Violence occurs all too often in relationships. It could involve a custody dispute that gets physical, a scorned former lover who has a hard time accepting the relationship is over, or someone trying to get out of an abusive relationship. In these situations, an individual may want to seek out a restraining order to gain some level of protection from harm to themselves or their loved ones.
In Arizona, a restraining order is known as a “protective order.” It is an order issued by the civil court to restrain a person from committing a violent or threatening act, and harassment against contact or communication. Under Arizona Revised Statute 13-3602, violating a protective order can result in jail time for the offender, even if they never even touched the protected individual.
A protective order can be temporary or permanent. In the case of a temporary restraining order, the victim can seek a protective order with the other individual not having the chance to respond to the allegations. The subject of the order may request a hearing to challenge the protective order, or petition the judge to drop the order. A permanent protective order can be effective for up to 12 months from the date of service, subject to further extensions.
The specifics of the order will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. A protective order can limit contact or communication with another person, including a limit to their physical proximity. It may also prevent the subject from approaching certain locations, whether or not the alleged victim is present.
It is also becoming more common for protective orders to protect individuals against contact through the internet or social media. This could include tagging someone on Facebook, following their Instagram account, or sending Snapchat messages.
Seeking a Protective Order
To seek a protective order, you need to go submit a petition for a protective order to the court. This petition should include specifics about what the other person has done in the past, and has threatened to do, to put you or your family in fear of physical harm, threat, or harassment.
The protective order should also include information about specific locations where you want the protective order to apply, including your home, workplace, church, school, or other locations you regularly frequent.
If the protective order becomes subject to a hearing, the judge will hear both parties present evidence, testimony, and arguments for their side. The judge will make a determination whether or not the order is to be upheld.
An Arizona family law attorney with experience in handling protective and restraining orders will be able to advise you of your rights, so you can make the decision that is best for you. They will be able to handle all of the paperwork, petitioning process, and represent you during a hearing.