File a Protection (Restraining) Order

Create Forms and File for Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO) in Washington

This website is sponsored by courts to help you prepare and e-file legal forms for a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO) across the Washington State.

What is a Domestic Violence Protection (Restraining) Order? 

In Washington State, restraining orders are called civil protection orders (CPOs). Domestic Violence Protection Order is a type of protection or restraining order, and like all types requires an abuser to stay away from and not contact their victim or else face criminal charges.

The website leads you through friendly online questionnaires, with helpful tips directly from courts. Once you complete the questionnaires, you can download the latest official version (last updated May 2024) of court documents (PDF) or E-file these with the court. 

You can also just explore your options as your privacy is kept and your case is visible to you only until you file with the court. 


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Process Overview

This website presents a list of questions, and then at the end generates the paperwork for DVPO.


This website provides a guided experience to people who are working themselves on preparing the court forms for a Domestic Violence Protection (Restraining) Order.

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1. Take Screening

Select the specific protection order you want to file for. Then answer a few questions to determine your eligibility.

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2. Prepare Documents for DVPO (Restraining Order)

Prepare the main set of your court documents by covering one topic at a time. Each topic offers questions in simple and non-legal language. Just do your best and in case you need help you can get reach out for help just with a few clicks.

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3. Consult Advocate (Optional)

Depending on your situation, we can suggest any trusted free victim advocacy non profits. The advocate can assist you with certain aspects of the case and safety planning. They can review your case documents, and talk to you directly to discuss your case.

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4.E-File DVPO (Restraining Order) Documents

This website simplifies the filing to a couple of clicks, and get follow up notifications from the court. 


This website provides a guided experience to people who are working themselves on preparing the court forms for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order.

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1. Victim 15+ years

Anyone 15 years or older, and without a parent's permission can create the paperwork and file to start a case.  


2. On behalf of a minor (under 18)

Someone 15 or older can petition on behalf of a minor who is a family or household member. 


3. On behalf of a senior or disabled person

An adult can file on behalf of a vulnerable adult


Here are the typical restrictions places on the abuser via the restraining order. 


Stay Away From You

Abuser would have to stay at least 100 yards away from you, your children and locations you request such as your work


Hand over a car

Get access to cars held by the abuser


Don't post intimate images

Take down, delete, and do not distribute intimate images of a protected person, as defined in RCW 9A.86.010


Not to contact you

Not to contact you via phone or text or mutual friends


Vacate the shared residence

The respondent can be asked to vacate the shared residence. You can also request help from police to kick them out. 


Restrict Abusive Litigation

This is to prevent the misuse of the legal system to harass, intimidate, or burden you.


Not stalk you

Not stalk you or your loved ones, including your accounts on facebook or other social media


Handover Passport, Cell phone, Medications etc.

You an ask for your personal items such as passport, medications, clothes. This would be applicable if you were living together up to now.


Get Drugs, Mental health and Sex Offender Treatment

You can request the abuser to seek treatment for alcoholism, drug use, domestic violence abuse (RCW 43.20A.735) or sex offender (RCW 18.155.070) 


Your case documents are filed at a Superior or District Court in your county. Here are examples of some. 


How do protection (restraining) orders work?

After a court issues you a restraining order, and the abuser is informed about it, then if the abuser violates it you can call 9-1-1 and the law enforcement will arrest /or charge the abuser. 

How long does it take to get a protection order?

You can get a temporary protection order the same day as you file in case of an emergency as long as you apply on a business day and typically by noon.  Regular (non emergency) orders may be issued in a few days. While some cases may be decided only at a hearing in 2-3 weeks. 

What's the immediate benefit to the victim?

As a legal warning, restraining orders forces the abuser to stay away from the victim and comply with other conditions or else they will be charged with a crime and face prison time. Furthermore by taking guns away from the abuser it can reduce the risk of fatality for the victim. 

How much does it cost?

Its free. 

How long do restraining orders last in Washington state?

All restraining orders including a Domestic Violence Protection Order is typically issued for one year, though it can be requested for a different period like 5 years.  It can be renewed as well. 

Can a restraining order get the abuser fired from their job?

Yes it is possible but it depends on the order type and job. 

Do I need a lawyer to get a DVPO?

