Orders of Protection in Arizona
Did you just get served with an Order of Protection? Do you need to get an Order of Protection against someone? Here is some basic information you need to know.
There are three types of Protective Orders:
1) Order of Protection (OOP);
2) Injunction Against Harassment (IAH); and
3) Injunction Against Workplace Harassment.
For purposes of this post, we’ll only discuss the first two (OOP and IAH), since those are the most relevant to family law. An Order of Protection (OOP) is used when there is a specific type of relationship between the two parties involved. Those relationships include a romantic situation, married situation, living-together situation (including non-romantic roommates), not married but have children together, or a family relationship (sibling, parent, child, and grandparent relationships). For a judge togrant a request for an OOP it must find that an act of domestic violence has occurred or is likely to occur. Defining “domestic violence” is a whole other post – but it does not necessarily involve physical violence. The term “domestic violence” is a label attached to an incident that involves parties in any of the relationships used above – even when there is NO violence. It could possibly include (but is not limited to) the following examples: harassing emails or text messages, stalking, disorderly conduct, using abusive or offensive language, trespassing, blocking someone from leaving, not letting them use a phone in an emergency, violating a court order, or damaging property that doesn’t belong to you. Of course, any physical violence is also included even if criminal charges where never filed.
An Injunction Against Harassment (IAH) is used in situations where there is no family or romantic relationship. For example, a neighbor can request an IAH against another neighbor. However, for family law purposes, the most common use of an IAH is in a situation where there are children involved and a biological parent has remarried or has a new partner and the other biological parent has issues with the new person or vice versa. An IAH would be the protective order that is requested or granted in situations between a biological parent and an ex’s new boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife. For a court to grant a request for an IAH, the judge must determine that a “series of acts of harassment” has occurred. “Series” generally means “two or more” instances of harassment. Because there are so many different courts and judges in Arizona – and each judge has the discretion to make the decision about whether a “series” exists and whether it was harassment – it can be hard to predict what a judge will decide when given a certain set of facts. Sometimes IAH’s are granted when they shouldn’t be and sometimes they aren’t granted when they should be.
In either case – a protective order is a severe limitation on a person’s personal liberties and rights. If you are on the receiving end of an OOP or IAH, you have the right to request a hearing to contest the order. At the hearing, the judge will hear testimony from both parties about why the OOP/IAH should remain in effect or be dismissed (or modified). You only have one shot to make your case and get it dismissed. It’s in your best interest to get as much information about your rights before you request or attend a hearing because the consequences could have a big effect on your day to day life. On the other hand, if you have an OOP/IAH against someone and they are contesting it, make sure you are prepared for the hearing because the OOP/IAH could be dismissed if you aren’t able to communicate the right information to the judge. Check back for additional posts about other family law issues that could affect you.
The best legal representation for filing order of protection
Looking for an experienced order of protection attorney in Pheonix, Arozina? Skupin Law Group provides effective legal counsel to help you issue an order of protection against someone. Attorney Michael Skupin offers trusted and accurate legal advice on how to file an order of protection. In addition, he also assists clients if they have been served with an order of protection. Click here for free consultation.