Rescinding a No Contact Order in Washington
This legal guide explores the parameters of rescinding a No Contact Order.
Statutory enactmentsRCW 10.99.040(6) refers to the court’s authority to modify or terminate a protective order.
General boundariesIt would be appropriate to read RCW 10.99 in conjunction with RCW 26.50.130 and to apply in pari materia analysis. When more than one legislative enactment could apply to a given case, the statutes are read in pari materia and harmonized if possible. Monroe v. Soliz, 132 Wn.2d 414, 425, 939 P.2d 205 (1997); Riksem v. City of Seattle, 47 Wn. App. 506, 510, 736 P.2d 275, review denied, 108 Wn.2d 1026 (1987).
One factor to consider is whether the protected person consents to terminating the protection order, and whether that consent is given voluntarily and knowingly. RCW 26.50.130(3)(c)(vii).
Further, RCW 26.50.130(3)(e) allows the court to consider the seriousness (or lack thereof) of the alleged acts in question.
The Freeman case“Whether to grant, modify, or terminate a protection order is a matter of judicial discretion.” In re Marriage of Freeman, 169 Wn.2d 664, 239 P.3d 557 (2010). The standard is whether it is more likely than not that there will be no resumption of the alleged acts. Freeman at ¶17. In Freeman, a commissioner abused her discretion when she denied a party's motion to terminate a restraining order. The Court of Appeals reversed and the Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeals. Time and distance were factors. Mr. Freeman asserted he had complied with the protection order and made no contact with the other party or her children since the divorce, lived in another state, had no criminal record, and simply did not pose any kind of danger to anyone at that time. Freeman at ¶7. He further asserted he continued to have neither the inclination nor the ability to do anything to the other party.