Civil standby orders are made in domestic violence cases where a No Contact Order (NCO) has been imposed and the result is to prevent the defendant from returning to his or her home. The civil standby order provides one-time access to the household, under the supervision of law enforcement for the purpose of retrieving a limited number of belongings and personal effects.
Procedurally, once the court signs the order authorizing a civil standby, the appropriate local law enforcement would be contacted. They would meet you at your residence and supervise you for a short period of time while the belongings are retrieved. As a general rule, you will likely only have 15-20 minutes before the civil standby was ended by law enforcement. The alleged victim has the right to be present and any disputes as to ownership of property will likely be resolved, at this juncture, in the favor of the individual still residing in the residence. It is possible, though not very likely, that a second civil standby could be authorized. Therefore, make sure that anything of importance is retrieved the first time.
Remember, a no-contact order means that contact cannot be made by either you or a third party on your behalf. Don’t just send a friend or family member to “pick up your things”. That could be construed as a violation of the no contact order. Take advantage of the civil standby process. For assistance obtaining a civil standby, contact a Washington DV lawyer at Milios Defense.