By: Michelle J. Perkins, Esq.
If a loved one has committed an act of domestic violence against you or if you believe that a loved one is likely to commit an act of domestic violence against you in the future, you can file an Order of Protection to protect yourself.
An Order of Protection is a court order that prohibits the person that you got the Order against from having any contact with you and from going to certain places that you name in the Order. For example, the Order of Protection can prohibit someone from coming to your home, work or school or another address that you frequent on a regular basis.
The Order of Protection can prohibit any and all types of communication, unless you tell the Judge that you would like the person to be able to contact you by phone, e-mail or text.
Filing an Order of Protection:
- You can go to either a Municipal (City) Court or the Maricopa County Superior Court to file your Petition
- In the Petition you want to tell the Court events that have occurred in the last 12 months that caused you to file the Order of Protection
- Once filed you will be sent to see a Judge
- If the Judge issues the Order of Protection, you will be required to have it served on the other person, typically by a private process server
Defending Against an Order of Protection:
- If an Order of Protection has been served on you, you have the right to ask for a hearing
- At the hearing the person that filed for and obtained the Order of Protection has the burden of proof to have the Order upheld
- If the Order of Protection is upheld, it is valid for one year
- If the Order of Protection is not upheld, the Court will quash it and it will no longer be valid
Sometimes people obtain Orders of Protection for improper reasons, for example to try to get an advantage in a divorce case and to try to include the children on the Order of Protection. In this day and age, Court’s will rarely include the children on an Order of Protection and the parties must obtain Temporary Orders from the divorce court to determine a proper parenting time schedule during a divorce proceeding.
Orders of Protection are taken very seriously by the Court and the police and you should only obtain an Order of Protection when you are in fear for your safety.
If you would like more information about obtaining or defending against an Order of Protection and would like to speak with one of our experienced Attorneys, please call Owens & Perkins at (480) 630-2464 to schedule a 30-minute complimentary consultation.