Protective orders (i.e. order of protection or an injunction against harassment) frequently come up within family law cases. Here is a quick primer on whatthey are and how they work.
What is an Order of Protection?
An Order of Protection is an Order issued by a Judge to provide protection from physical harm caused by a family member or household member. To issue an Order of Protection, a judge must find that domestic violence has occurred and that you have a specific relationship with your abuser.
Who can I get an Order of Protection against?
In order to obtain an Order of Protection, the abusive party must have one of the following relationships with the person seeking the Order of Protection.
- A spouse or former spouse;
- A parent of a child common to the parties;
- Lives or has lived with you in the same household;
- Related by blood or court order as the Plaintiff’s parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister;
- Related by marriage as a parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, stepchild, step-grandchild, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepparent or step-grandparent;
- A person who resides or who has resided in the same household with a child. The child must be related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or to a person who resides or who has resided in the same household as the defendant.
What is the legal definition of domestic violence in Arizona?
Arizona law defines “domestic violence” as the occurrence of one or more of the following acts:
- physical assault, such as hitting or kicking
- threatening words or conduct
- intimidationharassment by phone and in person
- photographing, videotaping, recording, or secretly watching you without your consent (while doing something private)
- endangerment (placing you at risk of immediate death or personal injury)
- unlawful imprisonment
- criminal trespass
- criminal damage
- disobeying a court order
- custodial interference
- abuse to a vulnerable adult or child
- certain crimes against children
- disorderly conduct
What is an Injunction Against Harassment?
An Injunction Against Harassment is a court order that orders a person to stop harassing the person seeking the injunction. Injunctions are used to stop disputes between neighbors, strangers, and/or individuals who are only dating. In Arizona, harassment is defined as a series of acts over a period of time that is directed at a specific person.
How long will the Order of Protection or Injunction Against Harassment stay in effect?
An Order of Protection or Injunction Against Harassment must be served within one year of the date it is issued. It is good for one year from the date of service on the defendant.
What can I do if I have been served with an Order of Protection or Injunction Against Harassment?
You have the right to request a hearing. By law the hearing must be scheduled within 10 days of the request. At the hearing, you can provide evidence in support of removing the protective order. The assistance of competent counsel is recommended.