Frequently Asked Questions - Domestic Violence and Harassment

What is an order of protection?

An order of protection is a court order prohibiting a specific person from coming near your home, work or other location listed in the order. It may be used when the person asking for the order, the plaintiff, has been either married or in a romantic or sexual relationship with the opposing party, the defendant. The plaintiff must file a petition describing an act of domestic violence that was threatened or committed against the plaintiff by the defendant within the last year. If the plaintiff does not have a family or a romantic or sexual relationship with the defendant, the plaintiff may file a petition requesting an injunction against harassment if the defendant has committed a series of acts of harassment against the plaintiff. The plaintiff must file a petition and then appear before a judge to explain why an order of protection is needed. If the judge finds that the defendant may commit or has committed an act of domestic violence, the judge can issue an order of protection that:

•    Orders the defendant not to commit acts of domestic violence,
•    Gives the plaintiff exclusive use of a house that both people previously shared,
•    Prevents the defendant from coming near the house or apartment, place of employment, or school of the plaintiff,
•    May prohibit the defendant from possessing guns, and
•    Includes any other relief necessary for the protection of the plaintiff.

The order of protection is not in effect until it is personally served on the defendant. Once served, the defendant has a right to a hearing. After a hearing, the judge may order the defendant to obtain counseling.

Resources:
•    Arizona Judicial Branch Domestic Violence webpage
•    Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence webpage 
•    Address Confidentiality Program (Secretary of State)
•    Arizona Rules of Protective Order Procedure

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This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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