Filing an Order of Protection in Arizona

filing an order of protection in arizonaThere are two primary types of protective orders in the state of Arizona. It is recommended that if you need a protective order, you file it in the jurisdiction in which you live. These types of protective orders are Orders of Protection and Injunction Against Harassment. If there is a case regarding maternity, paternity, legal separation, annulment, or divorce, the Protective Order Petition must be filed with the Superior Court.

Orders of Protection

An Order of Protection is a court order seeking protection. The protection can be from someone you live with presently or lived with in the past or is an immediate family member. Under A.R.S.13-3602, a person can file an Order of Protection against:

  • A current or a former spouse
  • Someone you are living with or whom you lived with in the past
  • A person you have a romantic or intimate relationship
  • A person who is pregnant by the other party or someone you have a child in common with
  • A relative or the relative of a current spouse-there are certain relatives distinguished in court
  • One of the people is a parent, an in-law, a grandparent, or sibling

Injunction Against Harassment

An Injunction Against Harassment is a court order that is sought to protect you from a person other than someone you live with, someone you have not had any type of relation with, or a former or current family member. Under A.R.S.12-1809, an Injunction Against Harassment can get issued for individuals and workplaces.

For an Injunction Against Harassment to be granted, the following must be true:

  • The defendant had to have committed the acts of harassment in the last year
  • At least two specific acts of harassment must have been committed

Types of Violence and Harassment that Result in Protective Orders

Different types of violence can result in the court issuing a Protective Order. These often include, but are not limited to:

  • Assault
    • Aggravated Assault
  • Harassment
    • Aggravated Assault
  • Domestic Violence
    • Aggravated Domestic Violence
  • Abuse of child or vulnerable adult
  • Criminal Damage
  • Crimes against children
  • Criminal Trespass (first, second, third degree)
  • Disobeying court orders
  • Interference with custodial party
  • Endangerment
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Kidnapping
  • Stalking
  • Threatening or intimidating

What a Protective Order Does and Does Not Do

Just because a Protective Order is in place, does not mean that it completely solves every problem. A Protective Order that is issued by the court can prohibit the defendant from coming near a home, school, place of employment, or any other location that the plaintiff has had listed on the order.

The Protective Order also provides the plaintiff for legal recourse for one year from the court issuing it if the defendant violates the order. Any changes to be made to the order, often referred to as a restraining order will have to go through the court.

The Protective Order can provide some comfort, but there are some things that a Protective Order cannot do or guarantee. A Protective Order does not resolve conflicts that may arise between a landlord or a tenant. The order also does not guarantee your safety, but it does allow the defendant to be arrested if they violate the order.

Protective Orders do not modify any outstanding custody or visitation orders put in place by the court. If the issuance of a Protective Order occurs after custody and visitation have been determined, a court date will be necessary to modify those.

How do you start the process?

To obtain a Protective Order, you will go to the courthouse and fill out paperwork. Sometimes emergency protective orders can be received through the police station if your safety has been compromised. You may want to get a lawyer who specializes in Arizona family law to help you with your case. If you have custody or visitation orders in place that need to be modified, the lawyer can help with those as well. When you find yourself in a situation where you worry about your safety, call an Arizona family law lawyer today for a consultation.

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