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Orders of Protection - An Abused Area of the Law

Orders of Protection - An Abused Area of the Law

Domestic violence seems to be an ever increasing problem in today’s society. It is defined as any time that an individual is facing violence from his or her domestic partner or other member of their household. In this circumstance, the individual has the legal right to request or petition for an Arizona order of protection. The order of protection (sometimes referred to as a restraining order) is a legally binding court order that forbids one individual from specified behaviors namely: physical abuse, contact of a specified individual, stalking, etc. The order is binding for a specified length of time after which the individual in receipt of the order of protection would need to take action if they need or want the order to stay in place.

Failure to adhere to terms in an order of protection could result in fines and/or jail time.

While the need for orders of protection is very real, there are also many instances in which they are sought on a frivolous or even fictional basis. This is one aspect of the law that provides protection for those in need, but also allows certain vindictive individuals to seek to control their partner or ex. The plenary order of protection is the longest-lasting order of protection available. To attempt to prevent frivolous use of this legality, it requires that both the petitioner and their alleged abuser go before a judge and present their case before an order will be issued. The judge must then decide whether or not the petitioner actually needs the order. If the issuance of an order of protection will not actually help the petitioner, the judge will not issue one.

There are three general types of Orders of Protection: emergency orders of protection, plenary orders of protection and interim orders of protection. Which type best suits your situation is best determined through a discussion of your case’s details with an experienced Arizona family law attorney.

Generally speaking, the emergency order of protection should be used in extreme cases. It is valid for the shortest time period. The plenary order of protection requires that the respondent be served with notice of proceedings regarding the order of protection. This provides them with the opportunity to appear before the court regarding the petition. If granted, this type of order of protection can be valid for up to two years. The interim order of protection acts as a go between for the two other types of orders of protection. Court may enter an interim order of protection in order to provide temporary legal protection for the petitioner if the respondent has been served with notice of proceedings or if the proof has been provided that the petitioner made a valid effort to serve the respondent as required. The interim order of protection can last up to 30 days.

If you have questions regarding obtaining an order of protection in Arizona, contact the Arizona Family Law Attorneys today. We will assist you in determining if petitioning for an order of protection is appropriate for your situation.
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