How Does a Restraining Order Work in Arizona?

arizona restraining order -- people signing legal documents

How Does a Restraining Order Work in Arizona?

In Arizona, a restraining order—also called a protective order or “no contact” order—allows a judge to legally stop one person from coming near the other person. If the person named in the restraining order makes contact with the protected party, they are violating the terms of the order, and can be arrested. 

Under Arizona order of protection rules, a judge may grant a restraining order in situations where: 

Let’s talk more about the types of restraining orders available, how to get a restraining order in Arizona, and how to contest one. 

What types of restraining orders are there?

There are two main types of Arizona restraining orders: Orders of Protection and Injunctions Against Harassment. Typically, the first type applies to domestic violence cases, and the second to harassment cases. 

Order of Protection

Arizona statute 13-3602 allows a person to request a restraining order in domestic violence cases. This type of order offers a person protection from: 

  • A current or former spouse
  • Someone you are living with or have lived with
  • A romantic and/or sexual partner
  • A relative or a spouse’s relative
  • Someone you have a child with

Injunction Against Harassment

Under Arizona statute ARS 12-1809, a person can file a restraining order against another person for harassment. The protective order can be against someone you currently live with, have previously lived with, or who is not a member of your family. You can also file an Injunction Against Harassment against a workplace. In order to file an Injunction Against Harassment, the person or employer must have committed at least two acts of harassment within the last year. 

How to Get a Restraining Order in Arizona 

There are four main steps to filing an Arizona restraining order. They include seeking legal advice, filing legal paperwork, appearing before a judge, and, finally, the serving of the protective order. 

Step 1: Talk to an Attorney

Filing a restraining order can be a draining and emotional process. Having a lawyer to discuss your options with and help you correctly fill out all the appropriate paperwork is very important. A lawyer can also provide counsel on any other charges you may need to file. 

Step 2: File the Paperwork

The next step to obtaining a restraining order is filing the paperwork. In Maricopa County, you must file the paperwork for your request with Maricopa County Superior Court Protective Orders. Once your paperwork has been processed, you will make an appointment to have your petition heard in court. 

Step 3: Appear Before the Judge

On your court date, the judge will review your restraining order petition. They may also ask you specific questions about your request, including questions about the incidents that led you to request the protective order. Once the judge has all the information they need, they will make a ruling on your case. 

Step 4: Wait for the Restraining Order to Be Served

If the judge grants a protective order, it will not be legally valid until the defendant has been notified and served. The court will serve the defendant a copy of the restraining order via a police officer or court-appointed designee. Once served, a restraining order lasts for one year.

Contesting an Arizona Restraining Order

Being served with a protective order in Arizona can have a lasting impact on your life. Restraining orders appear during background checks when you are applying for housing or a job. Legally, you have the right to contest a protective order within 10 days of being served. If the protective order stops you from returning to your own home, you can request a hearing within five days of receiving the order. 

If you have been served with a restraining order,  contact a certified criminal law specialist immediately. Todd Coolidge is a criminal defense expert who can provide guidance on what to do next. Call our offices today at 602-795-0770 in Phoenix or 480-264-5111 in Chandler to schedule a consultation. 

Photo by Romain Dancre on Unsplash