Protection Orders


Overview
Order of Protection
Victim Services
Emergency Orders
Injunction Prohibiting Harassment
Effective Dates of the Order / Injunction
Requesting a Hearing
Violation of the Order / Injunction
Forms for Protective Orders


Overview

There are two types of Protection Orders: an Order of Protection and an Injunction Against Harassment.  Both types are initiated by filing a Petition.

Court staff will provide the appropriate petition forms at no charge.

The person filing the Petition is called the PLAINTIFF.  The person against whom the order is requested is called the DEFENDANT. 

There is no fee to file a Petition for an Order of Protection or an Injunction Prohibiting Harassment. 

The Petition forms are filled out and given to the Court staff.  The plaintiff will see the judge right after the Petition is filed. 

If the judge grants the Petition and issues an Order of Protection or an Injunction Prohibiting Harassment, the Order will be effective when the defendant is served with a copy of the Order.  There are fees to serve the defendant only for Injunctions Prohibiting Harassment when there was not a dating relationship between the parties. The judge may waive or defer these fees.

The Order must be served within one year of issuance and is valid for one year from the date the defendant is served a copy of the Order.

Order of Protection (ARS 13-3602)
There are specific criteria which must be met for an Order of Protection to be issued. For the judge to issue an order, there must be reasonable cause to believe the defendant has committed or may commit an act of domestic violence.


Domestic Violence (ARS 13-3601) 


For Victim services:
 Mesa Family Advocacy Center

An act of domestic violence includes:

  • any act which is a dangerous crime against a child under fifteen
  • recklessly endangering another person with a substantial risk of imminent death or physical injury.
  • threatening or intimidating by word or conduct
  • assault and aggravated assault
  • custodial interference
  • unlawful imprisonment
  • kidnapping
  • trespass in the first, second, or third degree
  • criminal damage
  • disorderly conduct
  • harassment
  • stalking
  • interfering with judicial proceedings
  • suspicious photographing, videotaping, filming or digitally recording
  • use of telephone terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend
  • child or vulnerable adult abuse

Relationship of the Parties

An Order of Protection is used for a "family" relationship between you and the Defendant. To obtain an Order of Protection one of the following must apply:

  1. Married now or in the past.
  2. Live together now or lived together in the past.
  3. Parent of a child in common.
  4. One of you is pregnant by the other.
  5. You are a relative (parent, in-law, brother, sister, or grandparent).
  6. Current or previous romantic or sexual relationship.  Also, you must state how an act of domestic violence was threatened or committed against you within the last year.

If one of these six relationships do not apply to your circumstances then an Injunction Prohibiting Harassment may be appropriate.

Third Party Request
If a person is either temporarily or permanently unable to personally request an order, a third party may make the request on behalf of the plaintiff.

Where to file
Any person may file a Petition in any Justice Court, Municipal Court or Superior Court in the state. Court staff will provide assistance and provide the appropriate form for filing the Petition for an Order of Protection. There is no fee for the forms or for filing the Petition.
If there is an action for maternity, paternity, annulment, legal separation or dissolution of marriage pending between the parties, The Petition must be filed in the Superior Court.

Possible Orders

If the judge issues an Order of Protection, the judge may order:

  • the defendant to not commit an act of domestic violence;
  • one party the use and exclusive possession of the parties' residence;
  • the defendant to not contact the plaintiff or other designated persons;
  • the defendant to not go near the residence, place of employment or school of the plaintiff or other designated person;
  • the defendant to not possess or purchase a firearm for the duration of the order;
  • relief necessary for the protection of the plaintiff and other designated persons.


Emergency Orders
If an emergency exists and an Order of Protection is required during hours the court is closed, contact the local police department.

Injunction Against Harassment (ARS 12-1809)

There are specific criteria which must be met for an Injunction Against Harassment to be issued. For the judge to issue an order, there must be evidence of harassment during the past year or that irreparable harm to the plaintiff would result if the order is not issued.

Definition of Harassment
Harassment is defined as:
A series of acts over any period of time that is directed at a specific person and that would cause a reasonable person to be seriously alarmed, annoyed or harassed and the conduct in fact seriously alarms, annoys and harasses the person and serves no legitimate purpose.

Third Party
If a person is either temporarily or permanently unable to personally request an Injunction, a third party may make the request on behalf of the plaintiff.

Where to file
Any person may file a petition in any Justice Court, Municipal Court or Superior Court in the state. Court staff will provide assistance and provide the appropriate form for filing the Petition for an Injunction Against Harassment. There is no fee for the forms or to file the Petition.

Possible Orders
If the judge issues an Injunction Prohibiting Harassment, the judge may order:

  • the defendant to not commit an act of harassment;
  • the defendant to not contact the plaintiff or other designated persons;
  • the defendant to not go near the residence, place of employment or school of the plaintiff or other designated persons;
  • relief necessary for the protection of the plaintiff and other designated persons.

Effective Date of the Order / Injunction

When Is It Effective?
The Order is effective only after a copy of the order has been served on the defendant.

How Long Is It Effective?
An Order expires, one year from the date the defendant is served with a copy of the order.

An Order must be served within one year from the date it is issued. If the order is not served within one year from the date the order is issued, the order expires and cannot be served.

Modified Order
If the original Order is modified, the Order as modified is effective upon service and expires one year from the date the original order was served.

Service
Information you provide on the process server information sheet is used by the person who is serving the defendant with a copy of the order.

Service of the Protection Order must be completed by a licensed process server or law enforcement agency. There is no charge by law enforcement agencies to serve Orders of Protection. There is no charge by law enforcement agencies to serve Injunctions Prohibiting Harassment when the Court has found that a dating relationship existed.

There is a fee to serve Injunctions Prohibiting Harassment when no dating relationship existed. The Court may waive or defer this fee.
 
Request a Hearing
The defendant is entitled to request a hearing on the order.

Hearings are held within ten days of the request. If exclusive use of the home is included in the Order of Protection, the hearing will be held within five days of the request.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge will decide whether the order will remain in effect, be modified, or vacated.
 
Violation of the Order / Injunction
A peace officer may arrest a person for disobeying or resisting an Order of Protection or an Injunction Prohibiting Harassment.
 
Forms for Protection Orders
Court staff will provide the petition form free of charge at the Court, or you can download and print a copy below.  The address and process server information sheets need to be completed in addition to the petition.  All forms are included in the petition packet.

Petition Packet for Protective Order

 


 

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