7.94.020  <<  7.94.030 >>   7.94.040

Petition for order. (Effective until July 1, 2022.)

There shall exist an action known as a petition for an extreme risk protection order.
(1) A petition for an extreme risk protection order may be filed by (a) a family or household member of the respondent or (b) a law enforcement officer or agency.
(2) A petition for an extreme risk protection order may be brought against a respondent under the age of eighteen years. No guardian or guardian ad litem need be appointed on behalf of a respondent to an action under this chapter if such respondent is sixteen years of age or older. If a guardian ad litem is appointed for the petitioner or respondent, the petitioner must not be required to pay any fee associated with such appointment.
(3) An action under this chapter must be filed in the county where the petitioner resides or the county where the respondent resides.
(4) A petition must:
(a) Allege that the respondent poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to self or others by having in his or her custody or control, purchasing, possessing, accessing, or receiving a firearm, and be accompanied by an affidavit made under oath stating the specific statements, actions, or facts that give rise to a reasonable fear of future dangerous acts by the respondent;
(b) Identify the number, types, and locations of any firearms the petitioner believes to be in the respondent's current ownership, possession, custody, access, or control;
(c) Identify whether there is a known existing protection order governing the respondent, under chapter 7.90, 7.92, 10.14, 9A.46, 10.99, 26.50, or 26.52 RCW or under any other applicable statute; and
(d) Identify whether there is a pending lawsuit, complaint, petition, or other action between the parties to the petition under the laws of Washington.
(5) The court administrator shall verify the terms of any existing order governing the parties. The court may not delay granting relief because of the existence of a pending action between the parties or the necessity of verifying the terms of an existing order. A petition for an extreme risk protection order may be granted whether or not there is a pending action between the parties. Relief under this chapter must not be denied or delayed on the grounds that relief is available in another action.
(6) If the petitioner is a law enforcement officer or agency, the petitioner shall make a good faith effort to provide notice to a family or household member of the respondent and to any known third party who may be at risk of violence. The notice must state that the petitioner intends to petition the court for an extreme risk protection order or has already done so, and include referrals to appropriate resources, including behavioral health, domestic violence, and counseling resources. The petitioner must attest in the petition to having provided such notice, or attest to the steps that will be taken to provide such notice.
(7) If the petition states that disclosure of the petitioner's address would risk harm to the petitioner or any member of the petitioner's family or household, the petitioner's address may be omitted from all documents filed with the court. If the petitioner has not disclosed an address under this subsection, the petitioner must designate an alternative address at which the respondent may serve notice of any motions. If the petitioner is a law enforcement officer or agency, the address of record must be that of the law enforcement agency.
(8) Within ninety days of receipt of the master copy from the administrative office of the courts, all court clerk's offices shall make available the standardized forms, instructions, and informational brochures required by RCW 7.94.150. Any assistance or information provided by clerks under this section does not constitute the practice of law and clerks are not responsible for incorrect information contained in a petition.
(9) No fees for filing or service of process may be charged by a court or any public agency to petitioners seeking relief under this chapter. Petitioners shall be provided the necessary number of certified copies, forms, and instructional brochures free of charge.
(10) A person is not required to post a bond to obtain relief in any proceeding under this section.
(11) The superior courts of the state of Washington have jurisdiction over proceedings under this chapter. The juvenile court may hear a proceeding under this chapter if the respondent is under the age of eighteen years. Additionally, district and municipal courts have limited jurisdiction over issuance and enforcement of ex parte extreme risk protection orders issued under RCW 7.94.050. The district or municipal court shall set the full hearing provided for in RCW 7.94.040 in superior court and transfer the case. If the notice and order are not served on the respondent in time for the full hearing, the issuing court has concurrent jurisdiction with the superior court to extend the ex parte extreme risk protection order.
(12)(a) Any person restrained by an extreme risk protection order against a respondent under the age of eighteen may petition the court to have the court records sealed from public view at the time of issuance of the full order, at any time during the life of the order, or at any time after its expiration.
(b) The court shall seal the court records from public view if there are no other active protection orders against the restrained party, no pending violations of the order, and evidence of full compliance with the relinquishment of firearms as ordered by the extreme risk protection order.
(c) Nothing in this subsection changes the requirement for the order to be entered into and maintained in computer-based systems as required in RCW 7.94.110.
(13) The court shall give law enforcement priority at any extreme risk protection order calendar because of the importance of immediate temporary removal of firearms in situations of extreme risk and the goal of minimizing the time law enforcement must otherwise wait for a particular case to be called, which can hinder their other patrol and supervisory duties. In the alternative, the court may allow a law enforcement petitioner to participate telephonically, or allow another representative from that law enforcement agency or the prosecutor's office to present the information to the court if personal presence of the petitioning officer is not required for testimonial purposes.
(14) Recognizing that an extreme risk protection order may need to be issued outside of normal business hours, courts shall allow law enforcement petitioners to petition after-hours for an ex parte extreme risk protection order using an on-call, after-hours judge, as is done for approval of after-hours search warrants.
[ 2019 c 246 § 2; 2017 c 3 § 4 (Initiative Measure No. 1491, approved November 8, 2016).]
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