No, a lawyer is not required. However, having a lawyer in any legal situation can benefit you.

How many people file for restraining orders in Washington State?

About 20,000 Civil Protection (restraining) Orders including DVPO were filed in Washington in 2023 (Source: Administrative Office of the Courts). In March 2024 the numbers were consistent i.e. about 1700 (Source

When should I get a protection (restraining) order vs. file a criminal charge?

If criminal charges are filed, a protection (restraining) order is also filed as it provides protection for a set time frame just in case the criminal charges are dropped.  The bar for restraining orders is lower than criminal abuse and addresses more subtle behaviors e.g. coercive control, and therefore they are the only option in such situation. 


Washington Courts

Official website of the Washington Courts which provides court forms and instructions.

Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs

WCSAP unites agencies engaged in eliminating sexual violence and provides information and training to members

Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

WSCADV is a resource for programs that assist domestic violence survivors and their families

Victim Information and Notification Everyday

The VINE system is a free service that allows petitioners to register for notification when a protective order of any type that has been served or is about to expire.

Do Protection Orders Help?

Here the outcome of a research on domestic violence from University of New Hampshire

Reduce Violence

1. Reduce Violence

Domestic Violence Protection (restraining) Order and restraining orders in general are effective in reducing violence and harassment. For half the women in the sample studied, a protective (restraining) order stopped the violence. For the other half, the orders significantly reduced violence and abuse. 

Cost Effective

2. Cost Effective

Domestic Violence Protection (restraining) orders are free for the victims.  They are a relatively low-cost solution for the government, particularly when compared with the social and personal costs of partner violence.


3. Cities vs. Countryside

The impact of civil protective orders on reducing violence and abuse did not differ for rural (country side) and urban (cities) women. In rural areas, where resources and services for partner violence may be more limited, it is critical to reduce barriers to obtaining protective orders as research indicates they may be an effective resource. Community-level barriers to enforce civil protective orders exist for women in rural areas.


The abuser may react to your filing for a restraining order


the abuser particularly in domestic violence situations may react with anger due to the perceived loss of control over you and your household. 

Damaging jointly owned property

The respondent make drain bank accounts, max out credit cards, damage cars or houses or do other damage to jointly owned property. 

Murder or Physical Harm

A particular risk is if the respondent has access to guns or other firearms they might actually kill you. Here's an example from 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana   

Weaponize Immigration Status or Health Insurance

The abuser may report you or your loved ones undocumented US immigration status to the U.S authorities, or cancel health insurance.

Harming or taking away children

Fearing restrictions on custody or visitations the abuser may preemptively take the children away or just call the Child Protective Services against you.

Spreading false information about you

The abuser may spread false information particularly on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other social media. 

Court Forms Created

When you pass the screening and complete the questionnaires, you can then download the following standard court forms filled correctly with your information. These court forms are provided by the Washington Courts.


Core Forms

  • PO 001 Petition for Protection Order
  • PO 003 Law Enforcement and Confidential Information Form
  • PO 030 Temporary Protection Order and Hearing Notice
  • PO 004 Proof of Service

  • WS 001 Order to Surrender and Prohibit Weapons Without Notice
  • PO 036 Order Transferring Case and Setting Hearing


In Washington there are six types of civil protection orders, with Domestic Violence Protection Order being one of them. 

Domestic Violence Protection Order

Domestic violence is abuse from a romantic partner, or a family or a household member. The abuse can involve physical or sexual violence, or a pattern of harassment or controlling behavior or merely threats to harm.

Vulnerable Adult Protection Order

Vulnerable adults means senior citizens or other persons who have physical or mental disabilities. This protection order is aimed at protection them from someone who is mistreating them or exploiting them financially.

Sexual Assault Protection Order

This protection order applies to situations involving unwanted sexual conduct by someone who is not a romantic partner or a member of the victim's family or household.

Stalking Protection Order

May be filed by someone who is experiencing stalking conduct by someone who is not a romantic partner or, a family or household member.

Anti-harassment Protection Order

For protection against any kind of unlawful or harassing behavior that is annoying or stressful and that serves no lawful purpose.

Extreme Risk Protection Order

This is aimed at restricting access to firearms from someone who poses significant danger to self or others. This protection order must be requested by a family or household member or a law enforcement agency.