ANTI-HARASSMENT ORDERS UNDER WASHINGTON LAW
An anti-harassment order is a special type of restraining order that is available for victims of harassment. It’s a civil order in which a court tells a person who is harassing another not to continue in such acts. More specifically, anti-harassment orders can: (1) restrain a person from contacting another person; (2) restrain a person from keeping another person under surveillance; and, (3) require a person to stay a certain distance away from another person’s home or workplace. Police are notified of these orders and they’re enforceable in any county in Washington.
Washington law considers unlawful harassment any knowing and willful “course of conduct” that seriously:
- Alarms a person
- Annoys a person
- Harasses a person
- Serves no legitimate or lawful purpose
- Causes a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and actually causes substantial emotional distress to a person
A “course of conduct” is basically a series of acts, that take place over a period of time (however short), and have an on-going purpose.