Update on Proclamation 20-45 and Protections for Domestic Violence Victims

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On Saturday, May 9th, Senate Republicans blocked the extension of Governor Inslee’s Emergency Proclamation 20-45 Protection Orders and Personal Service.  This Proclamation, issued on April 10th, provided protections for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking by easing the process by which victims can seek emergency protection orders and waiving in-person proceedings.  This includes protections for vulnerable adults suffering from elder abuse.

The Proclamation relies upon the legislature to extend its protections, or will otherwise end on May 11th.  State prosecutor and sheriff’s associations had requested that the legislature extend the order, citing the increased reports of domestic violence exacerbated by quarantine and the COVID-19 crisis.

While Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig and Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins supported a sixty-day extension for the statutory waivers and suspensions in the proclamation, Representative J.T. Wilcox only supported extension until May 11th pending further review, and Representative Mark Schoesler opposed any extension of the Proclamation citing due process concerns. After today, the statutory deadlines and procedures for filing and personal service of protection orders for domestic abuse cases are reinstated. However, ex parte hearings are still conducted telephonically.

Many hope that the Governor will issue another proclamation that can both address due process concerns as well as maintain protections for victims of domestic violence during the pandemic.  Our Trust and Estate Litigation team will keep apprised of any new developments.

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Victoria Wei

Victoria currently practices as a member of the firm’s trust and estate and commercial litigation practice groups.

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