May 2015 Bar Bulletin
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May 2015 Bar Bulletin

Helping Victims of Domestic Violence Obtain Protection Orders

By William D. Braun


Last of Three Parts

(The second part of this series in last month's Bar Bulletin discussed the hearing process in a "typical" domestic violence case. This month's article discusses additional proceedings, the content of orders, the post-hearing process and other issues.)

Temporary Protection Orders Used in Place of Full Protection Orders

When the court grants a continuance or does not rule on a petition for a protection order at the full hearing, it signs an order "reissuing" the temporary protection order until the next scheduled court date. Sometimes, the court reissues a temporary protection order for an extended period of time.

Temporary protection orders issued for an extended period, however, are an inadequate substitute for full protection orders. First, the federal and state laws prohibiting a respondent from possessing a firearm only apply if the court issues a full order of protection (containing the necessary findings). A temporary protection order does not trigger the firearm prohibition.

Second, the DVPA does not allow temporary protection orders to exceed 14 days.1 To the extent a temporary protection order purports to last longer than 14 days, it arguably provides no protection to the victim beyond day 14.

Third, the authority granted the court in issuing full orders of protection under RCW 26.50.060 is more comprehensive than the authority granted the court in issuing ex parte temporary orders of protection under RCW 26.50.070.

Duration of Protection Orders

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