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A Restraining Order Usually Requires One Person to Stay Away from the Person and Property of Another Person.
The term “restraining order” covers a number of different kinds of orders addressing a number of issues and grounded in different sources of law. However, the two most common restraining orders in Washington are anti-harassment protection orders and domestic violence protection orders.
Both orders are similar, although they are creatures of different statutes. They restrain one person from coming within a specified distance of another person and perhaps that person’s minor children. They may also restrain the person from coming within a specified distance of the other person’s home, school, or place of work.
To obtain an anti-harassment or domestic violence protection order, the petitioner usually gets a temporary order from the ex parte court commissioner. The temporary order usually is good for two-weeks. The temporary order, notice of hearing, and supporting documents are then served on the respondent.
At the hearing, the court will either make the temporary order permanent, usually for a year, or let it lapse. Temporary restraining orders are virtually automatic. Permanent orders are less than automatic, but the standard of proof is rather low and courts routinely convert temporary orders into permanent orders.
Once a court has issued a permanent restraining order, it is easily renewed. In fact, the burden of proof is on the restrained person. The restrained person must show that the order should not be renewed, rather than the other way around.