7.92.140  <<  7.92.150 >>   7.92.160

RCW 7.92.150

Protection orders—Service to respondent—Service by publication.

(1) An order issued under this chapter shall be personally served upon the respondent, except as provided in subsection (6), (7), or (8) of this section. If the respondent is a minor, the respondent's parent or legal custodian shall also be personally served.
(2) The sheriff of the county or the peace officers of the municipality in which the respondent resides shall serve the respondent personally unless the petitioner elects to have the respondent served by a private party.
(3) If service by a sheriff or municipal peace officer is to be used, the clerk of the court shall have a copy of any order issued under this chapter forwarded on or before the next judicial day to the appropriate law enforcement agency specified in the order for service upon the respondent. Service of an order issued under this chapter shall take precedence over the service of other documents unless they are of a similar emergency nature.
(4) If the sheriff or municipal peace officer cannot complete service upon the respondent within ten days, the sheriff or municipal peace officer shall notify the petitioner. The petitioner shall provide information sufficient to permit notification.
(5) Returns of service under this chapter shall be made in accordance with the applicable court rules.
(6) If an order entered by the court recites that the respondent appeared in person before the court, the necessity for further service is waived and proof of service of that order is not necessary.
(7) If the respondent was not personally served with the petition, notice of hearing, and ex parte order before the hearing, the court shall reset the hearing for twenty-four days from the date of entry of the order and may order service by publication instead of personal service under the following circumstances:
(a) The sheriff or municipal officer or private process server files an affidavit stating that the officer or private process server was unable to complete personal service upon the respondent. The affidavit must describe the number and types of attempts the officer or private process server made to complete service;
(b) The petitioner files an affidavit stating that the petitioner believes that the respondent is hiding from the server to avoid service. The petitioner's affidavit must state the reasons for the belief that the respondent is avoiding service;
(c) The server has deposited a copy of the petition, notice of hearing, and the ex parte order of protection in the post office, directed to the respondent at the respondent's last known address, unless the server states that the server does not know the respondent's address;
(d) The court finds reasonable grounds exist to believe that the respondent is concealing himself or herself to avoid service, and that further attempts to personally serve the respondent would be futile or unduly burdensome;
(e) The court shall reissue the temporary order of protection not to exceed another twenty-four days from the date of reissuing the ex parte protection order and order to provide service by publication; and
(f) The publication shall be made in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the petition was brought and in the county of the last known address of the respondent once a week for three consecutive weeks. The newspaper selected must be one of the three most widely circulated papers in the county. The publication of summons shall not be made until the court orders service by publication under this section. Service of the summons shall be considered complete when the publication has been made for three consecutive weeks. The summons must be signed by the petitioner. The summons shall contain the date of the first publication, and shall require the respondent upon whom service by publication is desired, to appear and answer the petition on the date set for the hearing. The summons shall also contain a brief statement of the reason for the petition and a summary of the provisions under the ex parte order. The summons shall be essentially in the following form:
In the  . . . . . . . . . court of the state of Washington for the county of  . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . .,
Petitioner
vs.
No.  . . . . . .
. . . .,
Respondent
The state of Washington to  . . . . . . . . . . . (respondent):
You are hereby summoned to appear on the  . . . . day of  . . . . . ., 20 . . ., at  . . . . a.m./p.m., and respond to the petition. If you fail to respond, an order of protection will be issued against you pursuant to the provisions of the stalking protection order act, chapter 7.92 RCW, for a minimum of one year from the date you are required to appear. A temporary order of protection has been issued against you, restraining you from the following: (Insert a brief statement of the provisions of the ex parte order.) A copy of the petition, notice of hearing, and ex parte order has been filed with the clerk of this court.
 
. . . . 
 
Petitioner . . . .
(8) In circumstances justifying service by publication under subsection (7) of this section, if the serving party files an affidavit stating facts from which the court determines that service by mail is just as likely to give actual notice as service by publication and that the serving party is unable to afford the cost of service by publication, the court may order that service be made by mail. Such service shall be made by any person over eighteen years of age, who is competent to be a witness, other than a party, by mailing copies of the order and other process to the party to be served at his or her last known address or any other address determined by the court to be appropriate. Two copies shall be mailed, postage prepaid, one by ordinary first-class mail and the other by a form of mail requiring a signed receipt showing when and to whom it was delivered. The envelopes must bear the return address of the sender.
(a) Proof of service under this section shall be consistent with court rules for civil proceedings.
(b) Service under this section may be used in the same manner and shall have the same jurisdictional effect as service by publication for purposes of this chapter. Service shall be deemed complete upon the mailing of two copies as prescribed in this section.
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