SECOND SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 6347
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1992 Regular Session
By Senate Committee on Ways & Means (originally sponsored by Senators Nelson, A. Smith, Erwin, Madsen, Rinehart, Thorsness and von Reichbauer)
Read first time 02/11/92.
AN ACT Relating to domestic violence; amending RCW 26.50.030, 26.50.035, 26.50.060, 10.99.030, 26.50.010, 26.50.020, 4.08.050, 12.04.140, 12.04.150, and 26.28.015; and creating new sections.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. The legislature finds that:
Domestic violence is a problem of immense proportions affecting individuals as well as communities. Domestic violence has long been recognized as being at the core of other major social problems: Child abuse, other crimes of violence against person or property, juvenile delinquency, and alcohol and drug abuse. Domestic violence costs millions of dollars each year in the state of Washington for health care, absence from work, services to children, and more. The crisis is growing.
While the existing protection order process can be a valuable tool to increase safety for victims and to hold batterers accountable, specific problems in its use have become evident. Victims have difficulty completing the paperwork required particularly if they have limited English proficiency; model forms have been modified to be inconsistent with statutory language; different forms create confusion for law enforcement agencies about the contents and enforceability of orders. Refinements are needed so that victims have the easy, quick, and effective access to the court system envisioned at the time the protection order process was first created.
When courts issue mutual protection orders without the filing of separate written petitions, notice to each respondent, and hearing on each petition, the original petitioner is deprived of due process. Mutual protection orders label both parties as violent and treat both as being equally at fault: Batterers conclude that the violence is excusable or provoked and victims who are not violent are confused and stigmatized. Enforcement may be ineffective and mutual orders may be used in other proceedings as evidence that the victim is equally at fault.
Valuable information about the reported incidents of domestic violence in the state of Washington is unobtainable without gathering data from all law enforcement agencies; without this information, it is difficult for policymakers, funders, and service providers to plan for the resources and services needed to address the issue.
Domestic violence must be addressed more widely and more effectively in our state: Greater knowledge by professionals who deal frequently with domestic violence is essential to enforce existing laws, to intervene in domestic violence situations that do not come to the attention of the law enforcement or judicial systems, and to reduce and prevent domestic violence by intervening before the violence becomes severe.
Adolescent dating violence is occurring at increasingly high rates: Preventing and confronting adolescent violence is important in preventing potential violence in future adult relationships.
Sec. 2. RCW 26.50.030 and 1985 c 303 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:
There shall exist an action known as a petition for an order for protection in cases of domestic violence.
(1) A petition for relief shall allege the existence of domestic violence, and shall be accompanied by an affidavit made under oath stating the specific facts and circumstances from which relief is sought.
(2) A petition for relief may be made regardless of whether or not there is a pending lawsuit, complaint, petition, or other action between the parties except in cases where the court realigns petitioner and respondent in accordance with RCW 26.50.060(3).
ninety days of receipt of the master copy from the administrator for the
courts, all court clerk's offices shall make available ((
the standardized forms, instructions, and (( instructional))
informational brochures required by RCW 26.50.035 and shall fill in
and keep current specific program names and telephone numbers for community
resources. Any assistance or information provided by clerks under this
section does not constitute the practice of law and clerks are not responsible
for incorrect information contained in a petition.
(4) A filing fee of twenty dollars shall be charged for proceedings under this section. No filing fee may be charged for: (a) A petition filed in an existing action or under an existing cause number brought under this chapter in the jurisdiction where the relief is sought; or (b) the transfer of a case from district or municipal court to superior court under RCW 26.50.020(2). Forms and instructional brochures shall be provided free of charge.
(5) A person is not required to post a bond to obtain relief in any proceeding under this section.
