Orders of Protection
Arizona law authorizes a court to issue a civil court order to prevent continuing acts of family violence. Family violence is any act by one member of a family or household intended to physically harm another member, a serious threat of physical harm, or the abuse of a child.
The Order of Protection is intended to prevent the offending person from contacting the protected person(s). The order will usually prohibit the defendant from contacting the protected person(s) directly or indirectly, such as in person or through another person, by phone, in writing, messaging or other means and order the defendant from contacting the protected person(s) at specific locations such as their residence, work, school or other locations. A judge can also order that the defendant surrender and/or not purchase firearms and ammunition.
An Order of Protection is not valid until served on the defendant. The Order of Protection must be served within one year of its issuance. Once served, an Order of Protection is valid for one year from the date the Order is served.
Injunction Against Harassment
An Injunction Against Harassment is the same as an Order of Protection except that it does not depend upon a relationships between the defendant and the protected person.
An Injunction Against Harassment is available if the conduct of any person is "harassment" as defined by Arizona law:
- The defendant can be anyone, whether or not related to you.
- The conduct can be any conduct which is harassment. Harassment is defined as a series of at least two 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, or harasses the person and serves no legitimate purpose (A.R.S. 12-1809(R)).
An Injunction Against Harassment is not valid until served on the defendant. The Injunction Against Harassment must be served within one year of its issuance. Once served, an Injunction Against Harassment is valid for one year from the date the Order is served.
Violating a Protective Order
If a defendant makes any type of contact with the protected person(s), or violates any of the provisions of the Protective Order, he can be charged with Interference With Judicial Proceedings, a class one misdemeanor.
Punishment for Violating an Order of Protection
The punishment for violating an Order of Protection includes immediate arrest and being held in custody until a judge makes a determination regarding release conditions. If convicted, a class one misdemeanor carries a punishment of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $4,633.
Protective Orders FAQ
Is there a fee to file a Protective Order?
There is no fee to file a Petition for Order of Protection or a Petition for Injunction Against Harassment.
Do I have to go to court before a judge?
Yes, a Protective Order can be granted only by a Judge.
Do I have to include specific addresses in the petition?
Your home, work and other address may be kept confidential if the defendant does not know them, but a mailing address must be given to the Court so you can be notified of any hearing dates.
Who can serve a Protective Order?
Sheriff, Police or Process Server.
How long do I have to serve the other party after I see the judge?
You must serve the Protective Order within one year from the date the Protective Order has been issued.
How long is the Protective Order in effect?
One year from the date the Protective Order is served.
What can I do if I want to challenge a Protective Order issued against me?
The defendant has the right to request one hearing within one year from the date he/she is served with the protective order.