Protective orders are filed by a person who has been abused or is in danger of abuse or violence from another. These orders prevent or limit the contact a person may have with the person who requests the order. These orders may also be filed by minor children who are in danger of abuse. In case of a minor child, the child’s legal guardian, parent or custodian will file the petition on the child’s behalf.
A protective order may not be an all encompassing order that forbids any kind of contact but may include certain modifications, and exceptions as needed. For instance, a protective order may prevent the respondent (the one who is being restricted) from getting within 100 feet of the protected person, or may include contact only during child visitation.
In Arizona, there are 5 types of protective orders:
In Arizona, persons who believe that they are in danger of abuse or violence can seek an Order of Protection that limits the contact that the offending party has with them. For a court to issue an Order of Protection, the defendant or the offending party must fall in the following categories in terms of their relationship to you:
An Emergency Order of Protection is granted for the immediate security of a person, when there is reason to believe that there is immediate and grave danger to his/her life and safety.
A person wishing to obtain a protective order may do so by filing a petition at any Justice Court or Superior Court, or any Municipal Court. But if the petitioners and defendants are involved in a divorce case or other family law issue, then the petition will be filed at the Superior Court level. An Order of Protection is a civil order, and will not be filed in a criminal court.
It’s important to understand that granting an Order of Protection does not require witnesses to the abuse or even the presence of visible signs of violence. It may be sufficient if the petitioner can show that she or she was abused during the past year, or is in danger of being abused in the future.
Arizona statutes define a broad range of abuses that are covered under domestic violence laws. These definitions can go beyond physical violence, and include:
A defendant, who has been restricted from contact, can also file to have an Order of Protection dismissed or modified. This can be done by filing a Request for Hearing. If an Order of Protection is granted for a period of one year, any subsequent petition to modify or dismiss the original Order of Protection must be filed within that year and in the same court that issued the original Order.
There are several ways in which a defendant may be able to prove to a court that the Order of Protection must be modified or dismissed:
An Order of Protection may restrict a person’s movements around you, and will limit the kind of contact he/she has with you. However, Arizona domestic violence lawyers would advise persons to also keep their employers, authorities at their children’s school and other entities, informed of the Order of Protection. It is important that persons seeking protection also take steps to ensure their own safety, even after the Order of Protection has been issued.
Arizona Courts consider evidence of domestic violence as being contrary to the best interest of a child. Joint legal decision-making shall not be awarded if a Court finds the existence of significant domestic violence pursuant to ARS §13-3601 or if a preponderance of the evidence reveals a significant history of domestic violence ARS §25-403.03.