Chandler Restraining Order Lawyers | Attorneys for Freedom Law Firm

Chandler Orders of Protection & Injunctions Against Harassment Attorneys

It can be terribly frustrating and even potentially dangerous when someone is being threatened or harassed by another. Orders of Protection and Injunctions against Harassment are types of restraining order that are issued by a Court to prevent certain acts, communications, and behaviors.

A restraining order is a general term that includes Court orders that restrict a person or entity from engaging in a particular activity. In a generic sense, injunctions against harassment and orders of protection are types of restraining orders. However, restraining orders can govern other activities depending on the circumstances. Often, restraining orders are used in civil cases to prevent a party from engaging in a particular activity. For example, a Court may issue a restraining order to prevent a person from violating an employment contract that prohibits disclosure of company information. Here, however, we are specifically addressing Orders of Protection and Injunctions against Harassment.

What are the differences between Orders of Protection and Injunctions against Harassment?

The differences in these types of orders generally involve the relationship between the parties, the type of conduct needing to be restrained or prevented, and the elements to be established to obtain protection.

  • Orders of Protection: An Order of Protection is intended to prevent or restrain a person from committing an act of harassment or domestic violence against another person or persons who is either: (a) your current or former spouse, (b) someone with whom you live or have lived, (c) someone with whom you are having a romantic or sexual relationship, (d) one party pregnant by the other party or someone with whom you have a child in common, (e) your relative, or your current spouse’s relative, or (f) one of the parties is a parent, grandparent, in-law or sibling. Generally, an Order of Protection may be issued if the defendant is harassing the person, if the defendant may commit an act of domestic violence, or if the defendant has committed an act of domestic violence within the past year or within a longer period of time if the court finds that good cause exists to consider a longer period. An Order of Protection is effective for 12 months from the date the defendant is served with the Order.
  • Injunctions Against Harassment: When no relationship exists as required for an Order of Protection as set forth above, a person may seek an injunction against harassment against another for harassing conduct. Under Arizona law, harassment is defined as: (a) a series of acts (at least two events) over any period of time that is directed at a specific person and that would cause a reasonable person to be seriously alarmed, annoyed or harassed and the conduct in fact seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses the person and serves no legitimate purpose; (b) one or more acts of sexual violence as defined in § 23-371; or (c) any contact if the person is the victim of a crime that was committed by the defendant, which means a conviction for an offense, whether completed or preparatory, that is a dangerous offense as defined in § 13-105, a serious offense or violent or aggravated felony as defined in § 13-706 or any offense in title 13, chapter 14 or 35.1.2. See A.R.S. § 12-1809(T). Harassment may also include unlawful picketing, trespassory assembly, unlawful mass assembly, concerted interference with lawful exercise of business activity and engaging in a secondary boycott as defined in § 23-1321 and defamation in violation of § 23-1325. Id.

In addition, a person may obtain an Injunction against Workplace Harassment. Workplace harassment means a single threat or act of physical harm or damage or a series of acts over any period of time that would cause a reasonable person to be seriously alarmed or annoyed at their workplace and includes unlawful picketing, trespassory assembly, unlawful mass assembly, concerted interference with lawful exercise of business activity and engaging in a secondary boycott as defined in § 23-1321 and defamation in violation of § 23-1325. See A.R.S. § 12-1810(T).

How to get Order of Protection or an Injunction against Harassment?

To obtain an Order of Protection or an Injunction against Harassment, a person must first file a petition with a Court. Any court in Arizona can review and issue an Order of Protection or Injunction against Harassment. However, if there is an already a pending action between the parties for maternity, paternity, annulment, legal separation or dissolution of marriage, the petition must be filed in the Superior Court. Also, please be aware that, if there has been a criminal proceeding or criminal complaint, the criminal court will often issue a restraining order preventing the criminal defendant from contacting the victim.

Once the petition is filed, the Court will typically conduct a hearing on that same date. The Judge can either grant the petition, deny the petition, or request a hearing on the petition. If the Court decides to set a hearing, the Court will set a date for a hearing for all parties to appear before deciding whether to grant or deny the petition.

What happens once the Court grants the Order of Protection or Injunction against Harassment?

If granted, the Injunction or Order will then need to be served on the defendant. Generally, the Injunction or Order is effective once it is served. A defendant may challenge the Injunction or Order by requesting a hearing. If the defendant does not request a hearing, the Injunction or Order remains effective for one year from the defendant was served. If the defendant requests a hearing, the Court will generally set a hearing within 10 days, and the restrictive order is usually remains effective until the hearing occurs.

What if the Court sets a hearing?

A hearing is set rather quickly, usually within 10 days. If the person filing the petition does not appear for the hearing, the Injunction or Order will be dismissed or vacated. If a defendant does not appear, it is likely the Injunction or Order will remain effective for a year from the date the defendant was served. If both parties appear, the hearing will proceed. A hearing in these circumstances is similar to a trial. The petitioner will testify and present evidence to support the requested protective relief, which may include the petitioner’s testimony, witness testimony, documentary evidence, or any other type of evidence, i.e., text messages, photographs, voice messages, police reports, etc. The defendant may cross-examine the petitioner. Once the petitioner presents his/her case, the defendant may then present his/her case by similarly providing testimony, witnesses, or evidence to support their defense.

The Court will usually make a decision after both sides present their cases. The Court will either order the Injunction or Order to remain effective, order the Injunction or Order to be dismissed or quashed, or modify the terms of the original Injunction or Order. Generally, a modification involves the changing the location as to where the restrictions apply or potentially whether there is a firearms restriction.

Can I appeal a Court’s decision on an Injunction against Harassment or an Order of Protection?

A party may appeal the denial an Order of Protection or an Injunction against Harassment. Also, a party may appeal Injunction against Harassment that is granted, affirmed, or modified after a hearing at which both parties appeared. An Order of Protection that is granted without the appearance of the defendant may only be appealed if it is affirmed or modified after a hearing.

Please note that the deadline for filing an appeal, as well as the place to file an appeal, depends on which Court rendered a decision on the Injunction against Harassment or Order of Protection.

Appeals from a decision entered by a city court, municipal court, or justice court are heard by the superior court in the county where the original court that rendered the decision is located. While the superior court handles the appeal, the appeal is made by filing a Notice of Appeal with the court that rendered the decision on the Order of Protection or Injunction against harassment. The notice of appeal must be filed within 14 calendar days from the entry of the order or ruling that is being appealed.

However, appeals from a decision entered by a superior court are heard by the Arizona Court of Appeals. To begin the appeal, however, a notice of appeal is filed in the superior court that made the decision on the Order of Protection or Injunction against Harassment. The notice of appeal must be filed within 30 calendar days from the entry of the order or ruling that is being appealed.

What do I do if a defendant violates the Injunction against Harassment or Order of Protection?

Immediately call the police. A defendant may be subject to arrest for violating an Injunction against Harassment or Order of Protection. You should preserve any evidence of any violation and provide it to the police. For example, if a defendant has called you, texted you, or shown up at a protected location after an Injunction or Order is in place, you should not only provide such evidence to the police, but you should also save or preserve any evidence of the violation, such as call records, text records, surveillance footage, or video evidence in case it is needed for any criminal prosecution.

If you have any question or concerns about an Order of Protection or an Injunction against Harassment, email the Attorneys for Freedom Law Firm or call us at 480-755-7110 to determine what your rights and options are.

Arizona Office Address:
3185 S. Price Rd.
Chandler, AZ 85248
Phone: 480-755-7110

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