Our online utility bill pay system is currently down. The software vendor is looking into the issue. In the meantime, we will not proceed with shut-offs as scheduled for 2/28/23 and will update the timeline when the system returns. You can still pay by credit card, check or cash at City Hall.


You are not alone.
You are not to blame.
You do not deserve to be abused.
Help is yours for the asking.

*This information applies to Pierce County only.  If you have questions regarding the new process, please reach out to the Pierce County Protection Order Office at 253-798-8827.  For other counties, please check with your local county court.*
Pierce County is now utilizing a new website which allows for petitions (applications) for certain civil protection orders (including DV protection orders) to submitted ONLINE.  Petitioners can now use their own device and no longer need to visit a DV Kiosk location to apply, but they still have the option to do so at participating locations.
Petitions for qualifying civil protection orders can be started and submitted by visiting the following link:
Here are the basics of the new petition process:
  • Petitioners will be able to start and submit their petition in person or online.  The web address for online petitions is posted above.
  • If applying online, the petitioner will need an internet-connected device with a webcam for Zoom/teleconference hearings (such as a phone, tablet, laptop, etc), Because petitioners can use their own device to apply for the protection order, they are not required to visit a DV Kiosk location.
    • Because of the changes, it is unknown whether previous DV Kiosk locations will become available again.
    • The Sumner Police Department kiosk is now available for use.  You may wish to call first to ensure the kiosk is open and operational, see below for operating hours.  The police desk can be reached at 253-863-6384.
If you wish to file a petition in person, the following forms may be helpful, but may become outdated as processes are updated.  Please contact the court for the latest version of the documents needed to complete your petition.
Please click here to download a copy of the instructions and forms as provided by the Pierce County Superior Court.
WashingtonLawHelp.org has also provided a web page with helpful information and a link to a printable protection order packet.  


Sumner’s Domestic Violence (DV) Kiosk

Petitioning (applying) for a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO) is a function of the county Superior Court; it is not a law enforcement process.  In Pierce County, petitioners may apply for a DVPO online or in person at the court.  There may be other methods of submitting a petition, but this will need to be discussed with the court directly.

If a person wishes to complete their petition online, they may now do so by visiting the court website directly (see link above) using their own internet-capable device.  A petitioner may also choose to visit a participating DV Kiosk location.  The Sumner Police Department hosts a computer kiosk in which a person may apply for a DVPO, but the court is responsible for processing the petition.

When visiting the Sumner DV Kiosk, the police desk can help you get started and may be able to answer basic questions, but they cannot provide legal advice or help you fill out the forms.

DV Kiosk Hours and Restrictions

*The DV Kiosk is only available for use when City Hall (and the Police Department desk) is physically open for public, in-person, business.  Currently, on Fridays, City Hall is physically closed, and in-person services are not available.  Please check the City’s website and social media for news on any service disruptions or closures.

If you are planning on visiting the kiosk, we highly recommend calling first to verify that the kiosk is available – the police desk can be reached at 253-863-6384.

If you wish to utilize the kiosk, please realize that timing may affect your ability to finish or submit your petition.  If your petition is submitted later in the day/week, or if City Hall closes and you have to save your progress and come back to finish, processing of your petition is likely to be delayed.  Call the court if you need to inquire about alternative filing options.

Saving Your Petition to Finish Later

When using the website to file your petition, you can save your progress and finish it later.  Upon saving, you will be provided with a confirmation number or “Petition ID”. This is your petition’s unique identifier in the system, and it is the only way to access your petition.  Please make sure to write it down where you will not lose it.

Interview, Court Review, and Decision

Once submitted, your petition will be reviewed by the court.  We recommend that you verify the submission by calling the Pierce County Superior Court at 253-798-8827.  If there are no issues with your petition, the court will set up a phone or video interview with a judge or commissioner for you to provide details and/or testimony regarding the petition.  If you need to submit supporting documentation, ask the court for their procedures.

After reviewing your petition, the judge or commissioner will determine whether to allow your case to proceed.  If the case proceeds, they will set a hearing date, and also determine whether to grant a temporary protection order, effective upon service, which would last until that hearing date.  Filing a petition later in the day/week may cause the review period to extend to the next business day/week.  Keep this in mind if filing on a Friday or near holidays.

Service of DVPO Documents

If a DVPO (whether temporary or full order) is granted by the Court, they will provide you with documents that must be personally served to the respondent.  Service can typically be completed by anybody who is over 18 years old AND not a party to the order.  DVPO documents may also be served by law enforcement, or by private process server.  While a person can request assistance with service from law enforcement, it is not guaranteed nor always available – policies vary by department and officers do not necessarily have any special authority to serve papers beyond any other type of person.  If respondents are difficult to locate, unwilling to be contacted, etc., service may not be possible. Contact the court if this happens.


