Legal mechanisms designed to protect individuals from harassment and abuse are vital tools in ensuring the safety and well-being of individuals in society. Washington State has codified those in RCW 7.105. In Pierce County, Washington, there are three types of orders that are commonly used for this purpose: No Contact Orders, Protection Orders, and Antiharassment Orders. While these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, it’s important to understand the key differences between them to navigate the legal system effectively and seek appropriate relief.
No Contact Order: A No Contact Order is a court order that prohibits contact between parties involved in a criminal case, typically in cases involving domestic violence, assault, or harassment. It is usually issued as a condition of release for the defendant, who is accused of committing a crime against the victim. A No Contact Order can be temporary, lasting until the resolution of the criminal case, or it can be a long-term order issued as part of the defendant’s sentence if they are found guilty. The purpose of a No Contact Order is to protect the victim from further harm or harassment by preventing the defendant from contacting or approaching the victim, their residence, place of employment, or other locations specified in the order. Violating a No Contact Order can result in criminal charges and penalties.
Protection Order: A Protection Order, also known as a Domestic Violence Protection Order, is a civil court order issued to protect individuals who are or have been in a close relationship with the abuser, such as a spouse, domestic partner, former spouse, dating partner, or family member. Protection Orders are designed to provide legal protection from domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or other forms of abuse. They can be obtained by filing a petition with the court, and if granted, they can include provisions such as no contact, stay-away orders, custody and visitation arrangements, and other relief tailored to the specific circumstances of the case. Protection Orders can be temporary, lasting for up to 14 days, or they can be long-term orders that can last for several years. Violating a Protection Order can result in civil and criminal consequences.
Antiharassment Order: An Antiharassment Order is a civil court order that is designed to protect individuals from harassment, stalking, or unlawful intimidation. It can be obtained by filing a petition with the court, and if granted, it prohibits the harasser from contacting or approaching the victim, their residence, place of employment, or other locations specified in the order. Antiharassment Orders are typically used in cases where there is no close relationship between the parties, such as neighbors, co-workers, acquaintances, or strangers. Antiharassment Orders can be temporary or long-term, and they can also include provisions for other forms of relief, such as prohibiting the harasser from possessing firearms or attending certain events. Violating an Antiharassment Order can result in civil and criminal consequences.
Key Differences: The key differences between these three types of orders in Pierce County, Washington are the nature of the relationship between the parties involved and the legal procedures for obtaining them. No Contact Orders are typically issued in criminal cases and are temporary or part of a criminal sentence, whereas Protection Orders and Antiharassment Orders are civil orders that are obtained through petitioning the court. Protection Orders are specifically for individuals who are or have been in a close relationship with the abuser, while Antiharassment Orders are for cases where there is no close relationship between the parties. The requirements for obtaining each type of order may vary, and it’s essential to understand the specific legal procedures and criteria for each type of order in Pierce County, Washington.
If you want to know more, give us a call at Whalley Law 253-565-3209. Our attorneys are standing by to help you.