It's Your Decision

The decision to file a protection order can be a hard for many in volatile and unsafe situations. Luckily, there are support groups available to help with such things as understanding the legal process, how to prepare paperwork, and the qualifications for obtaining an order.

A Protection Order is a type of "restraining order" that you, (the petitioner), can file against another person, (the respondent), if you believe you have been a victim of domestic violence by the other person. Because it is a civil order, you can file this type of order even if the police have never been called or there has never been a domestic violence conviction.

While a criminal no contact order will be entered in a criminal case, there are reasons a person may also want to seek a civil protection order. For example, if a criminal case is dismissed, the criminal no contact order will no longer be in effect, but a civil protection order would.

Various types of civil protection orders exist to address specific situations. If you need help determining which type of order best fits your situation or help seeking a protection order, you can get help from the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center.

Crystal Judson Family Justice Center

Phone - Helpline: 253-798-4166
Phone: 253-798-4310
Fax: 253-798-4320
Website: Crystal Judson Family Justice Center Website

Safety Planning

Not every abuser responds to being served with a Protection Order the same way.

Please consider these questions when thinking about your safety plan and when filing for an order:

  • How do you think the respondent will react to being served the order? Do you feel like you will be in more danger if you file the order or that things will get worse?
  • Is the respondent afraid of getting in trouble with the law or do they think they are "above the law"?
  • Have you ever left or sought help before?  How did the respondent react?  Has the respondent threatened that they will harm you if you ever seek help or call the police?
  • Because the respondent must be served with your order to make it enforceable - would it be safer for the police to serve it? A Process server? Or having a friend or family member who is over the age of 18 serve it?  Most orders are served by law enforcement at the respondent's home but they can also be served at a workplace.
  • If you have children, are there ways you can have the respondent served so that it does not occur in front of your children?

The Crystal Judson Family Justice Center can help you with safety planning.

For more information, visit the Pierce County Protection Order website.