Sec. 3. RCW 26.50.035 and 1985 c 303 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:
January 1, 1993, the administrator for the courts shall develop and
prepare, in consultation with interested persons, to include a
representative of the state domestic violence coalition, judges, and law
enforcement personnel, ((
the forms)) instructions and (( instructional))
informational brochures required under RCW 26.50.030(3), standard
petition and order for protection forms that must be used after April 15, 1993,
for all petitions filed and orders issued under this chapter, and a court staff
handbook on domestic violence and the protection order process. The
instructions shall be designed to assist petitioners in completing the
petition. The informational brochure shall describe the use of and the process
for obtaining a protection order, a no contact order as provided by RCW
10.99.040, a restraining order as provided by RCW 26.09.060, and an
antiharassment protection order as provided by chapter 10.14 RCW, along with a
list of local community resources. The community resources shall be in the form
of a list that includes law enforcement agencies, domestic violence agencies,
sexual assault agencies, legal assistance programs, interpreters, multicultural
programs, and batterers' treatment programs, which shall contain the names and
telephone numbers of programs serving the community in which the court is
located. Court staff shall obtain the community resource list from a domestic
violence program as defined in RCW 70.123.020 serving the county in which the
court is located. The order for protection form shall include, in a
conspicuous location, notice of criminal penalties resulting from violation of
the order, notice that the petitioner may not waive any provisions of the
order, and notice that it is the sole responsibility of the respondent to avoid
or refrain from violating the provisions of the order. The administrator
for the courts shall distribute a master copy of the petition and order
forms (( and instructional)), instructions, and informational
brochures to (( all court clerks)) the staff of all courts and shall
distribute a master copy of the order forms to all superior, district, and
The administrator for the courts shall arrange for translation of the instructions and informational brochures into Spanish, Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian, and Chinese and shall distribute a master copy of the translated instructions and informational brochures to all court clerks by March 1, 1993.
The administrator for the courts shall, in consultation with interested parties to include a representative of the state domestic violence coalition, judges, law enforcement personnel, and staff from multicultural programs, determine by June 30, 1993, whether translation of the petition and standard order forms would substantially improve access to the protection order process for those with limited English proficiency. If so, the administrator for the courts shall arrange for the translation of the petition and standard order forms into Spanish, Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian, and Chinese, and shall distribute a master copy of the translated petition and standard order forms to all court staff by September 1, 1993, along with any necessary instructions or explanations for use of the translated petition and standard order forms.
Sec. 4. RCW 26.50.060 and 1989 c 411 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Upon notice and after hearing, the court may provide relief as follows:
a party)) the respondent from committing acts of
(b) Exclude the respondent from the dwelling which the parties share or from the residence of the petitioner;
(c) On the same basis as is provided in chapter 26.09 RCW, the court shall make residential provision with regard to minor children of the parties. However, parenting plans as specified in chapter 26.09 RCW shall not be required under this chapter;
Order the respondent to participate in batterers' treatment ((
Order other relief as it deems necessary for the protection of ((
petitioner and other family or household members sought to be protected,
including orders or directives to a peace officer, as allowed under this
(f) Require the respondent to pay the filing fee and court costs, including service fees, and to reimburse the petitioner for costs incurred in bringing the action, including a reasonable attorney's fee. If the petitioner has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis, the court may require the respondent to pay the filing fee and costs, including services fees, to the county or municipality incurring the expense; and
any party)) the respondent from having any contact
with the victim of domestic violence or the victim's children or members of the
(2) Any relief granted by the order for protection, other than a judgment for costs, shall be for a fixed period not to exceed one year.
(3) In providing relief under this chapter, the court may realign the designation of the parties as "petitioner" and "respondent" where the court finds that the original petitioner is the abuser and the original respondent is the victim of domestic violence and may issue an ex parte temporary order for protection in accordance with RCW 26.50.070 on behalf of the victim until the victim is able to prepare a petition for an order for protection in accordance with RCW 26.50.030.
(4) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, no order for protection shall grant relief to any party except upon notice to the respondent and hearing pursuant to a petition or counter-petition filed and served by the party seeking relief in accordance with RCW 26.50.050.
Sec. 5. RCW 10.99.030 and 1984 c 263 s 21 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) All training relating to the handling of domestic violence complaints by law enforcement officers shall stress enforcement of criminal laws in domestic situations, availability of community resources, and protection of the victim. Law enforcement agencies and community organizations with expertise in the issue of domestic violence shall cooperate in all aspects of such training.
(2) The primary duty of peace officers, when responding to a domestic violence situation, is to enforce the laws allegedly violated and to protect the complaining party.
(3)(a) When a peace officer responds to a domestic violence call and has probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, the peace officer shall exercise arrest powers with reference to the criteria in RCW 10.31.100. The officer shall notify the victim of the victim's right to initiate a criminal proceeding in all cases where the officer has not exercised arrest powers or decided to initiate criminal proceedings by citation or otherwise. The parties in such cases shall also be advised of the importance of preserving evidence.
(b) A peace officer responding to a domestic violence call shall take a complete offense report including the officer's disposition of the case.
