How to Get an Order of Protection in Arizona
Getting an Order of Protection in Arizona
Unfortunately, We have been asked how to get an Order of Protection in Arizona many times before. Too often, cases of domestic violence result in physical and emotional damage to parents and their children. In many cases, the escalation is slow. The level of violence built up at a rate that left the spouse who is being victimized or witnessing the victimization of their children unsure when enough is enough; when the situation has gone from less than desirable to dangerous. In other cases, there seemed to be no escalation at all. It may seem as if from one day to the next, the situation changed so drastically that there was no time to prepare. If you fear that you or your children may be in a dangerous home situation, you might need to consider an order of protection.
How Do I Get an Order of Protection in Arizona? First of all, it’s imperative that you always call 911 in the case of an emergency. The Order of Protection can be put in place to protect from future acts of domestic violence, but if you are currently in a dangerous situation, the very first step is to call for immediate assistance from the local police. If your spouse or significant other has committed an act of domestic violence, you may apply for an Order of Protection. Your Arizona family law attorney can help you ensure that the proper forms are completed and submitted to the court promptly. You will see the judicial officer the same day that the Petition for Order of Protection is filed.
File for an Order of Protection in Arizona
You may apply for an Order of Protection the defendant listed is:
- Your spouse or ex-spouse
- Your roommate or ex-roommate
- The father or mother of your child
- Someone you are or were romantically involved with (romantically or sexually)
- A parent, grandparent, sibling, child or grandchild
- Your spouse’s child, grandchild, sibling, parent or grandparent
And the defendant committed or is going to commit any of the following:
A dangerous crime against a child including:
- Aggravated assault (resulting in a serious injury or involving a deadly weapon/dangerous instrument)
- Sexual assault
- Molestation/sexual conduct with a minor
- Sexual exploitation of a minor
- Child abuse
- Sexual abuse of a minor
- Child prostitution
- Involving/using children in a drug offense
Or any of the following acts where the defendant:
- Kidnaps/Unlawfully Imprisons
- Interferes Unlawfully with Custody of a Child
- Criminally Trespasses/Damages; Disorderly Conduct/Stalks
- Abuses a Child/Vulnerable Adult
- Interferes w/Judicial Proceedings
- Uses a telephone to Terrify, Intimidate, Threaten, Harass, Annoy or Offend
Arizona Order of Protection Process
If you need to seek an Order of Protection, contact your family law attorney from a safe location. Your attorney will need information regarding the locations (work, school, home, etc.) that you wish to have included in the order of protection, as well as dates the incidents occurred and police reports (if available). If you need to include minor children in the Order of Protection, you will need to provide your attorney with their birth dates, and social security numbers.
Once you have that information, you will need to appear in any city or state court to complete the application for the order of protection. That is done at the courthouse on computers that walk you through the process. Generally, the court will consider only those acts of abuse or harassment that occurred in the prior twelve months. However, a judge does have the discretion to consider incidents that occurred more than a year prior to you completing the application for the order of protection. There are court staff available to assist you if you have problems completing the forms.
Next, the court staff will let you know which courtroom you will need to go to. You simply sit in the back of the courtroom until the judge calls your case. In most cases, the court will only read what you listed on your application for the Order of Protection and will then grant it, deny it, give you part of what you requested (but not everything), or will take no action but to schedule a hearing where your significant other can contest the issuance of the order of protection before the judge has issued it.
If the court grants your Order of Protection, you will then need to hire a private process server or request assistance to have a law enforcement officer serve the Order of Protection on your significant other or family member. The Order of Protection will be enforceable for one year from the date it is served on the other party. However, the other party may request a hearing at any time and the court will schedule a trial for you to prove the allegations in your application for Order of Protection.
If you are involved in a family law case, your family law judge will have the ability to modify the Order of Protection as it relates to the judge’s authority to issue child custody orders to the extent the Order of Protection impacts visitation orders.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article about how to get an Order of Protection in Arizona to ensure everyone has access to information about Order of Protection laws in Arizona. Chris is a family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through an Order of Protection case should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through.