What types of protection orders are there? How long do they last?
A domestic violence order of protection is a civil court order from a judicial officer, such as a judge or magistrate. There are two types of orders of protection:
Emergency Orders of Protection (EOP). Emergency orders of protection are designed to protect people in immediate and present danger of domestic violence. A judicial officer can grant an EOP orally or in writing. The EOP is valid only until the close of business on the day after it is issued. You should file for a more permanent order of protection from the court before the emergency order expires. To get an EOP, contact a law enforcement officer, who can help you get one.
Counties with a population of 150,000 or more are required to have EOPs available after court hours and will issue them by phone. (As of 2012, these counties include Maricopa, Mohave, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai, and Yuma.)1 Counties with a population of 150,000 or less may issue EOPs by phone but they are not required to.2 However, in these counties, you can receive protection through a registered release order. For more information, see What is a release order?
Orders of Protection. When you file for an order of protection in court during regular business hours, a judge can issue you a year-long order of protection without a full court hearing and without the abuser present. To determine whether the order should be issued, the judge will review:
- your petition;
- any other pleadings (documents in which either party makes or responds to allegations); and
- any evidence offered by you, including any evidence of harassment by electronic contact or communication.3
The judge is supposed to issue an order of protection if there is reasonable cause to believe that the defendant may commit an act of domestic violence or that s/he committed an act of domestic violence within the past year or within a longer period of time if there is “good cause” for the judge to consider a longer period of time.3
An order of protection lasts for one year after it is served on the abuser. (This is true even if the order is modified (changed) during that one-year period.)4 However, at any time during the year that your order is in effect, the abuser has the right to request a hearing to request that the order of protection be changed or dismissed. The hearing will be held within ten days from the date requested (unless the judge finds a good reason to continue the hearing). However, if you are granted exclusive use of the home, the hearing must be held within five days from the date requested. If s/he does request a court hearing, you must attend that hearing or else the judge may dismiss (take away) your order of protection (also known as “quashing the order”).5 If the abuser does not request a court hearing, you might not have to go back to court.
Note: If the judge does not give you the order of protection when you file your petition, the judge could set the case down for further court hearings in order to decide whether or not to issue the order of protection. If this happens, a hearing may be scheduled within 10 days and the court will notify the abuser of the court date.6 The abuser has a right to appear in court for the hearing date(s) to fight against the order being issued.
1U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 Population Estimates
2 A.R.S. § 13-3624
3 A.R.S. § 13-3602(E)
4 A.R.S. § 13-3602(K)
5 A.R.S. § 13-3602(I)
6 A.R.S. § 13-3602(F)