OLYMPIA…Senate Republican leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, released the following statement in response to criticism that the Senate Republican denial of the extension of Proclamation 20-45 will hurt victims of domestic violence.

“Senate Republicans have always been, and will always be, champions for victims’ rights. We are extremely concerned about the 21 percent increase in domestic violence during the governor’s unnecessarily drawn out order that forces them to stay in their abusive households. We call on Governor Inslee to order a new proclamation that provides the same protections to domestic violence victims that Proclamation 20-45 did, but without the additional hinderances to due process. We denied the extension because the proclamation impeded access to justice for everyone, including victims, and created an imbalance of fairness. We don’t want to delay justice for victims, which is why the courts need to promptly set hearings. The proclamation removed those protections. Those hearing timelines exist for a reason – to ensure that those who want the protection of the court can get a hearing quickly.

“Our overriding concern is that the proclamation would create situations where temporary court orders against individuals might last indefinitely, even when the individuals have not been given a chance to present their side of a case in court. A singularly focused proclamation would be more effective and less damaging than one that hurts individual rights.

“The governor and Democrats are fully aware of how this proclamation affects due process, but were willing to compromise our legal rights in order to avoid an unfair headline. Their statements today were cheap shots and completely off the mark.”


Points to consider regarding Proclamation 20-45:

  • By suspending hearing timelines, and time limits on ex parte orders, the proclamation poses a risk of infringing on the due process rights of individuals who may become subject to a court order.
  • It is equally important for petitioners to get prompt hearings when they seek protection orders from the courts.
  • By suspending personal service, the proclamation reduces confidence for both the petitioner and the respondent that all parties have been properly notified of a pending court action.
  • If the proclamation is not renewed, the courts still have flexibility to hold hearings, such as telephonic hearings, that limit in-person contact if necessary.
  • Law enforcement is often required to serve process. But if private process servers could be used but have been shut down by the governor’s stay-home orders, then the governor could deem those businesses to be essential and allow them to return to work.
  • The laws that the Legislature enacted for service and hearings related to protection orders are designed to protect both sides in every case – it is appropriate for those laws to come back into force.
  • It is important for Washington residents to continue to have access to justice – the Senate Republican Caucus believes the courts can find effective ways to provide access without threatening individual rights.