Anti-Harassment Protection Orders

Seattle Lawyers Skilled in Matters Involving Civil Injunctions

There are many different types of civil protection orders that may be used to prevent behaviors that are found to be harmful. Generally, protection orders are put in place to stop two people from having physical or verbal contact. Sometimes they also require an alleged perpetrator to stay a specified distance away from the victim or the victim's home, workplace, or school. An anti-harassment protection order may be obtained in Washington when one person claims that another person has harassed them, but the two do not have a relationship that would qualify for a domestic violence protection order. The Seattle civil protection order attorneys at Blair & Kim can help you pursue or defend against this order as the situation requires.

Understanding Anti-Harassment Protection Orders

An anti-harassment order is a civil order that a person may obtain if they can show harassment. This type of order is typically filed in disputes that do not involve a family member or loved one. When there is a familial or dating relationship at issue, it is usually better to obtain a domestic violence protection order.

Harassment is any set of actions or "course of conduct" that serves no legal or valid purpose and significantly alarms, annoys, or harasses somebody else. The actions must be of the sort that would cause a reasonable person to feel substantial emotional distress. They should involve a series of acts, rather than a single harassing phone call or episode, and they should take place over a period of time, even if it is only a short period of time.

To determine whether there is harassment, the court will look at whether both parties are contacting each other or whether the communication or contact is one-sided, and it will also look at whether the alleged perpetrator has been clearly told that no further contact is desired. The court will also look at whether the conduct creates an intimidating or hostile environment, or whether it interferes with your privacy. The two people involved in an effort to obtain an anti-harassment protection order usually are not married, do not have kids together, and have not lived together in a household.

A temporary order lasts for up to 14 days. However, the order may last for one year, or it may even be permanent. When an anti-harassment order is knowingly violated, the person who violated it may face gross misdemeanor charges. There is a possibility of arrest, criminal charges, or contempt.

To obtain an order, the victim needs to file a petition in which they allege harassment. The petition is supposed to be accompanied by a sworn affidavit that specifies what happened that provides a basis for the petition. A victim is allowed to petition whether or not there is any other action occurring between the parties. For example, you may file this petition even if you have not reported alarming behavior to the police and even if a prosecutor has declined to prosecute the behavior that you believe is harassing. When a child is being harassed, their parent may petition for a protection order to restrain an adult from contacting the child. They would need to show that the contact could hurt the child's welfare. However, if the alleged perpetrator is also under age 18, they must have been adjudicated of an offense against the child protected by the order or be under investigation for an offense. The court is supposed to consider how severe the harassing behavior is, whether there is still a cause for emotional distress or physical danger, and the expense or difficulty of transferring the alleged perpetrator to another school.

Contact an Experienced Protection Order Lawyer in the Seattle Area

Whether you are petitioning for or battling against an anti-harassment protection order in Washington, you should retain a skillful attorney who is able to fully understand the consequences of this order. Our firm has both a criminal defense lawyer and a family law attorney, so we can evaluate all of the aspects of your situation and strategize about how to pursue a favorable outcome. We also represent people who need a domestic violence lawyer throughout Kings County, including in Redmond, Kirkland, and Bellevue. Call us at (206) 622-6562 or contact us via our online form to set up an appointment.