In Arizona, a person may seek an Injunction to enjoin (stop) another person from committing acts of harassing nature. Unlike Orders of Protection, there is no relationship requirement that must be determined as between plaintiff and defendant.
When an injunction against harassment is filed, a judicial officer must first conduct an individual hearing with the requesting party to determine the merit of the allegations put forth. A petition for an Injunction against Harassment should include allegations of a series of specific acts that are harassing in nature. The petition should likewise include reference to specific dates for each allegation of harassment. A “series” of events has been determined to mean at least “two” acts.
A judicial officer shall then review the petition and other evidence, documents, pleadings and even electronic contact or communications to determine whether the requests made through the petition shall be issued initially “ex parte”, meaning without input from the defendant.
If the judicial officer makes findings that reasonable evidence of harassment occurred against the plaintiff by the defendant during the previous twelve (12) months immediately preceding the filing or that justifiable cause exists to believe that irreparable or great harm may result to plaintiff if the Injunction against Harassment is not granted before the defendant has a chance to be heard.
Once issued, the judicial officer may prohibit therein all contact between plaintiff and defendant. The judicial officer may likewise include in the Injunction specific instruction and/or prohibition that the defendant shall not go near the residence, place of employment or school of plaintiff or any other parties that may be listed as protected in the Injunction.
Once the Injunction of Harassment is issued, it is not effective as against defendant until such time that defendant is properly served with notice of the same. Once served the Injunction is effective as against defendant for a period of one (1) year. At any time during that year, defendant may request the Court schedule a hearing so that the allegations of the petition may be challenged. At hearing, the burden of proof in upholding the Injunction rests with the plaintiff.
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