When a Washington civil protection order is issued, the parties generally know who the protected party is. In some cases, however, there may be errors in the identification of the protected party in the order. A defendant recently challenged his conviction for violation of a domestic violence court order because the domestic violence no-contact order identified a race for the protected party that did not match his wife’s race.
In 2013, the court issued a domestic violence no-contact order that prohibited the defendant from contacting a named individual. The order included the protected party’s birthdate. It included a finding of fact that the protected party was the defendant’s “[i]ntimate partner.” The name and birthdate of the protected party matched that of the defendant’s wife. The order also stated the protected party was a black female. It expired in July 2018.
According to the appeals court’s opinion, the defendant’s wife called 911 in February 2017 and reported that the defendant had assaulted her. The defendant told the responding officer that his wife had assaulted him at her home. He acknowledged there was a no-contact order that prohibited him from contacting his wife, but stated he thought it had expired.