A restraining order is a protection order. This is simply to prevent contact between two people. It may be physical or personal contact, phone or text, even, email or social media contact, or communication through a third party. 

When a court issues a restraining order, it is to command the other party to stop attempting to contact or do things, otherwise, that person can be held in contempt. Per Washington State law, restraining orders are restraining people to:

  • Make contact with you
  • Placing you under surveillance
  • coming near you
  • Having the possession of a firearm
  • Staying or entering the house where you live

Types of Restraining Orders

Restraining orders are generally filed in the context of an existing family law case, but two types are the most common restraining orders:

Domestic Violence Protection Order Civil Anthiharrasment Protection Order
When you are abused or being abused by someone you are/were close with, may it be a relative or someone you had or have an intimate relationship with When you are abused or being abused by a complete stranger
  • Potential consequences:
    • Mandatory arrest; Gross Misdemeanor; Possible criminal charges or contempt

Difference Between Immediate Restraining Order vs Temporary Restraining Order

They are almost the same, but the main difference is the duration or speed.

Immediate Restraining Order Temporary Restraining Order
Temporary relief Temporary relief
Takes effect immediately and lasts 14 days with a ‘show cause’ after, for the court to decide whether to grant a Temporary Restraining Order Requires a two-week process before the ourt decides; lasts 14 days
To request, must present evidence of great harm, or emergency risk like domestic violence, threat to abscond with kids, trying harmful things, etc Still cannot become a final order if the abuser does not respond


Learn more about immediate restraining orders in our blog here.

It is also worth noting that immediate restraining orders may address the above issues by ordering the other party:

  • To leave the family home and not come near the kids including stalking or harassing
  • To leave the children in your care
  • To leave the finances to you by not doing anything property or insurance-related

On the other hand, once the immediate restraining order has now a temporary order, the court cannot:

  • Make a permanent asset division
  • Liquidate or sell assets like the house
  • Someone else is given the power to adopt the parenting plan that was set by the parties
  • Joint filing of taxes requiring both parties 

It is best to contact a competent yet compassionate attorney near you if you have unanswered questions. Our lawyers at Soriano Law LLC, one of the highest-rated in the State, can help you. Get a FREE Consultation now by calling us at (360) 249-6174 or emailing ron@sorianolawllc.com now!