Getting a Protective Order in Arizona
Our Chandler Divorce Attorneys can help you understand Protective Order Arizona
Domestic violence is an unfortunately pervasive problem in American life. Studies show that millions of women and men suffer in physically violent relationships each year. Hotlines for these victims often combine to receive over 20,000 calls per day. For the victims of domestic violence, it may seem like a solution can’t come quickly enough. If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence, the sooner you act the better. This article will outline the basics regarding Orders of Protection in Arizona, which can act fast to help keep victims safe from abusive partners.
What is an Order of Protection?
An Order of Protection is essentially a restraining order specific to situations involving domestic violence in Arizona. A judge or justice of the peace can approve an Order of Protection.
Who can petition for an Order of Protection?
Any victim of domestic violence can petition for an Order of Protection at the threat of a single act of domestic violence. Parents, guardians, or custodians of minor children can also petition on behalf of the child for an Order of Protection. The Court will not charge a fee for filing a petition for an Order of Protection, and the Order will also be served without a fee.
What does an Order of Protection do to help victims of domestic violence?
The court has a great deal of flexibility in what steps they can take with an Order of Protection to ensure a victim’s future safety. Each case of domestic violence is unique, and therefore each ruling on how to protect victims is also unique. However, the two most common and effective solutions are granting the victim sole use of the home, and restraining the abuser from coming near the home as well as schools, workplaces, homes of family members of the victim, and other specifically designated locations if the Defendant’s presence could create a threat to someone’s safety. Other remedies also exist and can be effective, such as prohibiting the Defendant from purchasing or possessing a firearm. The judge will also take into account the desired relief of the person asking for the Order of Protection.
What do I have to do to get an Order of Protection?
Orders of Protection can be requested at municipal courts, justice courts, and superior courts all over Arizona. You will want to bring documents such as photo ID, address information for any area you wish to have protected by the Order, address and info for the Defendant, and any evidence you have to show a judge that domestic violence has or is likely to occur. This may include photographs, police reports, text or Facebook messages, etc. All of this—the petition you fill out at the Court, the evidence you bring with you, plus your own testimony to the judge if you choose—will factor into whether an Order is granted. The judge will grant the Order if there is “reasonable cause” to believe the Defendant (1) may commit an act of domestic violence; or (2) has committed an act of domestic violence in the last year.
What happens once the order is granted?
The judge will decide what the appropriate measures are, taking into account the facts presented and the request of the victim. The Defendant will be served the Order. If the Order is granting the victim exclusive use of a shared home with the Defendant they will be given one opportunity, accompanied by law enforcement, to collect belongings from the home. The Defendant may request one hearing to attempt to quash the Order. Orders are generally good for one year, but can be renewed.
Do I need an attorney?
Orders of Protection can be, and often are, petitioned for without an attorney. The process is not intended to be overwhelming for victims. However, these issues are often complicated, and part of a larger problem. If you are interested in an Order of Protection, suffering in an abusive relationship, or just need someone to talk through difficult family law issues with, call 480-565-8020. Citadel Law Firm would be honored to help.