(4) When a peace officer responds to a domestic violence call, the officer shall advise victims of all reasonable means to prevent further abuse, including advising each person of the availability of a shelter or other services in the community, and giving each person immediate notice of the legal rights and remedies available. The notice shall include handing each person a copy of the following statement:
"IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, you can ask the city or county prosecuting attorney to file a criminal complaint. You also have the right to file a petition in superior, district, or municipal court requesting an order for protection from domestic abuse which could include any of the following: (a) An order restraining your abuser from further acts of abuse; (b) an order directing your abuser to leave your household; (c) an order preventing your abuser from entering your residence, school, business, or place of employment; (d) an order awarding you or the other parent custody of or visitation with your minor child or children; and (e) an order restraining your abuser from molesting or interfering with minor children in your custody. The forms you need to obtain a protection order are available in any municipal, district, or superior court.
Information about shelters and alternatives to domestic violence is available from a state-wide twenty-four-hour toll-free hotline at 1-800-562-6025. The battered women's shelter and other resources in your area are --- (include local information)"
(5) The peace officer may offer, arrange, or facilitate transportation for the victim to a hospital for treatment of injuries or to a place of safety or shelter.
(6) The law enforcement agency shall forward the offense report to the appropriate prosecutor within ten days of making such report if there is probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed, unless the case is under active investigation.
(7) Each law enforcement agency shall make as soon as practicable a written record and shall maintain records of all incidents of domestic violence reported to it.
(8) Records kept pursuant to subsections (3) and (7) of this section shall be made identifiable by means of a departmental code for domestic violence.
(9) Commencing January 1, 1993, records of incidents of domestic violence shall be submitted, in accordance with procedures described in this subsection, to the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs by all law enforcement agencies. The Washington criminal justice training commission shall amend its contract for collection of state-wide crime data with the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs: (a) To require the compilation, presentation, and inclusion of domestic violence incidents in the annual report of crime in Washington produced by the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs pursuant to such contract; and (b) to require that, in consultation with interested persons, the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs prepare and disseminate procedures to all law enforcement agencies in the state as to how such agencies shall code and report domestic violence incidents to the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6. The departments of social and health services, community development, and health; the administrator for the courts; and the criminal justice training commission, in cooperation with each other and with the department of social and health services as lead agency shall, in consultation with interested parties, conduct a review of and issue a report on the current level of domestic violence education in the state of Washington, including higher education curricula and continuing professional education for individuals working in positions that involve duties to, or contact with, those affected by domestic violence. Professions for which education levels should be determined include, but are not limited to, health care, mental health, and substance abuse professionals licensed or certified by the state and pastoral counselors, employee assistance counselors, police and law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, court administrators, court clerks, probation officers, parole officers, child protective service workers, school counselors, teachers, and clergy. The analysis shall include suggested approaches of how to achieve any needed additional education, and an evaluation of whether there is a need for additional domestic violence education for some or all of these professions, either as part of their higher education curricula or through continuing education or both. The department of social and health services shall report to the house of representatives judiciary and senate law and justice committees regarding its findings and recommendations by September 1, 1992.
Sec. 7. RCW 26.50.010 and 1991 c 301 s 8 are each amended to read as follows:
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings given them:
(1) "Domestic violence" means: (a) Physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, between family or household members; or (b) sexual assault of one family or household member by another.
"Family or household members" means spouses, former spouses, persons
who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have
lived together at any time, adult persons related by blood or marriage, ((
adult persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together
in the past, persons sixteen years of age or older who are presently
residing together or who have resided together in the past and who have or have
had a dating relationship, and persons sixteen years of age or older with whom
a respondent sixteen years of age or older has or has had a dating relationship.
(3) "Dating relationship" means a social relationship of a romantic nature. Factors that the court may consider in making this determination include: (a) The length of time the relationship has existed; (b) the nature of the relationship; and (c) the frequency of interaction between the parties.
(4) "Court" includes the superior, district, and municipal courts of the state of Washington.
(5) "Judicial day" does not include Saturdays, Sundays, or
Sec. 8. RCW 26.50.020 and 1989 c 375 s 28 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Any person may seek relief under this chapter by filing a petition with a court alleging that the person has been the victim of domestic violence committed by the respondent. The person may petition for relief on behalf of himself or herself and on behalf of minor family or household members.
(2) A person under eighteen years of age who is sixteen years of age or older may seek relief under this chapter and is not required to seek relief by a guardian or next friend.
(3) No guardian or guardian ad litem need be appointed on behalf of a respondent to an action under this chapter who is under eighteen years of age if such respondent is sixteen years of age or older.
(4) The court may, if it deems necessary, appoint a guardian ad litem for a petitioner or respondent who is a party to an action under this chapter.
