A restraining order, (also referred to as a protective order or order of protection) is a vital tool you can use when you have been a victim of domestic violence or recurring harassment. Therefore, it is paramount to understand the filing process in Arizona, so you are fully prepared to protect those you love as well as yourself.
What Is the Goal Of Obtaining A Restraining Order in Arizona?
A restraining order or order of protection arises when the order involves a romantic domestic partner or family member. An injunction against harassment is when the parties involved are not family but court protection is still needed from third parties.
When a restraining order is filed there are no fees, however certain criteria must be met. Under the law in Arizona ( Title 13-3602) says a restraining order will not be obtainable until the following points can be met.
- The petition has been completely filled out, submitted and verified by the applicant in writing
- The restraining order petition that is being filed against a person at least twelve years of age
- One person is the maximum amount of people the petition can be filed against (unless minor children are included, which can occur for parents).
Is A Restraining Order Helpful?
Restraining orders can be powerful deterrents to further abuse by the harassing party. Once the abuser is formally served, they are restricted from coming within 100 yards or 1000 feet of you, your person, your home, or your place of business. This protective “bubble” can also sometimes extend to your minor children if you feel that they are in danger too.
Once the Order of Protection has been served, communications are severely limited between you and the abuser. The defendant abuser (once served with the order) may now only have certain ways to communicate with you like (but not including) text messaging, email or telephone calls. Conversely, the order may prohibit the defendant from any form of contact with you. Keep in mind, the court also has rights preventing the defendant by:
- Setting a geographical distance, the defendant must keep between themselves and a specific place (or places) or an individual (or certain groups of people)
- Keeping no contact with any animals who reside in the residence as well as not taking possession of said animals
- No offenses committed under the following statute of domestic violence: (Title 13-3601(A))
- Carrying or owning a firearm
- If applicable, using the joint residence
The court can order a defendant to take part in an intervention style program or domestic violence class. Defendants who accidentally or purposefully choose to violate the restraining orders terms may face being immediately arrested, being jailed or being prosecuted. The restraining order is not an airtight guarantee for your safety, but it prohibits a defendant from approaching or being in certain geographical areas as well as limiting the amount and kind of communication you have with the defendant – so there are serious legal consequences for violating a restraining order.
Can I Get Restraining Orders in Arizona?
People in the following circumstances can file a restraining order:
- A third party presenting a petitioner who literally cannot be present at the court because of the abuser
- A guardian or parent of a minor child
- Adults over the age of 18
Remember that in Arizona the court can issue make sure the restraining order for anyone residing in Arizona.
Can A Restraining Order Be Filed in The State of Arizona?
Here are the four steps you need to know.
- When possible, consult with an attorney first. Although an attorney is not mandatory, a consultation with a lawyer can ensure the process runs more smoothly. They can point out what order is best for your situation and assist with the completion of forms that have to be submitted. Your local county court probably has some suggestions and do not forget there is always reach out to National Domestic Violence Hotline for advice and legal support if domestic violence is involved.
- Maricopa county requires you to fill out the paperwork utilizing a Domestic Violence computerized prompting system. The paperwork will have a petition naming the proposed protected parties as well as defining the reasons why you are in need of the restraining order. Protective Order forms can be filed at any court in the state of Arizona and they are available in five different languages.
- When you make your live court appearance before the judge, you will answer the questions he or she may have regarding your need for an order to be issued. The judge may question you regarding specific incidents that back up your need for a petition. Undoubtedly it is often emotionally distressing, and it may be worthwhile to bring someone you trust for support as you go through this, lawyers are always best to help you through this process.
- When the judge grants a restraining order, the defendant must be notified using legal service of process. You will have to serve the defender with the petition including an order of protection as well as a duplicate copy of the signed order of protection through law enforcement personnel or going through a licensed process server. The restraining order, as you recall, is not valid until it been served upon the defendant personally. Petitioners with an order of protection have up to one year for the defendant to be served otherwise the order will automatically expire. If the defendant is located in Phoenix, Phoenix Police will work with the Coordinator of Protective Orders to file the court order with no fees, for you. In situations where the defendant is not able to be served immediately, it is crucially important to maintain a copy of the signed protection order on hand. If the defendant has not been served the order of protection and physically approaches you, immediately call 911 and inform them you have an order of protection against the defendant on your person and that the law enforcement who mobilizes to the scene should immediately serve the defendant and escort him from the area.
What Is the Cost of A Restraining Order in Arizona?
There are no fees attached to filing the restraining order in Arizona. Should you decide to utilize the services of a private process server, the average price is $73 with prices ranging from $45 to $100 for the US in 2019.
“How To File A Restraining Order in Arizona.” Arizona Legal Center, 30 May 2018, arizonalegalcenter.org/how-to-file-a-restraining-order-in-arizona/.
Contact Our Restraining Order Lawyers in Scottsdale
If you are dealing with a restraining order served upon you, or are thinking of filing for one, contact Canterbury Law Group today. Our dedicated restraining order lawyers in Scottsdale will ensure thorough preparation for your restraining order, or defense from same, and help you navigate the legal issues that inevitably arise.