Filing for the order
Plan to spend 2-3 hours when you go to court to file for your protection order. If you have children, try to arrange childcare so that you will have the time and emotional energy you need to complete the paperwork and so your children will not hear you describe the abuse. Even if children have already witnessed abuse or experienced it themselves, it is not a good idea for them to be present when you are talking about it at the courthouse. If you cannot arrange childcare then you may want to bring someone with you to care for your children while you complete your paperwork and are in the courtroom.
Some petitioners like to begin working on the protection order forms before they come to the courthouse to file for the order. Please (click here for forms) If you would like to download or review the forms you will need to file for an order. Please (click here for instructions) if you would like to review instructions on how to complete the forms.
After the court enters your temporary order, you will need to file and get copies of the order from the Clerk’s Office. Once there, the Clerk’s office staff may give you an extra copy of your order and the petition that is to be served upon the respondent called a “911 service packet”. 911 service packets are usually given out when the petitioner does not know the address of the respondent or is arranging to have someone other than the police serve the order on the respondent. Keep the 911 packet with you at all times. If the abuser comes to your home or anywhere else you are, call the police right away. Tell the police what is happening and that you have a protection order with a 911 packet to be served. Some police agencies will dispatch a patrol officer to serve the order on the respondent but others will not. If your local police department will not serve a “911 service packet” or you fear that respondent will be gone by the time the police will arrive, then you can also have anyone over the age of 18 (other than the petitioner) give the “911 service packet” to the respondent.
The only courthouse that offers childcare is the Maleng Regional Justice Center. This childcare is pay-as-you-are-able. Please call the Maleng Regional Justice Center Drop-in Childcare Center at 253-854-5625 in advance to make childcare arrangements. The childcare center hours are: 8:15 – noon and 1:15 to 4:15. They serve children between the ages of twelve months and twelve years. People who are doing court business in the courthouse are eligible to use this service. Please be sure to bring photo ID when you drop off and register your child.