What is an Order of Protection?
Filing for an Order of Protection is based on a two fold test. The first is your relationship with the defendant and the second is whether or not a domestic violence crime has been committed; if both do not apply, then you would file an Injunction Against Harassment.
- Your current or former spouse,
- Someone with whom you live or have lived,
- One party pregnant by the other party or someone with whom you have a child in common,
- Your relative, or your current spouse's relative,
Domestic Violence Includes:
- Aggravated Assault
- Child or Vulnerable adult abuse
- Criminal Damage
- Criminal Trespass - first, second or third degree
- Crimes Against Children
- Custodial Interference
- Disorderly Conduct
- Threatening or Intimidating
- Unlawful Imprisonment
You must tell the Court if there are any other Court proceedings regarding the defendant's conduct toward you or any other Court orders in effect. It does not matter if the Court proceedings are going on now, or if they happened in the past. Tell this Court about all of them.
How is the Defendant Served?
If the Judge issues the Order of Protection or Injunction Against Harassment, you must have the defendant served with the order before it will be effective. Once an order has been served, it will be in effect for one (1) year.
You may use a private process server or you may use the Paradise Valley Police Department for Orders of Protection only. The Paradise Valley Police Department does not serve Injunctions Against Harassment.
- If you use a private process server, you are responsible for delivering the defendant's copy of the order to the process server and for paying the service fee and mileage.
- If you do not presently know where the defendant is, or do not have an accurate address, you should keep the certified copy of the order. As soon as you learn where the defendant is, you can contact a private process server or the police, so that they may attempt to serve the defendant. The order must be served within one (1) year of being issued.
- If the defendant is in jail, the Police will serve the Order of Protection or the Harassment Injunction. You may be billed a flat fee for this service. If the Defendant is in the process of being released, there may not be enough time to have service completed.
In an emergency situation, call 9-1-1. Any Police Officer can serve your order, and you will be billed for that service.
For information regarding statewide resources for victims of domestic violence, please go to the Arizona Department of Public Safety Crime Victim Website.