What is Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is about power and control. Batterers use the power they have to establish control within an intimate relationship. They use a pattern of behaviors to intimidate, manipulate and physically violate their partners.

Are you a victim of domestic violence?

Are you currently living with or dating someone who:
1.  Is jealous and possessive toward you and doesn’t want you to have other friends or interests?
2.  Accuses you of flirting and checks on where you’ve been and who you’ve spoken to?
3.  Tells you jealousy is a sign of love?
4.  Tries to control you and makes all the decisions
5.  Insults you in public and in private?
6.  Criticizes the way you dress, act, and your interests?
7.  Seems to lack his/her own interests and be overly dependent on the relationship?
8.  Destroys your belongings?
9.  Threatens to hurt you, your family members or pets?
10. Touches you in a way that is frightening or painful?
11. Makes you have sex in ways or at times that are uncomfortable for you?
12. Blames you for the abuse?
13. Threatens you or threatens suicide when you want to break up or see other people?

If you answered YES to any of the above questions, you and your loved ones could be in danger…


Domestic Violence Safety Plan – Protect Yourself

Plan Ahead:

  • Develop a plan with your children.
  • Arrange to have a place to go.
  • Make copies of important papers and put them in a safe place.
  • Have important phone numbers available.
  • Pack and hide an overnight bag.
  • Put aside money and spare keys.

During an Incident:

  • Call for help (911).
  • Get out if you can.
  • Take important items listed above.

At Work, School, Public Places:

  • Inform your work, daycare and schools.
  • Change your daily routine.
  • Plan ahead for unexpected contact with the abuser.

In Your House:

  • Change locks, secure doors and windows.
  • Arrange to have someone stay with you.
  • Change your phone number and have it unlisted.
  • Change PINS and passwords, especially for voicemail and bank accounts.
  • Obtain a protection order.
  • Notify trusted family and friends.

If You Can’t Leave:

  • Avoid rooms with only one exit.
  • Avoid the kitchen, bathroom, garage.
  • Call for help (911).


Domestic Violence Statistics


Intimate Partner Violence is more common in our communities than many imagine.  According to the National Violence Against Women Survey, over 25% of women (and just under 8% of men) reported being physically or sexually assaulted or stalked by an intimate partner at some point during their lives (Tjaden P, Thoennes N. Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence.  Washington, DC.: US Department of Justice; 2000 (pg 8)).

Annually, we estimate that approximately 1.8 % of women (roughly 1.8 million women across the US) experience physical or sexual violence or are stalked by an intimate partner.  Approximately 1% of men (or just over 1 million men) also report IPV victimization.  (Tjaden P, Thoennes N. Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence.  Washington, DC.: US Department of Justice; 2000 (pg 8))

Findings from the National Violence Against Women survey confirm other research that suggest that women experience more intimate partner violence – and report more severe violence – than men.  Women were two to three times more likely than men to report having an intimate partner throw something at them, push them, shove them, or grab them.    Furthermore, they were 7 to 14 times more likely to report being beaten up, strangled, threatened with a knife or gun, or the victim of an attempted drowning than men.  (Tjaden P, Thoennes N. Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence.  Washington, DC.: US Department of Justice; 2000 (pg 17)).

Women are also more likely to report being injured by an intimate partner than men.  The National Violence Against Women survey found that women who were physically assaulted by an intimate partner were more than twice as likely as men to report being injured during their most recent assault.  (Tjaden P, Thoennes N. Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence.  Washington, DC.: US Department of Justice; 2000 (pg 41)).

Intimate partner violence costs our communities tremendously.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that the cost of IPV exceed $5.8 billion each year, nearly $4.1 billion of which is for direct medical or mental health costs to victims.  (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.  Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States.  Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2003 pg 2).

Contact Us

City Attorney’s Office
253-299-5610       FAX 253-299-5509

Other Resources

Police, Sheriff, or Medic Emergency: 911
Sumner Police non-emergency/dispatch: 253-287-4455 or toll-free 1-800-562-9800
Sumner Police administrative offices: 253-863-6384
National Domestic Violence Helpline: 1-800-799-7233 – will refer locally as necessary
Tacoma/Pierce County Domestic Violence Helpline:  253-798-4166 or 1-800-764-2420
United Way of Pierce County 253-572-HELP
Good Samaritan Domestic Violence Counseling 253-445-8120, ext. 405
YWCA of Pierce County 253-272-4181 or 253-383-2593
Family Renewal Domestic Violence Shelter/Safe House 253-475-9010
Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County 253-474-7273
Washington Courts: Access to court forms and instructions

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