There are two main types of protective orders that frequently coincide with family law cases: Orders of Protection and Injunctions Against Harassment. Both protective orders are intended to provide the plaintiff with a way to keep the defendant from contacting or coming near the plaintiff, and his or her family. Whether the order is an Order of Protection or Injunction Against Harassment, you can add other people (most often children) as protected persons. Additionally, you can add specific locations, in addition to your home address, to prevent the defendant from going to your work, school, or the school of the children. Both kinds of protective orders are intended to protect the plaintiff from the defendant, but there are some differences briefly explained below.
Order of Protection
Orders of protection are granted to prevent a person from engaging in acts of domestic violence. Thus, there must be a familial or like type relationship between the plaintiff and defendant. The required relationship exists if the parties are related by marriage or blood. Additionally, Arizona law provides certain statutory relationships that allow a plaintiff to obtain an Order of Protection. The statutory relationships include:
- Parties who live together, or have lived together in the past;
- Parties who have a child in common; one of the parties is pregnant by the other;
- The victim is a child who lives with, or has lived with, the defendant;
- The parties are currently, or were, in a romantic or sexual relationship.
If you meet the relationship requirement, the court must find reasonable cause to believe that it is more likely than not that the defendant may commit an act of domestic violence or has committed an act of domestic violence within the last year to grant the Order. For specifics on the process for obtaining an Order of Protection, watch for my upcoming blog titled “Obtaining an Order of Protection or Injunction Against Harassment.”
Injunction Against Harassment
Similar to an Order of Protection, an Injunction Against Harassment is used to prevent the defendant from committing an act of violence, intimidation, or harassment against the plaintiff. The primary difference between the two protective orders is that there is no relationship requirement for an Injunction Against Harassment. Thus, you are able to obtain an Injunction Against Harassment on any person, ie. neighbors, friends or acquaintances, who have been harassing you or will inflict irreparable harm on you if the injunction is not granted.
To grant the Injunction Against Harassment, the court must find reasonable evidence that the defendant has committed a series of acts of harassment against the plaintiff in the last year, or find that good cause exists to believe that the plaintiff will suffer great or irreparable harm if the Injunction is not granted. A series of acts of harassment means at least two acts. Again, for specifics on the process for obtaining an Injunction Against Harassment, look for my upcoming blog this month titled “Obtaining an Order of Protection or Injunction Against Harassment.”
Whether you are in need of a protective order or have been served with one, call OWENS & PERKINS at (480) 994-8824 to schedule your free 30 minute consultation with one of our experienced Attorneys.