The Cities of Lakewood and University Place are committed to making every home a safe home. The City strives for the elimination of domestic violence by recognizing the seriousness of the issue; by demanding batterer accountability through aggressive prosecution and diligent police work. The City believes these goals are attainable and will serve to make Lakewood and University Place a safer community for all its members.
The City of Lakewood gives priority to domestic violence crimes by fast-tracking charging decisions and issuing No Contact Orders at arraignment to separate the parties to prevent further abuse. Legal Department staff attempt to make contact with victims as soon as possible after an incident. Lakewood prosecutors work closely with the Lakewood and Police Department and the Special Assault Unit to ensure thorough investigation and successful prosecution of domestic violence crimes.
Domestic Violence Crimes
Most domestic violence crimes prosecuted by the City of Lakewood are gross misdemeanors, which are punishable up to a maximum of 365 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. In addition to any jail time and fines that may be imposed, the defendant may be required to get some form of treatment (alcohol/drug, mental health, etc.)
No Contact Order
If criminal charges result from a domestic violence incident, the Court will usually impose a No Contact Order at arraignment which prohibits the defendant from having any contact with the victim. This is done to protect the safety of the victim. A No Contact Order may be imposed even if the victim does not want one and can remain in effect for up to two years.
Lifting/Quashing a No Contact Order
The process of lifting a No Contact Order begins with the victim meeting with staff from the Legal Department and the YWCA to complete paperwork requesting that the No Contact Order be lifted. Once the paperwork is completed, the victim takes it to Lakewood or University Place Municipal Court, and receives a court date to come back to go before the judge to ask that the order be lifted. At the hearing, the victim addresses the judge to explain why he/she wants the Order lifted. These hearings are only on Tuesdays at 11:00am.
The City routinely objects to the No Contact Order being lifted while the case is open, or if the defendant is not in compliance with the court’s orders. The decision to remove the No Contact Order is ultimately the judge’s decision, but it is the Court’s practice to not remove the No Contact Order until the defendant has completed a batterer’s evaluation and is in compliance with treatment.