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Johnny Depp Hearings Shine Spotlight on Abuse

The legal problems between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard over her claims of spousal abuse have been making international headlines. The two sides are due to face off as Heard pursues an extension of a domestic violence restraining order that was granted last month. The court set a status conference for August and the judge extended the temporary restraining order that bars Depp from going within 100 yards of Heard.

This celebrity case has raised the importance of protection against domestic violence. At Canterbury Law Group, we know first hand that there are many misconceptions on abuse. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, here are some answers to common questions:

1. What is Domestic Violence? When you are in a relationship with someone who uses threats, harasses, molests, stalks, attacks, batters or strikes you, your family or your children, that person is committing Domestic Violence. If you are experiencing Domestic Violence, you have a legal right to seek relief from the courts by procuring a protective order.

In the State of Arizona, Domestic Violence includes a variety of abusive acts. You must be able to show the court that the person from whom you want protection has committed or may commit an act of Domestic Violence. You do not have to be physically injured or hurt to be a victim of Domestic Violence. Domestic violence occurs if the other person has done or attempts to:

  • endanger you threaten, intimidate, or harass you interfere with the custody of your children;
  • trespass on or damage your property;
  • restrain you, kidnap, or hold you prisoner;
  • assault you with his/her body or with a weapon;
  • display a deadly weapon or threaten you with a deadly weapon;
  • surreptitiously (without your knowledge) photograph, videotape, film or record you.

2. What types of protective orders are available in Arizona? A Protective Order is a document obtained from a court, to order the abusive person not to contact you and to prevent future abusive behavior. In Arizona there are five types of protective orders:

  • Order of Protection – An Order of Protection is a legal restraint used to prohibit a person from committing acts of domestic violence or from contacting people protected by the order. It also provides several kinds of protective relief, such as removing firearms from the home, adding other people to the protective order, and exclusive use of the home.
  • Emergency Order of Protection – An Emergency Order of Protection is also a legal restraint to prevent domestic violence. An Emergency Order may be granted by an authorized judicial officer in writing, verbally or by telephone for the protection of a person in “imminent and present danger of domestic violence.”
  • Release Order – In rural counties where it is not required that a judicial officer be designated to issue Emergency Orders when the courts are closed, emergency protection is available through a registered Release Order. Arizona law provides that, when a person arrested for an act of domestic violence is released from custody, any Release Order shall include pretrial release conditions necessary to protect the alleged victim and other specifically designated persons.
  • Injunction Against Harassment – The Injunction Against Harassment orders a person to stop harassing, annoying or alarming another person. Injunctions can be used for disputes against neighbors, strangers, and people who were not dating.
  • Injunction Against Workplace Harassment – The Injunction Against Workplace Harassment is the newest protective order available in Arizona. It allows an employer or an agent of an employer to file for relief on behalf of all employees at the workplace, against any person who enters the employer’s property and any person who is performing official work duties.

3. How and where can I get an Order of Protection or an Injunction Against Harassment? You may file a petition for an Order of Protection or Injunction Against Harassment in any superior, municipal or justice court regardless of where you live in Arizona. When you enter the court, go to the Clerk of the Court’s counter, Self Service Center, or protection order window and tell the clerk you are requesting an Order of Protection or an Injunction Against Harassment. The clerk will give you the proper Petition forms. Plan on being at the court house for several hours.

If you’re experiencing domestic violence, hiring a family law attorney can be critical to your future. Call the Scottsdale layers at Canterbury Law Group today to schedule you consultation. 480-240-0040.

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