Domestic violence, unfortunately, continues to be a problem around the country. The State of Arizona has passed numerous laws aimed at protecting victims of domestic violence. An order of protection under A.R.S. § 13-3602, for example, is designed to protect victims of domestic violence by, among other things, prohibiting parties from having contact with one another.
In emotionally-charged divorces and other family law matters wherein there has been a history of domestic violence or a current threat of domestic violence, an order of protection is a tool that can be used to prevent future harm. On the other hand, it remains a sad reality that some people attempt to use an order of protection improperly, seeking to gain a tactical advantage in a custody or related domestic dispute. Whether you are properly and legitimately seeking an order of protection, or whether you are defending against false accusations of being abusive, it is wise to have an experience attorney represent you.
The process by which someone can obtain an order of protection begins with the filing of a petition (and other court paperwork). There is no charge for filing a petition. The petition must include specific acts of domestic violence, and it must include the names of the people who you think should be protected. You will need to sign and swear to the truth of the contents of the petition.
After the petition has been filed, you will see a judge. The judge will review the petition and may ask you questions about the incidents alleged in the petition. The judge will then rule on the petition, and the judge will issue an order of protection if he or she finds sufficient grounds to do so. After the judge issues an order of protection, it is your responsibility to serve it on the other party. This can be achieved by using a private process server or a law enforcement officer. It is important to remember that the order is not in effect as against the other party until the other party has been served with order.
The attorneys at Giordano & Heckele, PLLC can assist you with obtaining and/or defending an order of protection. CALL TODAY for a consultation: (520) 433-9031. Or email us at [email protected].