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How to Get a Restraining Order in Arizona: Step-by-Step Guide

Introduction

At Law Offices of Vescio & Seifert, P.C., located in Glendale and Tucson, AZ, we understand the importance of personal safety and provide expert legal advice on obtaining restraining orders. This guide offers a detailed overview of the process in Arizona.

Understanding Restraining Orders in Arizona

Arizona offers Orders of Protection and Injunctions Against Harassment to protect individuals from various forms of abuse and harassment, whether from close relationships or others such as neighbors or coworkers.

Eligibility Criteria

Anyone experiencing threats or abuse from someone they share a close relationship with can apply for a restraining order. It’s essential to demonstrate this relationship and provide relevant evidence.

Preparing to File

Gathering necessary documentation and understanding the impact of the restraining order is crucial. Our attorneys at Law Offices of Vescio & Seifert, P.C. can assist in preparing these documents and providing legal counsel.

The Filing Process:

  • Consult an Attorney (Optional but Recommended):
    • For guidance and assistance with paperwork, consider consulting with our attorneys.
  • Complete the Petition:
    • Use AZPOINT or obtain forms from the courthouse to fill out the petition.
  • Gather Necessary Information:
    • Collect all relevant personal identification and evidence of abuse or harassment.
  • Choose the Appropriate Courthouse:
    • File the petition at your local courthouse, or the courthouse handling any ongoing family law case with the respondent.
  • Submit the Petition:
    • Physically submit your completed petition at the courthouse, free of charge.
  • Judge’s Review:
    • You will appear before a judge who will review your petition and may ask questions.
  • Obtain the Judge’s Decision:
    • The judge will decide whether to grant the restraining order.
  • Service of the Order:
    • If granted, ensure the respondent is officially served with the order by a law enforcement officer or process server.
  • Keep a Copy of the Order:
    • Always keep a copy of the restraining order with you.

Enforcement and FAQs:

  1. How is a restraining order enforced in Arizona?
    • Enforcement is primarily through law enforcement. If the order is violated, the defendant can be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or even a felony for repeated violations.
  2. What are the costs associated with filing a restraining order?
    • In Arizona, there are no fees for individuals seeking a protective order. Employers may incur a fee for filing an injunction against workplace harassment.
  3. How long does a restraining order last?
    • Once issued and served, a protective order lasts for two years from the date of service.
  4. Can children or family members be included in a protective order?
    • Yes, children and other family members can be included. Ensure to list relevant locations like schools or extracurricular venues for comprehensive protection.
  5. What if the defendant violates the order?
    • Violating a protective order is a criminal offense in Arizona. Penalties can include jail time, fines, and the loss of civil rights.
  6. Can a plaintiff violate the protective order?
    • The protective order is not a tool for offensive action against the defendant. Misuse of the order by the plaintiff can lead to similar penalties the defendant faces.
  7. Is it possible to contest a restraining order?
    • Yes, the defendant has the right to request a hearing to contest the order. Both parties can present evidence, but they are not provided court-appointed attorneys.
  8. What if I share a residence with the defendant?
    • You can request exclusive use of the residence in your petition, but you must notify the court if you move out while the order is active.
  9. Can the order be modified?
    • Both parties can request modifications. A judge will review these requests in a subsequent hearing.

Consult With Law Offices of Vescio & Seifert, P.C. Today

Obtaining a restraining order in Arizona is a significant step toward ensuring your safety. Law Offices of Vescio & Seifert, P.C. are here to provide legal support and guidance throughout this process. Contact us at (623) 243-7556 for more information or to schedule a consultation.