In Arizona, restraining orders, also called orders of protection, are court orders that are designed to protect one individual from another who is harassing, threatening or abusing them. If you feel you are being threatened or harassed, contact a Glendale Family Law attorney immediately. Here are the steps to obtaining an order of protection in Arizona:
1. Go to court and fill out the necessary forms
File a “Petition for Order of Protection” and list all required information about the plaintiff (you) and the defendant (the person who is harassing you). On this petition you will need to elaborate on why you need protection and a description of the abuse that has taken place. Also necessary will be information regarding any past court proceedings that have taken place, if any, and information on where the defendant can be served with the order such as an address and other location information.
If you need immediate protection and are unable to visit a court, call the police for assistance in getting an emergency order of protection if you are in immediate danger.
2. “Ex parte” hearing
This hearing is where a judicial officer will hear your sworn testimony regarding the abuse and will review any other evidence. The defendant will not attend this hearing. After hearing your testimony, there are two decisions that the judge can make:
– the judge will issue a “permanent” order of protection, which will expire one year from the day issued.
– the judge will decide that more evidence is needed in order for your request to be granted, will not issue a “permanent” order and may order a hearing in 10 days following, which the defendant will need to attend.
3. Defendant is Served
The defendant will then be served with the documents that inform him/her about the order of protection that you have requested. The order of protection is not valid or enforceable until the document is served, which must be within one year of the date it was issued by the court. In Arizona, the plaintiff controls when the order is served and it is their responsibility to seek the proper legal agency that will serve it for them.
If the order is from a justice court, a court constable can serve it. If the order is obtained from a municipal court, city police can serve it as long as it is within city limits.
Once the order has been served you will be notified by a process server and a copy of the order will be mailed to you.
4. Defendant Response
When a person is served, they have the right to request a hearing before the court order expires. You will be notified by the court to attend a hearing that will be set 5-10 days from the time served. Failing to appear at the hearing may result in the judge dismissing your order of protection.
At The Sampair Group, our experienced family law attorneys can help you file an Order of Protection if you feel you are being threatened or harassed. If you feel you have been wrongfully served with an Order of Protection, contact us immediately and we can help you fight the order.