Information about an Orders of Protection (OOP)
An Order of Protection (OOP) is a court order issued by a municipal judge, justice of the peace, or superior court judge in a Domestic Violence proceeding to protect a person from violence. The OOP is a court order that prohibits or restricts the offender from contacting the victim. (The OOP specifies in what ways the offender's contact with the victim is restricted.)
A Domestic Violence proceeding is a civil action handled by a municipal judge, a justice of the peace or a superior court judge. If dissolution of marriage or another family law case is pending, a superior court judge must handle it.
The OOP is a civil order. It has nothing to do with the police, the sheriff, the county attorney or the criminal court unless the order is violated. A violation of an OOP conrstitutes a class 1 misdemeanor (interfering with judicial proceedings) and possible contempt of court. Enforcement of the OOP is accomplished in criminal court.
The basic steps to obtaining an Order of Protection are as follows:
- The victim of Domestic Violence files a petition (request) for OOP in court.
- If granted, the judge signs the OOP.
- The OOP is valid when served on the offender.
- Once the OOP has been served, it is enforceable by law enforcement..
Who Can Get An Order Of Protection?
To get relief, the victim must establish that the relationship with the offender is one of the following that qualifies under the domestic violence definition (ARS 13-3601):
- Relationship of victim and offender is one of marriage or former marriage or of persons residing or having resided in the same household.
- Victim and offender have a child in common.
- Victim or offender is pregnant by the other party.
- Victim is related to the offender or the offender's spouse by blood as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister, or by marriage as a parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, stepchild, step-grandchild, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law.
- Victim is a child who resides or has resided in the same household as the offender and is related by blood to a former spouse of the offender or to a person who resides or who has resided in the same household as the offender.
Simply put, this law applies to a woman's husband, her ex-husband, her live-in boyfriend or partner, her ex-live-in boyfriend or partner, her immediate family including parents, siblings and children, the father of her born or unborn child regardless of whether they ever lived together, and her in-laws. The Domestic Violence law (ARS 13-3601) was changed in the year 2000 to eliminate the requirement that persons living together or having lived together be of "opposite sex," in order to receive domestic violence protection. Thus lesbians and gays can get such an order.
Dating relationships are not covered by Orders of Protection. These parties are eligible to apply for Injunctions Against Harassment that afford many of the same protections. The procedure for obtaining it is much the same.
For minors, the parent, legal guardian or person who has legal custody of the minor is supposed to file the petition for OOP on the minor's behalf, unless the judge determines otherwise. Minors granted their own OOP tend to be in their late teens.
Orders of Protection may be obtained at any municipal court, justice of the peace court, or superior court . The applicant may proceed PRO SE (without the assistance of an attorney) to get an Order of Protection. Most OOP in Arizona are filed without an attorney. All courts have the appropriate standardized forms for filing.
What Is The Purpose Of An Order Of Protection?
An Order of Protection may be obtained to protect both adults and minor children who are in danger of injury from a person covered under the law. The OOP is a preventative measure to stop incidents of domestic violence.