Order of Protection2020-05-05T15:20:12-07:00


Order of Protection

Unfortunately, as experienced family law attorneys, many of our cases involve obtaining and contesting protective orders. We have helped clients in family court and municipal court obtain and quash orders of protection and injunctions against harassment.

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There are two main types of protective orders that function very similarly but depend on the relationship between the parties.

Protective orders are what Arizona calls restraining orders intended to prevent a specific individual from contacting the protected person(s). Protective order is a general term that can refer to an order of protection or an injunction against harassment. Both types of protective orders usually are obtained through ex parts 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. The protective order becomes effective for one year once it is properly served and the defendant/respondent can request a hearing to contest the order at any time after service.

An order of protection is a specific type of protective order issued pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-3602 against someone with whom the protected person has a personal relationship, usually a roommate, family member, or present/former spouse or romantic partner. It may prohibit an individual from contacting the protected person(s) and/or from visiting specified locations, such as the protected person’s home, workplace, and/or school.  An order of protection can list multiple protected persons and this usually occurs when a parent obtains a protective order to protect the parent and the children from the other parent.

An injunction against harassment is a protective order against other individuals with whom the protected person(s) do not necessarily have an intimate or familial relationship. Pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-1809, an injunction against harassment may be appropriate whenever the person against whom it is sought has committed at least two acts of harassment within the past year. Like orders of protection, injunctions against harassment are effective for one year after service unless dismissed earlier.

Once served, the person against whom a protective order is issued can request a hearing to contest the order. These hearings are brief trials where the parties present evidence and testimony related to the allegations in the petition to enable the court to determine if the order should be quashed (dismissed) or upheld. Protective orders have lasting reputational and legal consequences. They may be discovered during a background check and can adversely impact employment eligibility, residential lease approval, and firearms possession rights.

Protective orders may be obtained independently or as part of an active family law case. Protective orders do not automatically modify child custody orders and should not be used to subvert parenting time orders. Improperly obtaining a protective order can have serious consequences, including financial sanctions.

Below are some recent appellate decisions, sample legal documents, and other resources related to protective orders.

If you have questions about orders of protection or any other family law issue, contact us for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.


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