Protective orders or restraining orders are court orders intended to prevent a specific individual from committing an act of harassment or domestic violence against the protected person(s). Protective order is a general term that can refer to an order of protection or an injunction against harassment, depending on the parties’ relationship. Both types of protective orders are obtained through ex parte proceedings, meaning that a judge will decide to grant or deny a petition for a protective order the same day it is filed, without notice to the other party.
Order of Protection
An order of protection is a protective order issued pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-3602 against someone with whom you have a specific relationship, usually a roommate, family member, or present/former spouse or romantic partner. It may prohibit the defendant from visiting specific locations, such as the protected person’s home, workplace, and/or school. Unless dismissed, an order of protection is valid for one year.
Injunction Against Harassment
An injunction against harassment is a protective order against other individuals, pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-1809. To obtain an injunction against harassment, the person against whom it is sought must have committed at least two acts of harassment within the last year. Like orders of protection, injunctions against harassment are also effective for one year unless dismissed earlier.
Hearing to Quash
Once served, the person against whom a protective order is issued can request a hearing to contest the protective order. These hearings are mini-trials where the parties can present evidence and testimony for the court to determine if the order should be quashed (dismissed) or upheld. Arizona case law recognizes the lasting reputational and legal consequences of protective orders and takes these cases seriously. A protective order may be discovered on a background check and can adversely impact employment eligibility, residential lease approval, and firearms ownership rights.
Protective Orders and Family Law
Protective orders may be obtained independently or as part of a family law case. Protective orders do not automatically modify child custody and should not be used to subvert parenting time orders. Improperly obtaining a protective order can have serious consequences, including financial sanctions. Please contact our attorneys to discuss this or any other family law issue.