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What is the burden of proof for seeking a restraining order in WA state

Tacoma, WA |

I have filed a restraining order against someone i used to date. what are things that I need to sow burdon of proof? I had spoken to an attorney and he had stated that I dont have to submitt proof by emails, declarations by people that I spoken to the day of the incident and saw the bruises etc, I was told the only thing i need to submit is my declaration and my childs declaration because she witnessed the dv incident. im not very sure of this attorneys answer? I believed the more information i subitt the better off I am right?

The problem is that this person doesnt have a criminal history . The main defense is that they are going to say that there reserve military career will be ruined? Also that this will effect there back ground clearance checks? Is this a good enough reason for a judge not to order the Restraining Order? Also when I had submitted my declaration and my childs declaration this persons attorney has now withdrew from the case and this person is now having to get another attorney? the 1st attorney was a criminal attorney so why would they withdraw? this makes no sense?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Washington provides for Domestic Violence Orders for Protection. (In Ohio, where I practice, we have a similar procedure.) The court should set a hearing date, at which point you (and your child) will tell the court precisely what happened.

True, the more information you submit, the more information with which you can establish grounds for a restraining order. But your in-court testimony should suffice.

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Posted

My experience in Pierce County Superior Court is that to obtain a domestic violence restraining order, you need to make clear and specific allegations while under oath that you have been a victim of domestic violence in the past and that you are afraid the conduct may continue in the future. Any evidence that you have will be helpful in persuading the judge - for example photographs, emails from the respondent, declarations from witnesses. The fact that your child was present during the incident will likely carry great weight in the judge's mind. However, even if there is no evidence other than your sworn statement, the order can still be issued. Don't be afraid to appear at the hearing because you think you don't have enough evidence. If your statement and your evidence are persuasive, the fact that the order may negatively impact the respondent is not a persuasive defense. Pierce County has some excellent resources for victims of domestic violence which are available at no cost. Contact the YWCA or the court clerk for more information.

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