Governor Doug Ducey Signs House Bill 2604, Extending Arizona Orders of Protection
Extending Protection Order Limits To Help Victims Of Domestic Abuse
In June 2022, Governor Ducey signed HB 2604, which extends protective orders to a period of 2 years. This doubles their previous timespan of one year. HB 2604 also extends emergency protective orders to seven days. This bill was passed to help protect victims of domestic abuse. At least 86 people died from domestic abuse in 2021, and 102 in 2020. HB 2604 aims to reduce these numbers.
What Are Protective Orders?
A protective order is essentially another term for a restraining order. A protective order is meant to keep one person from harassing or committing domestic violence against another person. A petition for a protective order should be filed in the nearest courthouse and will be heard by a judge, usually the same day. A protective order can keep someone away not just from your home, but your school, work, and other locations that you request on your petition.
Types Of Protective Orders
There are two types of protective orders in Arizona. The first type of protective order in Arizona is an Order of Protection, or an OOP. An OOP can only be filed against someone with whom you share a special relationship. These special relationships include a spouse, a current or former roommate, someone with whom you are romantically involved, your child’s other parent, and a relative or an in-law. An order of protection can be granted if the defendant has committed an act of domestic violence or it is likely that the defendant will commit domestic violence in the future.
The second type of protective order in Arizona is an injunction against harassment. An injunction of harassment is meant to provide protection against anyone with whom you don’t share one of the special relationships described above. Examples include co-workers, friends, and even strangers. The defendant must have committed two acts of harassment within the past year for an injunction against harassment to be granted.
Acts Of Domestic Violence & Harassment
Protective orders can only be granted if specific acts have occurred or are likely to occur. You should have evidence of all the acts you include on your petition available to show to the judge. Acts of domestic violence and harassment that can warrant a protective order include:
- Assault and aggravated assault
- Kidnapping and custodial interference
- Criminal damage and criminal trespass
- Stalking, surreptitious videotaping, threatening and intimidating
- Harassment and aggravated harassment
- Child or vulnerable adult abuse
- Disobeying a court order
How Do I Obtain a Protective Order?
The first step is to create a petition asking the court to grant a protective order against the defendant. There may be a protective orders office at your courthouse, or you may need to be directed by a court clerk. For your paperwork, you will need the name, birth date, phone number, and address (to your best knowledge) of the defendant. You should include information about any proceedings you and the defendant have had against each other, whether they are in the past or present.
The judge will typically hear your petition for a protective order on the same day, if the courthouse is open. If the judge grants your petition, the defendant will need to be served with the protective order and the petition. You can request a delay of service of up to 72 hours, if necessary. Service will be completed by a police officer or a process server, and there is no fee for service of process for protective orders in Arizona. You can provide information like the defendant’s workplace and hours to make service easier for the sheriff or process server.
At any time before the protective order expires, the defendant can request a hearing on the matter. The hearing is set 5 to 10 days after the defendant requests it. If you fail to appear at this hearing, the judge may dismiss the protective order you have against the defendant. You should bring any evidence that demonstrates why the protective order needs to remain in place. You may also consider hiring an attorney to represent you at this hearing.
What Happens After a Protective Order Expires?
Arizona doesn’t have the legislature in place to extend an order of protection. However, you can request a new order of protection when your current one is set to expire. The judge can grant this whether or not there have been recent violations of the order. You should include the case information from your previous protective order as well as any updates to the defendant’s contact information in your request for a new protective order. For more information about extending a protective order already in place, call for your free consultation at 480-833-8000.
Emergency Protective Orders
If someone is harassing you or abusing you on a Friday or Saturday night, you might not have time to wait until the courthouse opens on Monday (or later, if it’s a holiday weekend) to obtain a protective order. This is where an Emergency Protective Order should be used. You should call the police to the scene of the incident to obtain an emergency protective order, if possible. This order operates the same as a normal protective order, but can be granted immediately by a judicial officer if someone is in imminent and present danger of domestic violence. In counties with a population of less than 150,000, there is a judicial officer or officer of the peace on call during the court’s closed hours. HB 2604 now allows for these small county orders to be issued by telephone. An emergency protective order is closed until the close of business the next day that the courthouse is open the day after the order is issued, unless the court decides to extend the protective order on its own.
What Should I Do If The Defendant Violates The Protective Order?
Even minor violations of the protective order are illegal, so you should consider calling the police. This creates documentation that the defendant isn’t following the court order. The police may arrest the defendant, and they may be held in contempt of court. If you want to follow up with the status of this violation, you should get the police officer’s name and badge number for calling into the station.
Skillful Representation through Your Protective Order Matter & Any Of Your Other Family Law Needs
The protective order process in Arizona is a stressful ordeal without even considering the other party involved. Completing every step correctly could be crucial to the safety of you and your family. That’s why you should consider hiring an attorney to represent you through this ordeal. Your attorney can prepare evidence and testimony that will convince the judge that your protective order is necessary. Your attorney can also help you with the paperwork that will extend protection to your children and other loved ones as well. AZ Family Law Lawyers offers proven results with affordable pricing and payment plans. This careful guidance begins with your 100% free and confidential initial consultation. See what we have to offer before scheduling with attorneys who charge for consultations. Contact us by filling out our online form or call 480-833-8000 to let us know when is most convenient for you.
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