Imagine a spurned lover or a soon to be ex-spouse going to Court, telling a judge horrible things that you supposedly did to them and your children, and receiving an order from the Court forbidding you from seeing your children, all without ever having your side of the story heard. This is exactly what happens when a person applies for and gets an Order of Protection. The initial order can be obtained ex parte, meaning that the person applying is the only one who gets to provide any information.
Consequences of an Order of Protection
Once a judge grants the application and it is served on you, you must abide by the terms, even if it means not having contact with your children, so long as they are also covered by the court’s order. This can also mean that you must hand over any firearms that you own to law enforcement for the duration of the order being in effect – a year! Moreover, if you violate an order of protection, even one that is based on nonsense and only issued without you there, you can be charged with Interfering with Judicial Proceedings, a class 1 misdemeanor and potentially a domestic violence offense.
Can I fight an Order of Protection?
The good news is that you do have the opportunity to fight this. If you are served with an order of protection, you have the right to challenge the order and request a hearing. You can request a hearing at any point once the order of protection is in effect. Once a request is made, a hearing has to be held within 10 days, unless the court finds good cause to continue the hearing. If exclusive use of a home is awarded by an order of protection, then a hearing must be held within 5 days.
It may be possible for you to move any hearing from the justice or city court that issued the order to the Superior Court, depending on the specifics of your case, and that could potentially be beneficial to your case.
Act immediately if you have been served with an Order of Protection
If you have been served with an order of protection do not sit idly by and let a court take away your children and guns without hearing from you. Consult with a Phoenix domestic violence attorney that is experienced in handling these matters and can provide you with aggressive representation and knowledgeable advice so you can protect yourself. Contact AZ Defenders either by phone (480) 456-6000 or online and set up a free consultation today so we can help you protect yourself, your children, and your rights.
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