(5) The courts defined in RCW 26.50.010(3) have jurisdiction over proceedings under this chapter. The jurisdiction of district and municipal courts under this chapter shall be limited to enforcement of RCW 26.50.110(1), or the equivalent municipal ordinance, and the issuance and enforcement of temporary orders for protection provided for in RCW 26.50.070 if: (a) A superior court has exercised or is exercising jurisdiction over a proceeding under this title or chapter 13.34 RCW involving the parties; (b) the petition for relief under this chapter presents issues of residential schedule of and contact with children of the parties; or (c) the petition for relief under this chapter requests the court to exclude a party from the dwelling which the parties share. When the jurisdiction of a district or municipal court is limited to the issuance and enforcement of a temporary order, the district or municipal court shall set the full hearing provided for in RCW 26.50.050 in superior court and transfer the case. If the notice and order are not served on the respondent in time for the full hearing, the issuing court shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the superior court to extend the order for protection.
(6) An action under this chapter shall be filed in the county or the
municipality where the petitioner resides, unless the petitioner has left the
residence or household to avoid abuse. In that case, the petitioner may bring
an action in the county or municipality of the previous or the new household or
(7) A person's right to petition for relief under this chapter is not
affected by the person leaving the residence or household to avoid abuse.
Sec. 9. RCW 4.08.050 and 1891 c 30 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
Except as provided under RCW 26.50.020, when an infant is a party he or she shall appear by guardian, or if he or she has no guardian, or in the opinion of the court the guardian is an improper person, the court shall appoint one to act. Said guardian shall be appointed as follows:
(1) When the infant is plaintiff, upon the application of the infant, if he or she be of the age of fourteen years, or if under that age, upon the application of a relative or friend of the infant.
(2) When the infant is defendant, upon the application of the infant, if he or she be of the age of fourteen years, and applies within thirty days after the service of the summons; if he or she be under the age of fourteen, or neglects to apply, then upon the application of any other party to the action, or of a relative or friend of the infant.
Sec. 10. RCW 12.04.140 and 1971 ex.s. c 292 s 75 are each amended to read as follows:
Except as provided under RCW 26.50.020, no action shall be commenced by any person under the age of eighteen years, except by his guardian, or until a next friend for such a person shall have been appointed. Whenever requested, the justice shall appoint some suitable person, who shall consent thereto in writing, to be named by such plaintiff, to act as his or her next friend in such action, who shall be responsible for the costs therein.
Sec. 11. RCW 12.04.150 and 1971 ex.s. c 292 s 76 are each amended to read as follows:
After service and return of process against a defendant under the age of eighteen years, the action shall not be further prosecuted, until a guardian for such defendant shall have been appointed, except as provided under RCW 26.50.020. Upon the request of such defendant, the justice shall appoint some person who shall consent thereto in writing, to be guardian of the defendant in defense of the action; and if the defendant shall not appear on the return day of the process, or if he or she neglect or refuse to nominate such guardian, the justice may, at the request of the plaintiff, appoint any discreet person as such guardian. The consent of the guardian or next friend shall be filed with the justice; and such guardian for the defendant shall not be liable for any costs in the action.
Sec. 12. RCW 26.28.015 and 1971 ex.s. c 292 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and except as provided under RCW 26.50.020, all persons shall be deemed and taken to be of full age for the specific purposes hereafter enumerated at the age of eighteen years:
(1) To enter into any marriage contract without parental consent if otherwise qualified by law;
(2) To execute a will for the disposition of both real and personal property if otherwise qualified by law;
(3) To vote in any election if authorized by the Constitution and otherwise qualified by law;
(4) To enter into any legal contractual obligation and to be legally bound thereby to the full extent as any other adult person;
(5) To make decisions in regard to their own body and the body of their lawful issue whether natural born to or adopted by such person to the full extent allowed to any other adult person including but not limited to consent to surgical operations;
(6) To sue and be sued on any action to the full extent as any other adult person in any of the courts of this state, without the necessity for a guardian ad litem.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 13. (1) If specific funding for the purposes of sections 2 and 3 of this act, referencing sections 2 and 3 of this act by bill and section number, is not provided by June 30, 1992, in the omnibus appropriations act, sections 2 and 3 of this act shall be null and void.
(2) If specific funding for the purposes of section 5 of this act, referencing section 5 of this act by bill and section number, is not provided by June 30, 1992, in the omnibus appropriations act, section 5 of this act shall be null and void.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 14. If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.