it appears as if an order for protection has been altered but I need to be educated on whether or not it is possible for an Order for Protection to be effective for 11 years when the defendant has a squeaky clean background, even if the defendant didn't show up for the hearing.

Wouldn't there be some sort of follow up on the case at some time during the 11 year period?

The order was placed ultimately as a way for the petitioner to work the system to gain custody of the minor child involved in the case. We believe the petitioner simply added a 1 to the 1 year originally ordered, made copies of the already signed paperwork and hand delivered copies to required authorized personnel and to the defendant. Apparently the petitioner of the order was working for the local legal aid voluntarily and may have used this place of employment to act as an attorney for certain clients and used her knowledge of the law to trick certain clients into believing her to be some sort of paralegal or lawyer. The 11 year order for protection may have been faked. Right??

This is in the State of Washington in the US.

  • Please clarify what your question is. Are you asking if an Order of Protection can be valid for 11 year? Or what is the status of an order improperly altered by the petitioner? If both please ask two linked questions. Also, please use blank lines between paragraphs and capitol letters at the start of sentences in future. If you want a useful answer, please indicate the relevant jurisdiction (country, and state or province in a federal country such as the US, Canada, or India). Legal rules vary a good deal in different jurisdictions. May 30, 2021 at 14:29
  • Can an Order of Protection be valid for 11 years in the State of Washington county of Thurston? And also, would it be valid if the paperwork was altered by the petitioner?
    – jennifer
    May 30, 2021 at 15:29

1 Answer 1


RCW 26.50.060 governs the duration of protective orders. It depends on the reason for the order (and also note that there has been a change in the law, taking effect July 25 this year or next, depending on which section). The key provision is "(6) The court order shall specify the date the order expires if any", which means that a perpetual order is possible.

An order cannot be faked or altered, but a piece of paper purporting to be an order can be. You can obtain a copy of the actual order from the county courthouse.

If you read para (2) in the statute, you will note that is says

If a protection order restrains the respondent from contacting the respondent's minor children the restraint shall be for a fixed period not to exceed one year. This limitation is not applicable to orders for protection issued under chapter 26.09, *26.10, 26.26A, or 26.26B RCW.

26.09 is about dissolution and separation, suggesting that it is not necessarily faked. But yes, it is possible that the "11" was faked, and you can test that theory.

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