Posted on May 4, 2023 in Arizona Order of Protection
An order of protection is a legal document that gives someone official orders to stay away from the plaintiff. The purpose of an order of protection is to prevent crimes from being committed against the petitioner, such as domestic violence. Use these frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Arizona’s order of protection law to learn more.
According to Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 13-3602, a person may file a verified petition with a judge, magistrate or justice of the peace for the purpose of restraining someone from committing an act included in domestic violence. “Restraining” means preventing the named individual from contacting the plaintiff and other specifically designated persons and from coming near their home, school or place of employment.
If the court finds there is a credible threat to the physical safety of the plaintiff, the order of protection may also prohibit the defendant from possessing or purchasing a firearm. Finally, the courts can grant the plaintiff exclusive use and possession of the parties’ residence if there is reasonable cause to believe that physical harm would otherwise result.
Anyone in Arizona who has been threatened, intimidated or harmed by a relative or partner can request an order of protection from the courts. In addition, anyone who is a victim of a crime such as assault or stalking can receive an order of protection, even without a relationship to the defendant. If a minor under the age of 18 needs a protective order, his or her parent or legal guardian can seek this legal action on the child’s behalf.
Obtaining an order of protection in Arizona requires a written verified petition submitted to the courts in the county where the plaintiff or defendant lives. The petition must name the person acting as the plaintiff and list all specifically designated people who should be included. It should have the plaintiff’s address and contact information, as well as the name and address of the defendant (if known). It needs a specific statement about the domestic violence incident, including the date, and the relationship between the parties. Finally, it should name the plaintiff’s desired relief. There is no fee for requesting an order of protection in Arizona.
Once a protective order is issued by a judge, it is typically effective for two years under Arizona law. An order of protection becomes effective on the date that the defendant is served a copy of the order and petition. It will expire two years after its service upon the defendant. The two-year rule applies to all protection orders issued on or after September 24, 2022. Any orders of protection served before this date are valid for one year.
Yes. If you are served a notice that someone has issued a protective order against you in Arizona, you have the legal right to request a hearing within one year of the date that you were served to oppose the order. You can do so by completing and submitting the Request for Hearing Form. The courts must schedule the hearing within 10 calendar days, or within 5 days if the order removed you from your residence. Both parties will be permitted to appear during this hearing. A judge will listen to both sides and consider all available evidence to decide whether to continue, change or halt the order of protection.
If you are named as a defendant in an order of protection, you must obey all of its terms as soon as it becomes effective. Violating a protective order by contacting or going near the plaintiff or other designated parties could lead to your immediate arrest. You will be detained indefinitely until a judge determines the conditions of your release. If you are convicted of violating an order of protection, you could face up to six months in jail and/or a $2,500 fine. Contact one of our Phoenix criminal defense attorneys today if you have any questions or wish to discuss a case.