Related case here.
Dear Justices Owens and Madsen:
By letter previously acknowledged, you have requested our opinion on two questions that I paraphrase as follows:
1. Does Washington have an obligation to enforce protection orders issued by the courts of other states or by Indian tribal courts?
2. If Washington has such an obligation, is registration of a protection order in a Washington state court a prerequisite to enforcement?
1. Yes. Federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 2265, requires that any protection order issued by the court of a state or Indian tribe be accorded full faith and credit and enforced by the court of another state or Indian tribe, if the protection order is consistent with 18 U.S.C. § 2265(b). The Washington Foreign Protection Order Full Faith and Credit Act, RCW 26.52, implements this requirement in Washington.
2. No. Under 18 U.S.C. § 2265(d)(2), a protection order issued by a state or Indian tribe must be accorded full faith and credit regardless of whether it is registered or filed in the court of the enforcing state or Indian tribe. Washington law permits protection orders to be filed without cost, but filing is not a prerequisite to enforcement. RCW 26.52.030.