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We Help Good People in Bad Situations
Whether you are a victim or wrongly accused, our legal team will fight for your peace of mind. Don’t go to court alone – ensure the system finally hears your story.
Everyone deserves to feel safe and secure in their daily lives. The Hemmat Law Group represents clients with matters of harassment, domestic violence, stalking, cyber bullying, and abuse. Whether a case involves a spouse, an estranged partner, family, roommates, exes, teachers, former students, classmates, or strangers, our team can help.
Why Choose Us?
A Trusted Team
Our office assists both Petitioners and Respondents. We strongly recommend seeking legal counsel to apprise you of your options when being served with or preparing to seek a protective order.
Facing an abusive and deranged individual is a scary prospect. Often, victims don’t know who they can turn to – and many who try alone are often let down by the very systems that promised to protect them. Understandably, many victims become deeply cynical and resign themselves or their loved ones to mistreatment out of a sense of hopelessness.
Don’t let this be your story. Help is available. Our team can get you your voice back.
Respondents & Wrongly Accused
The cycle of mistreatment can take many forms. Sometimes, strangers and partners alike can weaponize the system against innocent people with false or misleading accusations. Maybe for petty revenge, or to gain an edge in a custody battle. Whatever the circumstance, innocents can get caught in the crossfire – ruining careers and relationships.
If you are facing accusations that you know are false, get in touch. Our team can ensure the story is set straight.
How Protection Orders Work in Washington State
Things you should know.
Whether it is for a Domestic Violence Protection Order or an Anti-Harassment Order, the timelines for acquiring one are very similar. It starts with a party filing a petition in District or Superior court – generally in the county where the Respondent lives. This petition will include any documents and testimony in support of the petitioner’s position. When filed, the court will generally set a hearing to review the petition in two weeks’ time.
2. Temporary Protection
Sometimes, the court will review the filed petition and determine that interim protection is necessary before the scheduled hearing. In these cases, the court will order a temporary protection order, restricting the Respondent from certain behaviors until the matter can be fully adjudicated. These orders will automatically expire after a few weeks.
3. Process Service
After the court has received the petition, it is the duty of the Petitioner to serve all corresponding documents and notices on the Respondent as soon as possible. If the court has issued a temporary protection order, it must be served on the Respondent as well.
4. Responding Documents
Once the Respondent is served, they will have an opportunity to produce documents in their defense. These can include photos, third party testimony, declarations, or other written submissions explaining why a protection order shouldn’t be granted. Responding parties must produce their materials a few days before your hearing, which will vary based on county. This is called a “Response”.
5. Reply Documents
After the Respondent serves the Petitioner with their defense documents, the Petitioner has a chance to address to the Respondent’s Responsive submissions with their own evidence. This is called a “Reply”.
6. The Hearing
Finally, after both parties have exchanged documents, the hearing will be held. Here, each party will have a few minutes to testify in addition to the written materials before the court. Having reviewed all the evidence, the court will decide whether to grant any protection order. These orders generally expire after one year.
7. Weapons Surrender
If protection is granted, the court might issue a weapons surrender order. These orders prohibit the restrained individual from acquiring or possessing dangerous weapons, like firearms or knives. The restrained party will have to surrender any weapons they own to their local police department.
8. Weapons Surrender Hearing
A few weeks after the protection order is granted, the court will hold a hearing to ensure that the restrained party has surrendered their weapons. If they have surrendered their weapons, or if they don’t own any, no further hearings will be held.
9. Protection Extension
Sometimes, the danger remains after the protection order expires. In circumstances where the Respondent is likely to continue their dangerous behavior, Petitioners can re-petition to have the terms of the protection order extended and/or modified. How long the court may extend the terms of the protection order will depend on the circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Protection Order?
Protection Orders are civil orders that involve domestic violence, sexual assault, or other serious matter. These can involve spouses, significant others, boyfriends/girlfriends, roommates, or similar. The prior relationship does not necessarily have to be intimate.
What are Anti-Harassment or Stalking Orders?
Anti-Harassment or Stalking Orders are civil orders that involve harassment, stalking, electronic surveillance, bullying, or related behaviors designed to significantly annoy or distress an individual.
What are Restraining Orders?
Restraining Orders are civil orders obtained within a domestic relations case, such as a divorce or legal separation. These orders can forbid various behaviors based on circumstance (such as do not disturb), and they can be mutually binding on both parties.
What are No Contact Orders?
No Contact Orders are criminal orders only issued in criminal cases. Generally, their terms are harsher than other protective orders and may be sought only by the State or County prosecutor.
I am being stalked or harassed by someone. What can I do?
If you are being followed or harassed by another person, the courts can protect you.
In any protection matter, start by assembling a clear timeline of events. When did the person first contact you? When did you first tell them to stop or leave you alone? Have you been injured? How many times have you felt unsafe since? Do you have any photo evidence or documents to support your narrative? A strong chronology will help you get the protection you need.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is legally defined in Washington state as physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of the same. This can also include emotional or financial abuse.
Domestic violence is not gender specific and can be committed by anyone. If you are experiencing domestic violence, you absolutely deserve safety.
Can I be protected from a physical abuser?
Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPO) are issued by the court to protect a petitioner and/or child, depending on the nature and circumstances of the facts involved in your case. Orders can restrain the abuser from certain actions, locations, behaviors, or individuals, and will subject them to arrest should the order be violated.
How long will a Protective Order last?
Usually a protective order will last one year. If a DVPO is about to expire after running it course, one can petition to have it renewed if the safety concerns remain.
The individual facts and circumstance are critical to determining your options to protect yourself. We strongly recommend getting in touch.
My abuser is an intimate partner, and I may be getting divorced soon. How will this change the process?
Protection orders can be sought independently, but they can also be requested as part of a dissolution or legal separation filing. If granted, a domestic violence finding can greatly impact the guilty party’s ability to seek full custody of any children. Speak to our team if you are also looking for a dissolution or legal separation, and look at our separation information pages.
I was served with a Temporary Protection Order. What is it?
A Temporary Protection Order is an order entered for a short period of time before the dispute can be adjudicated. Often, they are used to protect individuals in potential emergency circumstances and only last until a full hearing can be set and heard. About two weeks.
If you are served with a Petition and a Temporary Protection Order, it is critical you read it carefully and understand its requirements. You only have a limited period to respond, so consulting with an attorney quickly is strongly advised.
The allegations against me are false. How can I clear my name?
The defense you can mount depends on the facts available and the claims the Petitioner has made. Are there any witnesses? What documentation has the Petitioner given to the court? The key to any defense is locating the weaknesses and inconsistencies in the opposing story. Our office would be happy to
What happens if I violate a protective order?
The consequences of violating a protective order will vary based on the type of order, the circumstances, the language of order, and other factors. In general, a violation can subject the violator to arrest and incarceration. We strongly advise against even the appearance of a violation, even an accidental one.
There is currently a standing protective order against me. The protected person is inviting me to violate the order’s terms. May I do so?
It is the restricted individual’s sole responsibility to adhere to a protective order even if the protected party invites you to violate it. However, if a protected person is intentionally trying to bait you into violating an order or using the protection as a weapon to disrupt your life in bad faith, you may have recourse to modify the terms of the order.
How long does a civil protective order last?
Protective orders typically they last for one year. The Petitioner can later ask the court to extend a protective order if they can somehow demonstrate that the danger is ongoing.
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We would love to hear from you, but please don't send us confidential information.
Hemmat Law Group 1421 34th Avenue, Suite 209
Seattle, WA 98122