Menu Close Menu

Restraining Orders Can be Permanent in Washington

Posted by Steve Karimi | May 27, 2016 | 0 Comments

A common aspect of a divorce is an allegation of domestic violence. These nearly always come with restraining orders, which are issued by a court and demand that the two people not deal with each other in specified ways for a set period of time. Because restraining orders and domestic violence are parts of criminal law, however, each state handles them differently. As a result, there can be confusion about the law in one state versus what it is in a second state. However, while these differences can be a source of confusion, they can also be used to help understand what your state prioritizes, or considers to be more important.

Here is an example, dealing with the different lengths of restraining orders in Washington and the state of Tennessee.

Tennessee Case Decides that Restraining Orders Cannot be Permanent

In Tennessee, the court of appeals recently made a decision in the case Swonger v. Swonger about the length of a restraining order, and how long it could last from the time of its creation.

While they were married, the wife in the case filed for a restraining order against her husband, which the Tennessee courts granted, preventing him from seeing her for a year. She filed for a divorce soon afterwards, and requested that the restraining order be changed from a one year order to a permanent one.

The husband, who at that time was in jail, did not appear in court to defend against either the divorce or the restraining order, and both were issued against him. However, he did appeal the issuance of the permanent restraining order, and the Tennessee Court of Appeals heard his case.

The court of appeals sided with the husband after reading the state's family law code, which only gave a court two options when changing with the type of restraining order that the wife had gotten during the marriage. Because neither of these options allowed it to create a permanent restraining order, the court of appeals sided with the husband, putting a time limit on the order.

Washington's Restraining Orders Can be Permanent in Some Situations

The problem in the Tennessee case was that the laws dealing with restraining orders were open to multiple interpretations. In Washington, on the other hand, there is very little room to disagree on. Here, restraining orders can be permanent if they are final orders, issued by a court after a full hearing and examination of evidence presented by both of the parties in the case.

Seattle Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Steve Karimi

Because of Washington's choice to allow for permanent restraining orders, it is even more important to vigorously defend against one, or against an allegation of domestic violence. With his prior experience as a prosecutor, domestic violence defense attorney Steve Karimi has unique insight into the inner workings of a domestic violence investigation, which he can use to help get you the best possible outcome. Contact his Seattle law office online or at (206) 621-8777.

About the Author

Steve Karimi

Steve Karimi attended Pepperdine University School of Law. After graduation he worked as a prosecutor in Seattle where he gained valuable insight to the criminal justice system. Attorney Karimi uses his experiences as a prosecutor everyday only now he fights for the justice of those accused.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Call Us Now

If you have been charged with a domestic violence related crime in Seattle, call The Law Offices of Steve Karimi right now. You will speak to a Seattle criminal attorney who cares about your case and wants to help you get great results. Call us at 206-660-6200 or complete the form in the sidebar.

Domestic Violence Defense

Attorney Steve Karimi is a former prosecutor who can use his knowledge and experience to defend you. He has a proven record of successfully defending domestic violence clients. When it comes to your future, make sure you have the best legal representation in town.