Rules of Evidence in Order of Protection Hearings in Arizona
Often in hotly contested family law cases, there are Orders of Protections filed. Many such Orders of Protection will require a hearing once a party served with the Order contests the Order. The rules at the hearings, when it comes to submitting evidence, is much different than other hearings. Typically, the Court is much more liberal in allowing in evidence. The main rule for admissible evidence is as follows:
- All relevant evidence is admissible, except the court may exclude if:
a. the probative value is outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice
b. the evidence results in confusion of the issues;
c. admitting the evidence may result in undue delay
d. a needless presentation of cumulative evidence would result
e. the evidence lacks reliability
Another thing to note is that the parties do not have to follow the disclosure requirements as outlined in Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure Rules 49 and 50. This means you can essentially show up to Court with the evidence without disclosure. Unless the Court finds this as prejudicial, the evidence will usually be allowed.
Overall, you can get a lot in, but make sure it is relevant to the proceeding. This means most of the evidence should be in line with what was listed on the Order. The one who filed the Order has the burden of proof, and the Judge mostly wants to know about events that occurred within the last year of the Order.