In Arizona, a restraining order, also called a protective or no contact order, grants a judge the ability to legally stop one person from coming near another person. The order prohibits the individual from coming near another individual’s home, place of work, school, or other locations. This also includes contact by phone, email, text, mail, or other means. There are legal consequences if the individual violates the order.
Restraining orders are designed to protect victims against violence. People file them for many reasons, including domestic violence, stalking, threats, harassment, criminal trespassing, and crimes against children.
In addition to prohibiting contact, the court has the right to prevent the defendant from doing the following:
- Using the joint residence
- Owning or carrying a firearm
- Committing any offenses defined under the Arizona domestic violence statute (ARS 13-3601)
- Taking possession of or staying in contact with any animals within the primary residence
- Setting a limit on the distance the defendant must keep from the victim
Types of Restraining Orders
There are five main types of Arizona restraining orders: Order of Protection, Emergency Order of Protection, Release Order, Injunction Against Harassment, and Injunction Against Workplace Harassment.
- Order of Protection: An Order of Protection is a legal restraint prohibiting a person from committing acts of domestic violence or contacting an individual. It also provides protective relief, including removing firearms from the home.
- Emergency Order of Protection: An Emergency Order of Protection protects a person in imminent and present danger of domestic violence. It carries the same restraints as an Order of Protection but is only valid until the end of the day following its issue. However, it may be continued by the court.
- Release Order: A Release Order is similar to an Emergency Order of Protection but is served to an individual arrested for an act of domestic violence once released from custody.
- Injunction Against Harassment: An Injunction Against Harassment orders an individual to stop harassing, annoying, or alarming another person. This injunction can be filed for disputes against neighbors, strangers, or people who are or were dating.
- Injunction Against Workplace Harassment: An Injunction Against Workplace Harassment is the newest protective order available in Arizona. This injunction allows an employer or agency to file for relief on behalf of all employees in a workplace, anyone entering the employer’s property, or any person performing official work duties. It may include numerous people, unlike an Injunction Against Harassment, which is between only two people.
Getting a Restraining Order in Arizona
Any adult over the age of 18 can file for a restraining order in Arizona if they believe their safety is in danger. A parent or guardian can also file on behalf of a minor, and a third party acting on behalf of a petitioner who is unable to file on their own may file as well.
A few conditions must be met to file a restraining order:
- The order must be verified and filed in writing.
- The person it is filed against must be over 12 years of age unless granted by the juvenile division of the superior court.
- The petition must be filed against only one individual.
There are four steps to filing a restraining order in the state of Arizona:
Step 1: Consult an Attorney
While it is not legally required to hire an attorney to file for a restraining order, it makes the process much easier. An attorney will help fill out the necessary paperwork and advise you on which protective order is the most appropriate for your situation.
Step 2: File the Paperwork
After consulting an attorney, the next step is to fill out the appropriate paperwork. There are no fees associated with filing a restraining order in an Arizona court. The forms are available in five languages and can be filed in any court in the state.
Step 3: Appear Before the Judge
Once the paperwork is filed, you will then appear before a judge as they review and ask questions about your request. These questions may include specifics about the incidents that led to your request for a protective order.
Step 4: Wait For the Restraining Order to be Served
If the judge grants your request, it will not be legally valid until the defendant is notified and served by a law enforcement officer or a court-appointed designee. You have one year to serve the order of protection to the defendant before it is invalid and once served, the order lasts for one year.
Contesting an Arizona Restraining Order
Being served with a protective order has a lasting impact on your life, appearing during background checks when you apply for a job or housing. Legally, you have the right to contest the order within 10 days of being served and can request a hearing within five days if the order stops you from returning to your home.
If you have been served with any type of restraining order in Arizona, contact a qualified criminal law attorney immediately. The criminal defense experts at Grabb & Durando have your best interest in mind and will fight to keep your rights protected.