This guide will help you through the process of knowing what is a protective order, when and how to file, who, where and how long does a protective order apply, and can it be contested.
What is a protective order, and what can it do?There are multiple instances of when to request a protective order, but first a foremost, you need to know IF you can request a protective order. In order to understand that you, you first need to know what a protective order is. It is a civil court order prohibiting a specific person from making contact with you such as coming near your home, work site, school, or other locations. They are primarily based on the relationship you have with the party you are seeking protection from. The party must have either a domestic or familial relation, otherwise an injunction against harassment would be more appropriate. For example, you would not file a protective order against your coworker who constantly texts you, or your ex girlfriend's spouse who tells you he is going to fight you. You would file on your husband, wife, minor child, girlfriend/boyfriend who you live with, etc. A protective order can restrain a defendant from committing acts of violence and harassment, prohibit a defendant from contacting you, and it can provide you with legal recourse if they violate it. As far as what it cant do, IT CANNOT GUARANTEE YOUR SAFETY, it cannot resolve landlord tenant dispute, and it cannot change custody or visitation orders (unless it applies to a minor child as well).
When and how to fileProtective orders are intended to prevent the offending person from contacting you. But victims should still remain cautious and have their own personal safety plan. In the case of Maricopa County, Arizona, if you or your child's life feel threatened by past, present, or imminent future harm you can file for a protective order. You will have to go to one of 4 courthouses in person, or you local city courthouse to file a protective order. My recommendation would be to file with a county courthouse. Secondly, that courthouse will have a protective order center. Please have a description of events that occurred which prompted you to file this. The key is multiple events, and dont leave out any important details. It is important that you include anything you would want to talk about in a future hearing, because protective orders in maricopa county are limited only to the contents of the actual order. This means, if it is not in the actual protective order, you cannot discuss it in court. Once you have filed in the center at the courthouse, you will be heard by a judge who will grant or deny you order
Who, where, and how long does a protective order applyA protective order applies to whoever is listed on the order itself. This is typically the requesting spouse/ party and any possible children that may also be involved. It is common for the order to also apply to exclusive use of the home for that requesting party when there are children involved or the parties share a home. In order for the protective order to go into effect, it must be served. The order will remain in effect for one year, and while in effect, the brady prevention act typically applies. This means that the person who the order is against is prohibited from buying, selling, possessing, or trading fire arms.
Can it be contested?The short answer is yes. These hearings will often proceed similar to a trial. Evidence can and will be presented, both parties will have a chance to speak and call any witnesses they deem appropriate. The duration and time limit to the hearing can vary from commissioner to commissioner, and depend primarily on who is involved and the scope of the protective order itself. Testimony is limited to events and items that have been referenced within the protective order specifically. The results will either be the order remains in effect, the order is quashed, or the order remains in effect and the brady prevention act does not apply. These hearings can be very complicated and representation is almost a must.