When a court grants a Washington domestic violence protection order for a fixed period of time, the petitioner may seek a renewal up to three months before it expires. A petition for renewal should be granted unless the respondent shows he or she will not resume domestic violence upon the expiration of the protection order. The respondent must make this showing by a preponderance of the evidence. RCW 26.50.060.
In a recent case, a mother challenged the denial of renewal of an order of protection. The court had originally granted her a one-year domestic violence protection order against her children’s father protecting the mother and their two children. The trial court found the father had harmed one of the kids and the mother was afraid for their safety. The father was prohibited from abusing the mother and children. The children were subject of a dependency proceeding, so the father’s contact with them was subject to the custody of the Department of Children, Youth and Families.
The mother petitioned to renew the protection order. She claimed the father scratched the children during his visitation with them. The trial court held a hearing where the mother, her mother, a polygraph examiner, and a Department of Children, Youth and Families social worker testified. Other evidence included a letter and a report from the Department of Children, Youth and Families.