Is there a difference between an order of protection and an injunction against harassment in the state of Arizona? Note that both of them are protection orders, but there is a particular difference between them in Arizona law.
Order of Protection vs. Injunction Against Harassment
The biggest difference between these two protection orders is to whom the order applies. An Order of Protection will apply if you have a familial kind of relationship with the other party. For instance, this kind of order applies to spouses, former spouses, a person you have lived with or are currently living with, a person with whom you had a child, and other relatives that are related to you because of marriage or through blood.
On the other hand, you can file an Injunction Against Harassment only on people with whom you have no familial relationship. If there is no family relationship between the two parties, then this is the protection order that you should be seeking. This means that this protection order can be used against your coworkers, neighbors, club members, people in school, and even acquaintances.
How to Complete a Petition for These Two Protection Orders
You basically follow the same procedure when you file a petition for either an Injunction Against Harassment or an Order of Protection. The following are the steps that you need to complete:
- Submit your contact information and other relevant information. This includes your address and your phone number. In case the defendant (i.e. the person who you need a protection order from) would request a hearing, the court and your attorney can contact you. This information will be kept confidential.
- You must have the address of the defendant. It has to be a physical address and not just a PO Box. The order must be served to the defendant for it to be effective. You can request an injunction but it will still be ineffective if the order is not served to the defendant.
- Remember that filing something in court simply means that you have filled out and submitted to the court all the necessary paperwork. It does not mean that the protection order you petitioned is already effective. Once the judge grants the order, and it is served, the protection order is effective. The defendant can challenge the order and ask for an evidentiary hearing on the order. It is the judge at that hearing who will decide if your protection order should continue in effect or cancelled.
- Note that you will not have to pay any kind of filing fee. However, there are other fees that you will need to pay for. There is a fee for the private process server and there may be another fee that you have to pay to the constable.
- Once the judge issues your Injunction Against Harassment or your Order of Protection it needs to be served to the defendant before it can be effective.
- What happens if the defendant violates either of these two orders of protection? If that happens you may immediately contact law enforcement who will enforce the protection order. Law enforcement officers and the prosecutor will decide whether or not to file charges.
- Remember that it is only the court who can dismiss Orders of Protection and Injunctions Against Harassment in Arizona. The court is also the only party that can change its terms. If you feel that certain terms need to be modified, then you need to contact the court for either dismissal or modification of any of these protection orders.
- Note that both an Injunction Against Harassment and an Order of Protection in Arizona are only effective for one year after they have been served on the defendant.
Understanding Harassment Laws
Note that a single incident does not necessarily constitute an act of harassment. It may be troubling to you, but it needs to be a repeated act or event for it to be classified as a form of harassment.
Under Arizona law, harassment doesn’t have to be physical in nature. It can be in the form of verbal aggression or any other form of altercation. Therefore, many things could be considered a type of harassment.
If you need to file a petition for an Order of Protection or an Injunction Against Harassment in Arizona, we highly recommend the law offices of Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law.
Take advantage of my 30 years of experience in both prosecution and defense.