Any court in the State of Arizona can issue Protection Orders. The purpose of a Protection Order is to restrain a person from committing an act of harassment or domestic violence. These types of cases are given high priority. After regular Court business hours, and during weekends and holidays, any police officer can assist you in obtaining an emergency order of protection. It is best to obtain a protection order from the court in your community; however, if the situation involves minor children common to the adult parties, please contact Maricopa County Superior Court.
The Court will provide you with the proper forms to file a petition for a protection order. Please come prepared to provide sworn testimony to support your petition. Have specific dates, time, and places for events, which you feel constitute the issuance of the protection order. There is no Court Fee for filing a petition for a protection order. If the protection order is granted, it must be served within one year and is valid for one year after service of the original Order. Violation of the Order may result in arrest and prosecution. Violations are prosecuted in the jurisdiction where the violation occurred, under A.R.S. 13-2810, Interference with Judicial Proceedings, a Class 1 Misdemeanor.
Orders of Protection A.R.S. 13-3601 (A)
When seeking relief from harassment or domestic violence, the relationship test determines if you need an Order of Protection or Injunction Against Harassment. To obtain an Order of Protection, the abusive party (the defendant) MUST be one of the following:
- The relationship between the victim and the defendant is one of marriage or former marriage or of persons residing or having resided in the same household.
- The victim and the defendant have a child in common.
- The victim or the defendant is pregnant by the other party.
- The victim is related to the defendant, or the defendant’s spouse by blood or court order as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister or by marriage as a parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, stepparent, step-grandparent, stepchild, step-grandchild, brother-in-law or sister-in-law.
- The victim is a child who resides or has resided in the same household as the defendant and is related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or to a person who resides or who has resided in the same household as the defendant.
An Order of Protection will not be ordered if the petition reveals that an action for maternity, paternity, annulment, and dissolution of marriage or legal separation is pending. If, after issuance of an Order, the Court determines that a domestic relations action is pending, all documents relating to the Order will be transferred to the Superior Court.
Injunctions Against Harassment A.R.S. 12-1809
An Injunction Against Harassment is similar procedurally to the Order of Protection but is governed by a different statute and is different in scope. An Injunction is not limited to domestic violence cases. An Injunction often is sought in connection with disputes between neighbors or landlords and tenants.
Unlike Orders of Protection, there is no “relationship test” for issuance of an Injunction. Therefore, the Injunction is frequently used as a protection mechanism for persons not eligible for an Order of Protection, such as unrelated persons.
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