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Arizona Domestic Violence (Order of Protection) Questions & Answers

Domestic violence includes the following crimes that result in violence or the threat of violence against anyone in a domestic relationship: assault, threatening and intimidating, endangerment, custodial interference, unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, criminal trespass, criminal damage, disorderly conduct and crimes against children. If you are in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, call 911 immediately.

What legal steps can be taken to try to prevent Domestic Violence?

If you are not in immediate danger and want to take legal action to protect yourself, and others, threatened by domestic violence, you can file court paperwork at the Superior Court, at any Justice of the Peace Court to request an Order of Protection.

What if Divorce documents have already been filed with the Court?

If you already have filed a domestic relations case in the Superior Court, you must file your Order of Protection paperwork in the Superior Court. And, if you plan to file a Domestic Relations case, you may want to file your Petition for Order of Protection in Superior Court.

What is an Order of Protection?

An Order of Protection issued by a judge is an Order intended to help prevent further acts of domestic violence by allowing you to get help from the police if the order is violated. These orders are valid for one year from the date issued, and are renewable. An Order of Protection is not a guarantee of your safety. You should always remain cautious and have a personal safety plan.

Can an Order of Protection be used to keep a parent from seeing that parent's child?

An Order of Protection is not an order for temporary child custody for the purpose of preventing a parent from seeing children, unless the children are also endangered. It is not an order for visitation.

What are the requirements for requesting an Order of Protection?

Before you can file for an Order of Protection, you must have a certain relationship with the person that is abusing you. The defendant must be one of the either:

  • your spouse or former spouse; or
  • your roommate or former roommate of the opposite sex
  • the father or mother of your child or your unborn child; or
  • your blood relative or relative by marriage.

If the defendant is not any of these relationships to you, but is still harassing you, you may still be able to file for an Injunction Against Harassment.

Unlike the Order of Protection, an Injunction Against Harassment is not based on criminal behavior and is not based on the relationship between the parties.


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