Filing a Stalking Protection Petition
Defining Stalking Conduct
Washington State law defines "stalking conduct" as any act of stalking as defined under RCW 9A.46.110 or any act of cyberstalking as defined under RCW 9.61.260. The course of conduct shall be such as involving repeated or continuing contacts, attempts to contact, monitoring, tracking, keeping under observation, or following of another that: would cause a reasonable person to feel intimidated, frightened, or threatened and that actually causes such a feeling; serves no lawful purpose; and the stalker knows or reasonably should know threatens, frightens, or intimidates the person, even if the stalker did not intend to intimidate, frighten, or threaten the person.
Under Washington law, "course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose. "Course of conduct" includes the sending of an electronic communication, but does not include constitutionally protected free speech.
An individual may request an order of protection that may prohibit the respondent from having any contact with the petitioner directly, indirectly, or through third parties, exclude the respondent from the petitioner's residence, workplace, or school, or from the day care, workplace, or school of the petitioner's minor children, or prohibit the respondent from knowingly coming within, or knowingly remaining within, a specified distance from a specified location, or prohibit the person (respondent) from keeping the petitioner and/or the petitioner's minor children under surveillance, to include electronic surveillance; or order any other injunctive relief, or require the respondent to pay the administrative court costs and service fees.
Transfer of Stalking Cases
Under recent amendments passed by the Washington State Legislature in 2013, the District Court has original jurisdiction over these actions. However, the District Court must transfer such petitions to the Superior Court when it is shown that:
- A - The petitioner, victim, or respondent to the petition is under 18 years of age
- B - The action involves title or possession of real property
- C - A superior court has exercised or is exercising jurisdiction over a proceeding involving the parties
- D - The action would have the effect of interfering with a respondent's care, control or custody of the respondent's minor child
Filing for a Protection Order
First, review the harassment and stalking protection order worksheet.
The Petition for Order for Protection - Stalking is available in pdf format.
After you complete the petition, you must appear at the Operations Division (CCB) Public counter (930 Tacoma Ave. S. Room 239, Tacoma, WA 98402) to schedule your court appearance.
Stalking petitions must be filed by 10:30 a.m. the day you would like to go to court. Any filings after 10:30 a.m. will be seen the next business day. Stalking petitions are not accepted after 3:00 p.m.
You will need to know the full name and address of the person you claim is stalking you and any other identifying information about the individual such as date of birth, driver's license number, etc. It will take you about one hour to complete the required forms.
No fees for filing or service of process may be charged by a public agency to petitioners seeking relief under this chapter.
Know when your protective order is served
Washington Protective Order Service PDF