What are the impacts of Initiative 1491 Extreme Risk Protection Orders on the Courts of Limited Jurisdiction?

Effective December 8, 2016, Initiative Measure 1491 allows for family, household members, and police to obtain a court order temporarily preventing individuals who are at high risk of harming themselves or others from accessing firearms. This order is known as an Extreme Risk Protection Order. ***Effective July 28, 209, petitions will be available for respondent under age 18.

  • Jurisdiction: The Superior Courts have jurisdiction over proceedings and full orders; the District and Municipal Courts have limited jurisdiction over issuance and enforcement of Ex Parte Extreme Risk Protection Orders.
  • Forms:
    • The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) developed instructions, informational brochures, standard petitions and Extreme Risk Protection Order forms, and a court staff handbook. The following forms are posted on the Court Formsweb page:
      • Petition for an Extreme Risk Protection Order
      • Firearms Examples
      • Return of Service
      • Temporary Extreme Risk Protection Order-Without Notice
      • Extreme Risk Protection Order
      • ***Additional forms for respondend under age 18 will be available by July 28, 2019. This answer will be updated when the forms are available.
    • The court must use, and make available, the pattern forms released by AOC.
    • All court clerks may create a community resource list of crisis intervention, mental health, substance abuse, interpreter, counseling, and other relevant resources serving the county in which the court is located. This list can then be incorporated into the brochure.
  • Fees: No fees for filing or service of process may be charged by the court or any public agency to petitioners seeking an Extreme Risk Protection Order.  Petitioners are to be provided necessary certified copies, forms, and instructional brochures free of charge.
  • Case Filing: It is required that order be entered into the Judicial Information System (JIS) the same day the order is signed
    • Cases are filed using the Civil Case Filing (CIVA) process and using statewide IN-type person records.

      Note: This would include law enforcement agencies and/or officers.
    • Cause Codes: XRP - Extreme Risk Protection Order or ***XRU - Extreme Risk Protection Order Respondent Under 18 Years
    • The Order Add (ORDA) screen in JIS will not be used as the protection order is not protecting the petitioner from the respondent, only the respondent from possessing firearms or a concealed weapons permit.
  • Docket: The following new Docket Codes have been created for use in an Extreme Risk Protection Order case:
    • EXRPO - Ex Parte Extreme Risk Protection Order
    • ORTXRPO - Termination of Extreme Risk Protection Order
    • ***PTXR18 - Petition Extreme Risk Respondent Under 18 Years
    • ***TMXR18 - Temporary Order Extreme Risk Protection Under 18 Years
    • ***ORTR18 - Order Transferring Respondent Under 18 Years

      Note: As the ORDA screen is not being used, the expiration date will not appear in the system. Make a docket entry on the Case Docket (CDK) screen noting the expiration date.
  • Petition for Extreme Risk Protection Order:
    • A petition for an extreme risk protection order must be filed in the county where the petitioner or the respondent resides.
    • If the petitioner is a law enforcement agency, they are to notify a family or household member of the respondent prior to filing. In addition, they are to note that the notification was made in the petition.
    • The court administrator shall verify the terms of any existing order governing the parties.
    • The court cannot delay granting relief due to the existence of a pending action between parties or verifying the terms of an existing order.
  • Ex Parte Orders:
    • The court shall hold a hearing in person or by telephone within one judicial day of an Ex parte Temporary Extreme Risk Protection Order petition being filed.
    • The case is transferred and the hearing scheduled in the Superior Court within 14 days.
    • The respondent must be personally served and the temporary order expires the day of the hearing. 
    • The District and Municipal Courts have concurrent jurisdiction to reissue the order ex parte order until the respondent is served.
    • If the court declines to issue an Ex Parte Extreme Risk Protection Order, the court shall state the reason for the denial.
  • WASIS and NICS Entry: Within one judicial day, ex parte are to be forwarded to law enforcement for entry into the Washington State Information System (WASIS) and the National Instant Criminal background Check System (NICS).
  • DOL Notification: The court is required, within three judicial daysafter an Ex Parte Extreme Risk Protection Order is issued, to forward a copy of the respondent's driver's license or ID card, or comparable information, and a certified copy of the ex parte order, to the Department of Licensing (DOL) Firearms unit.
    • Department of Licensing Firearms Unit
      PO Box 9649
      Olympia WA 99999-9999

    • PDF Copies can be emailed to: firearms@dol.wa.gov
  • Surrender of Firearms: If the respondent fails to surrender firearms, and probable cause exists, the court shall issue a search warrant.
  • Termination of Orders: A motion to terminate may be filed in District and Municipal Courts prior to service of the order. If an order to terminate is signed prior to the expiration date, notification must be sent to law enforcement, DOL Firearms unit, and Superior Court.
  • Closure of Case:The case is not closed until the respondent is served. Once served, complete the Civil Judgment (CVJ) screen as follows:
    • Case Dispo: CL (Closed) and date served
    • Judgment Type: TR (Transferred) and date transferred to Superior Court
    • Judgment Dispo: CL (Closed) and date transferred
  • Law Table:
    • 2 new gross misdemeanors are added:
      • Person who files a petition that is false or is intended to harass.
      • First 2 violations of a person who has firearms when prohibited from doing so by order. Subsequent violations are a Class C felony.
    • Laws will not be added to the law table until they are codified. Contact customer service if the law needs to be added prior to being codified. This answer will be updated when the laws have been added.

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