I am a Protected Person in a Criminal, Domestice Violence No-Contact Order.  How Can I Change or Terminate the Order?

 

This information is for criminal matters only.  There are different pamphlets for civil cases.  Also, this information is for protected persons, not defendants

 

If you are a criminal defendant who wants to change a no-contact order, you or your lawyer should schedule a hearing on the criminal miscellaneous court calendar

 

The court can enter a domestic violence (DV) no-contact order whenever a defendant is charged with or convicted of a DV crime.  The court can do this even if the protected party does not want a no-contact order.

 

Parties can ask the court to modify or terminate a DV no-contact order.  (RCW 10.99.040.)  The parties are called the "protected party" and the "defendant".

 

  • The Protected Party is the person who is protected from contact by another person.  The protected party is sometimes called the victim.
  • The Defendant is the person who cannot contact the protected party under the no-contact order.  The defendant is sometimes called the restricted party.

What are the Steps to Change or End a DV No-Contact Order?

1.  Get Forms from the court clerk or this link: http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/?fa=forms.static&staticID=14#DVNoContactOrders .

Forms NC 02.0500, 02.0600, 02.0700, 02.0800.

2.  Get help, if you want, from a victim's advocate at the prosecutor's office, or a community-based victim advocate.

3.  Fill out the forms and explain exactly why you think the court should change the no-contact order.

4.  Provide any information that you want the court to consider.  Read through this web page to decide what information you want to give the court, such as a safety plan or letter from the defendant's treatment provider.  Staff at pretrial services may be able to help if you have additional questions.

5.  Turn in your completed forms and information to the Clerk's Office.  Keep a copy for yourself and the court.

6.  Attend a hearing on the ex parte calendar, scheduled at 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday each week.  The court will review your motion there first.

→The court may deny your motion and if it does will tell you why at the hearing.  If the court denies your motion, you can ask again later and can give the court more information or explain why the situation has changed.

→At the ex parte hearing, the court may schedule another hearing so the defendant can attend.  The court will notify you and the defendant about the hearing date.  At the later hearing, the court will decide whether to grant the motion, in whole or in part.

7.  Attend a hearing on the criminal miscellaneous calendar if the court scheduled one.  You must go to that hearing or your request will not be considered.  You can reschedule the hearing by filing a "notice of issue" form with the clerk and serving it on the parties and attorneys.

 

How Does the Court Decide How to Rule on the Motion?

The court can only consider information that is in the court file.  It is best to file information that supports the things you say.  For instance, if you say that the defendant is complying with treatment and is doing well, it is best if the treatment provider files a report or letter about the defendant's progress.
The court reviews many factors to decide whether to schedule a hearing on your motion, and whether to grant your request for change(s) to the order.  The court will review what you say and what is in the court file.  Some of the things the court considers include:
 
  • How long has passed since the no-contact order was entered?  The court is more likely to change or terminate an order if more time has passed.

  • Has the defendant gone to trial yet?  The court will not usually change a no-contact order before trial.

  • Has the defendant complied with court-ordered treatment?  The treatment provider should file progress reports.

  • Has the defendant violated a court order?  The court will not terminate a no-contact order if the defendant is not complying with the court's orders in the case.

  • How serious were the crimes or allegations?  Are there particular risk factors, such as access to weapons?

  • Do you have a safety plan, or can you explain why contact with the defendant would be safe? 

  • Are there other no-contact orders or protection orders involving the same defendant?  If there are conflicting orders, the court may schedule a hearing at Family & Juvenile Court.

  • Are you asking to terminate the order or to modify it to allow contact in limited situations?  The court may be more likely to modify a no-contact order than to terminate it.  People often ask to communicate only about child care or finances, to have contact only while the defendant is incarcerated, or to have contact by phone or e-mail only and not in person.

  • Are there issues about child visitation or financial support that need to be addressed?  These matters may be scheduled for a hearing at the Family & Juvenile Court if there is a case filed there.

The court will not grant the motion unless you show up at the scheduled hearing.  The court will also determine whether the defendant had notice about the hearing.
 

Other Things You Should Know:

  • Always keep a copy of your domestic violence no-contact order with you.  If you get a new no-contact order or an order modifying or terminating a no-contact order, keep that order with you.
  • You can ask the court for a civil protection order, even if you asked the court to modify or terminate a protection order or no-contact order in the past and even if you have a criminal no-contact order.
  • You can still ask the court to modify or terminate the order in the future if your circumstances change or you want to present more information, even if the court denied your motion.
  • This court cannot change orders from other courts at the first hearing.  Tell this court if you have different orders that conflict with each other because this courtmay be able to resolve them on the "Conflicting Orders" . In some situations, you will need to ask the court that issued the order to change it.
 

Resources:

The best resource list for domestic violence in Thurston County is the "Community Resources for Cases involving Domestice Violence", and is called the "green sheet."  You can get this here.

Some community resources include:
Safeplace 360-754-6300 TTY 360-943-6703
Thurston County Clerk
DV Liaison
360-709-3268 360-709-3275
Crisis Clinic 360-586-2800 800-627-2211
DV Helpline 800-799-SAFE TTY 800-787-3224
CLEAR
(Legal aid Referral)
800-201-1014  
Thurston County Sherriff 360-786-5500  
Olympia Area Police 360-704-2740  

   

CALL 911 FOR EMERGENCIES, INCLUDING WHEN LIFE OR PROPERTY IS ENDANGERED, A CRIME IS IN PROGRESS, OR A CRIME HAS JUST OCCURRED.