Washington civil protection orders are available to protect individuals from contact by someone who has harassed, threatened, or assaulted them. Washington has several types of protection orders that may apply in various situations, including an anti-harassment protection order. An anti-harassment protection order may be issued against a person who has harassed another. Unlike a domestic violence protection order, it does not require evidence of a particular type of relationship between the parties.
A Washington appeals court recently considered an appeal of an anti-harassment order. A woman had petitioned for an anti-harassment order against her ex-spouse’s new romantic partner. The petitioner alleged the respondent harassed and threatened her through calls, texts, and social media. The respondent was a resident of New Mexico. The court issued the temporary anti-harassment protection order and scheduled a hearing. Both women testified at the hearing. The court ultimately issued a three-year anti-harassment order prohibiting the respondent from direct or indirect contact with the petitioner. The respondent appealed.
The respondent argued the trial court did not have personal jurisdiction over her because she is not a resident of the state and has insufficient contact with the state. She also argued that there was not any evidence that any of the contact “originated in the state of Washington.” The appeals court found, however, that the statute, RCW 10.14.155, allows jurisdiction over non-residents of Washington in some situations when the conduct occurred outside the state. The statute provides for jurisdiction where the respondent’s conduct represents an “ongoing pattern of harassment that has an adverse effect on the petitioner,” if the petitioner is a Washington resident. The petitioner in this case was a Washington resident.