If you are a victim of a domestic violence crime, please read the following:
Intervention by the Criminal Justice System in a violent, abusive relationship is actually one of the most effective ways to recover from the cycle of violence. As the Legal Department's Victim and Crisis Intervention Advocate, Brigitta helps victims through the legal process when criminal charges have been filed in the SeaTac Municipal Court. She explains the legal and court processes, determines the wishes of the victim related to criminal cases, and works with the Prosecutor regarding those wishes. Her job includes helping to relieve some of the concerns of victims, providing support for them and referring victims to specific services which are available in our community. Brigitta also assists victims in obtaining Orders of Protection and/or Orders Prohibiting Contact. (Please refer to "Types of Court Orders available for Victims of Domestic Violence" below).
Brigitta may be reached Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 206.973.4634.
Types of Court Orders Available for Victims of Domestic Violence
|Order for Protection Civil||No-Contact Order
|Restraining Order Civil||Anti-Harassment Order Civil|
|Who may obtain the Order?||Petitioner who has been a victim of domestic violence or who fears abuse from a family or household member.||Victims of domestic violence; incidentmust have been reported to the police and criminal charges pending.||Petitioner who is either married to respondent or has a child in common with the respondent.||Petitioner who has been seriously alarmed, annoyed, or harassed by conduct which served no legitimate or lawful purpose. Parties generally are not married, have not lived together, and have no children in common.|
|How is the Order Obtained?||Victim files petition with District, Municipal or Superior Court. Court reviews paperwork and may grant Emergency Temporary Protection Order effective for 14 days.||Victim contacts the prosecutor's office to make a request to the court after a police report has been made.||Victim files a petition for divorce, legal separation, or child custody, or through paternity action (call attorney or legal services).||Victim files a petition with District or Superior Court only. Court reviews and may grant Temporary Protection Order effective 14 days.|
|Where is the Order obtained?||District, Municipal, or Superior Court.||District, Municipal or Superior Court, through prosecutor.||Superior Court only.||District Court or Superior Court only. Not at Municipal Court.|
|What does the Order provide?||Temporary: Exclusion from a residence, no acts of violence, no interference with custody of minor children. Full: all the above & custody or counseling, court costs, specific relief or assistance.||No contact with victim directly or indirectly anywhere by phone, in writing, or in person.||Temporary or Full: various restraint provisions including exclusion from a residence, no acts of violence or harassment, custody & visitation directives.||Exclusion from & restrained from a specific distance from residence, work/school of petitioner; no contact of any kind directly/indirectly by phone, writing, or in person.|
|Cost of the Order?||No cost to petitioner.||None.||Same as dissolution (divorce) filing fee $250, may be waived pending eligibility, petitioner pays related costs & fees.||Basic filing fee of $53 in District Court or Superior Court; may be waived pending eligibility. Additional costs can include service fees.|
|Duration of the Order?||Temporary: 14 days
Full: 1 year or more
|*Set period of time, usually until trial and/or sentencing and/or probation are concluded.||Temporary: 14 days
Full: In final decree, permanent until modified.
|Temporary: 14 days
Full: 1 year or more
|Who represents the victim?||Victim, option to hire legal counsel.||Prosecutor||Attorney obtained by the victim or the victim themselves.||Victim, option to hire legal counsel.|
|How is notice of Order served?||Police officer, private party, or process server.||Notice received in court proceedings||Process server, private party, or police server.||Police, private party, or process server.|
|If the Order is violated?||Mandatory arrest if abuser violates restraint provisions (gross misdemeanor) or goes onto the grounds of a residence, workplace, school or daycare where prohibited. Felony charges possible if respondent assaults or recklessly endangers petitioner.||Mandatory arrest if abuser violates Order (gross misdemeanor); possible felony charges if respondent assaults or recklessly endangers petitioner.
|May be arrested (criminal legend required); possible criminal or contempt charges.||May be arrested (gross misdemeanor), possible criminal or contempt charges.|
|How do the police know the Order exists?||Entered into (Washington State Criminal Information Computer) WACIC.||Entered into WACIC (except those issued by jail prior to charging).||Entered into WACIC by request only.||Entered into WACIC.|
* Victim may submit motion to recall order in some courts.