How do I get a domestic violence protection order in King County?
The first step in obtaining a protection order is identifying the court where you would like to file. If you are a current resident of King County or recently fled to King County because of domestic violence then you can file in King County. Filing for a protection order can be a confusing process but there are Protection Order Advocates available at the following locations to assist you in the process.
You may also obtain a protection order at any Superior or District Court and some Municipal Courts. Please note that advocates are only available to assist you at the courts listed above. If you are filing in a court that does not have advocates, please go to the Clerk’s Office and the Clerk will give you the forms you need to file your order.
Please click here for a list of courts in King County.
The Protection Order process is at minimum, a two step process.
At the courthouse you will complete several forms, see a Judge or Commissioner to request that the court issue a temporary protection order (which will last for 14 days). 14 days later, there will be a hearing (called the “full order hearing”) where you can come back to court to request that the order last longer. The respondent will also be directed to appear but is not required to attend. At the full order hearing, the court will take testimony from both of you before deciding whether to grant a protection order that may last for up to one year or longer. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not show up for your full order hearing, your temporary order will automatically expire by midnight that same day.
If you file for your temporary order in a municipal or district court and you have one or more of the following circumstances (described below) then the district or municipal court will transfer your case to Superior Court for the full order hearing:
- You and the respondent have minor children in common
- You and the respondent have a family law case such as a divorce, legal separation or parentage action pending or finalized in Superior Court
- You are requesting that the respondent be removed from the home you share