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Domestic Violence Order for Protection

What is a Domestic Violence Order for Protection?

A Domestic Violence Order for Protection is a civil court order that you (the Petitioner), request from the court to protect you from your abuser (the respondent).

A DV Protection Order can:

  • Order the respondent to stop committing violent acts.
  • Order the respondent to vacate your shared home and restore it to you.
  • Order the respondent not to come to your home, work or school.
  • Order the respondent to stop contacting you in person, by phone, by mail and/or by third parties.
  • Order the respondent not to contact or interfere with the custody of your children. (If children are in-common, custody usually is decided through a divorce or parenting plan.)

To qualify for a Domestic Violence Order for Protection

You must be related to the respondent (the person you are getting the order against) in one of the following ways:

  • Husband, wife or partner (present or past).
  • Father or mother of your children.
  • Adults related by blood or marriage.
  • Adults who live together now, or used to live together.
  • People 16 years and older who are, or were, dating.
  • Parents and adult children, including in-laws and stepfamilies.

This order does not apply to strangers, co-workers, neighbors, etc. You may petition for an anti-harassment order to prohibit contact under these circumstances.

Where can I get a Domestic Violence Order for Protection?

You do not have to make a police report in order to file for a Domestic Violence Order for Protection.

You may file for a Domestic Violence Protection Order at the following Pierce County locations:

The Family Justice Center (253) 798-4166 may be able to assist with transportation.

  • Lakewood Police Department

    9401 Lakewood Drive SW, Lakewood (253) 830-5000
  • County-City Building

    Room #108 at 930 Tacoma Avenue So. in downtown Tacoma (253) 798-7455
  • Crystal Judson Family Justice Center

    718 Court E., Tacoma (2 blocks from County-City Bldg) (253) 798-4310
  • Gig Harbor Municipal Court

    3510 Grandview Street, Gig Harbor (253) 851-7808
  • University Place Police Department

    3631 74th Ave. W, Suite #A., University Place (253) 798-4058
  • Bonney Lake City Hall

    19306 Bonney Lake Blvd (253) 862-6606
  • PCSD South Hill Detachment

    271 John Bananola Way East, Puyallup WA 98374, (253) 798-3278
  • City of Tacoma

    747 Market Street Room 836, Tacoma WA 98402
  • YWCA-Tacoma

    405 Broadway, Tacoma WA 98402, (253) 272-4181
  • City of Sumner

    1104 Maple Street, Sumner WA 98390

What information must I have before I petition for the order?

You must have the respondent's first and last name, and preferably a middle name or initial, date of birth and/or social security number. If the respondent is in the military a social security number is required if the order is to be served on-post. You also must provide an address for service. If the home address is not known a work address may be substituted but the order cannot be served without an address. If you do not have any address for the respondent you can still petition for an Order, but the Order is not in effect until a copy has been served to the respondent.

What happens after I file my petition?

Once submitted to the court, your petition will be reviewed by a judge or court commissioner who will either grant you a Temporary Order for Protection or deny your request. If you file electronically from Lakewood, be sure to keep in contact with the person who assisted you to find out whether or not your temporary protection order has been granted.

If the order is granted, you will receive two copies. One copy is for you to keep and the other is for service upon the respondent. The order is not in effect until the respondent is served with his/her copy.

If the respondent lives in Lakewood, you will be asked to take the respondent’s copy to the Lakewood Police Department at 5504 112th St. SW for service. If the respondent does not live in Lakewood, an advocate can assist you in forwarding a copy for service to the community in which the respondent lives or works.

How long will the Temporary Order for Protection last?

If granted, the Temporary Protection Order lasts two weeks. After that, you will be required to appear in court in downtown Tacoma before a judge who decides whether or not the court can grant a Protection Order that will remain in effect for a year or longer. Your court date will be on your Order for Protection.

Remember, a Protection Order is a piece of paper. If you abuser chooses to ignore it or is angered by it, you may be in danger. Take necessary precautions to protect yourself and call 911 immediately if your abuser violates the order in any way.