody else bodily
harm assault or sexual assault. Domestic
violence protection orders also include behavior that’s call stocking, what is the legal
definition of stalking it’s a little different I think than what a lot of
people think. It’s when you harass or repeatedly follow
another person and you cause that person the fear that that the stalker intense to cause them harm or cause someone else harm or intense to harm their property or cause harm to
somebody else’s property and that fear is one that a reasonable
person would have under the same set of circumstances that the filing party is in and the stalking
party must intend or should know that they are causing the other person to
feel afraid, intimidated or harassed and I like the should know because some people just
simply aren’t aware that, or claim they’re not aware that their behavior is causing someone
else to be afraid intimidated harassed and that’s absurd in some cases and
it’s amazing what people how people don’t perceive themselves honestly. Domestic violence protection orders are pretty easy to
file, there’s a standard set of forms
throughout the state Washington and as a policy we file always in the
Superior Court where the, the filing party either presently
resides or used to reside if they’re fleeing a situation of
domestic violence and what that allows us to do is to hide the present address of where the person lives, if that’s
necessary. What will happen when you file one
these petitions is that you have a hearing that day or the next day and the judge
will look at your petition and make a decision of
whether to issue one of three things a temporary
protection order because the judge thinks, you know what this behavior is so scary
and so aminate that we need to stop it right away I want to put an order in that says, stop
right away and I’m going to set hearing in 14 days were both parties can argue about
it. I’m going to set a hearing in 14 days
for both parties to argue about it because I don’t feel like
there’s an immediate threat or the judge will deny the order and say
that doesn’t rise to level the domestic violence. If you have whether you have a temporary
order it were as if you get an order, that order
needs to be served on the other party to become effective and so is a policy we
always use police officers to serve on the other party and so that party will get noticed of
that hearing date that was set 14 days later. Sometimes that notice is at the last
minute, they could serve two days before the hearing and you do recognize that these are
still a civil hearings and people have a
right to properly prepare or defend their case
and so if something like this happens last-minute
generally speaking, we have always had success asking the court for a bit more time to allow us to
prepare the case. If your going file a domestic violence
protection order and it’s a legitimate issue, as a
policy we always require our clients to contact
a victims advocacy group and form a safety plan. New Beginnings is
one that comes to mind that’s but there are many women help groups throughout the Puget Sound region and
the Northwest region, that assist women who are involved in a
relationship where there is pattern of control and
dominance that is driven with physical bodily
assaultive sexually assaultive economically
assaultive behavior that they’re trying to get out. I have gone to some these meetings, run
by Dawn and New Beginnings and I what I am most impressed about is how
comprehensive these safety plans are. Until you call one of these agencies you don’t know. There is a way out the situations but it requires some forethought when
you’re dealing with somebody who’s potentially scary or is scary. In terms of these being falsely filed or the allegations being false, commonly we most see them in
relationships that are coming apart because the remedies that domestic violence
protection orders give to a judge or a commissioner are very
broad and include such things as, control of a
car, control of the house, primary care or, parenting of children. So domestic violence treatment programs
they can order it, they can order on the list goes on you
should look at our website or look at the references the
code sections and outlines what the potential remedies are but what we
see people doing is filing these protection orders to
establish to get primary control of the house or
residence, get primary control of children get primary control of pet, get primary
control of vehicle. When they really weren’t afraid in the way that the domestic violence protection
order defines fear but they want their control or they want dominance in
a divorce action or they want to set precedent that their
victim and play that role. These are difficult cases to
litigate but certainly winnable, it all boils
down to facts, paying attention to detail and talking
with your lawyer extensively and collecting as much
evidence as possible to prove that the accusations are
either exaggerated or non-existent or are part of a behavior that’s been
ongoing. If you’re involved in a domestic violence protection order, I highly recommend
reading the revised code of Washington the RCWs, RCW 26.50 and all the sub-chapter of that.
It’s quite interesting read and its will lay out how these cases are handled and at least to
give you the fundamental rules that you need to abide by in one of
these matters.

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