A court may issue a Washington protection order based on stalking behavior. (RCW 7.92.100) Stalking includes repeated actual or attempted contact with the victim, tracking the victim, monitoring the victim’s actions or following the victim. The respondent’s conduct must serve no legal purpose and be conduct that the respondent knows or reasonably should know would intimidate, frighten, or threaten a reasonable person. (RCW 7.92.020) An ex-husband recently challenged a protection order issued against him, arguing his wife had not alleged behaviors that constituted stalking.
The ex-wife petitioned for an order of protection six months after the divorce, alleging her ex-husband was stalking her. She claimed he hired a private investigator to follow her. She also alleged he accessed her bank accounts and social media accounts through her old phone. The trial court issued a temporary restraining order.
The ex-wife testified at the hearing that her ex-husband had accessed her Ancestry account and read her private messages. She said he also accessed her social media accounts and read her private messages. She also thought he accessed the account where her employer reimbursed her expenses. She testified he had hired a private investigator who followed her for about four weeks. She said she felt afraid and threatened.