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Unlawful Harassment FAQ

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ADDRESS
P.O. Box 1220
Port Townsend, 
WA 98368

PHONE
Dist Court: 360.385.9135
Probation: 360.385.9123
Fax: 360.385.9367

HOURS
Monday - Friday
8:30 to 4:30

Weekends
Closed

 

WHAT IS "UNLAWFUL HARASSMENT?

  • A knowing and willful "course of conduct" directed at you which seriously:

  • Alarms you

  • Annoys you

  • Harasses you

  • Serves no "legitimate or lawful" purpose

  • Would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and actually causes substantial emotional distress to you.

WHAT IS A "COURSE OF CONDUCT?

  • A series of acts

  • Over a period of time (however short)

  • With an on-going purpose to harass

HOW DOES THE COURT DETERMINE IF THE ACTS ARE "UNLAWFUL"?

  • The Court considers the following:

  • Is the respondent (the person who is harassing you) contacting you or are you contacting each other?

  • Has the respondent been clearly told that you do not want any further contact?

  • Is the respondentís behavior alarming, annoying, or harassing you?

  • Are the respondentís actions interfering with your privacy or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive living environment for you?

  • Has the respondentís contact with you been previously limited by a court order?

DO I NEED A LAWYER TO GET AN ORDER FOR ANTI-HARASSMENT?
No. The law has been designed so you can get an Order for Anti-harassment without a lawyer by filling out the necessary forms yourself.  Because you are seeking an order of the Court without the help of an attorney, you will have the paperwork and legwork to do.  It is not unusual for this to take several hours.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
The filing fee is $43.00. The Court will charge an additional $10.00 fee for copies and certification charges. There may also be a charge for having copies delivered (served on) the respondent. If you cannot afford the fees, the Court may allow you to go ahead without paying. Ask for and complete the form requesting fee waiver.

WHAT IF I HAVE PREVIOUSLY FILED FOR AN ANTI-HARASSMENT ORDER AGAINST THE RESPONDENT?
You may not obtain a Temporary Order for Anti-harassment if you have already had two Temporary Orders against the respondent and not obtained the one-year order, unless you can show the Court good cause for failing to get the one-year order.  If you need to renew your one-year order, you may reapply by filing a new petition within three months before the expiration of your order.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE ORDER IS VIOLATED?
Any willful disobedience of the Anti-harassment Order by the respondent shall subject the respondent to criminal penalties and the respondent may also be found in contempt of Court.

ARE THERE RESTRICTIONS ON WHERE YOU CAN FILE?
A petition may be filed in the county where at least some acts of unlawful harassment occurred or where the Respondent lives.

CHAPTER 10.14 RCW HARASSMENT

ANTI-HARASSMENT FORMS

 

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