Who can get an order of protection?
You can ask the court for an order of protection against someone who has committed or may commit an act of domestic violence if you meet a "relationship requirement." In other words, a judicial officer must find that you have one of the specific relationships listed below with the abuser:
- You are or were married to the abuser;
- You are related to the abuser or the abuser's spouse by blood, marriage, or by court order in one of the following ways:
- brother or sister
- brother-in-law or sister-in-law;
- You have or had a romantic or sexual relationship with the abuser;
- You live, or used to live, in the same household as the abuser;
- You have a child with the abuser, or you are pregnant with the abuser's child (or the abuser is pregnant with your child);
- You (the victim) are a minor who lives or has lived in the same household as the abuser and:
- you are related by blood to a former spouse of the abuser (for example, the abuser is your ex-stepdad), or
- you are related by blood to a person who resides or has resided in the same household as the abuser (for example, the abuser is your mother's live-in boyfriend).1
You can also file for an order of protection on behalf of someone else if:
- You are the parent, legal guardian, or person who has legal custody of a minor or an incapacitated person who is a victim; or
- The victim is either temporarily or permanently unable to request an order.2
If you are not eligible for a domestic violence order of protection, you may qualify for an injunction against harassment (IAH).
1 A.R.S. § 13-3601(A)
2 A.R.S. § 13-3602(A)
Can I get an order of protection if I'm a minor?
Yes. In some cases you can file on your own; in other cases, you may need a parent, guardian, or person who has legal custody of you to help.
You can file on your own if your parent, guardian, or person who has legal custody of you:
- is the person you're trying to get an order of protection against; or
- is not available.
Otherwise, your parent, guardian, or person who has legal custody will need to file on your behalf.
If your parent or custodian files on your behalf, keep these things in mind:
- Your parent or custodian will name themselves as the "plaintiff" and you as a specifically designated person entitled to protection; and
- It is your relationship with the abuser that must meet the "relationship requirement," not your parent's or guardian's relationship with the abuser.1 See Who can get an order of protection? for information on the "relationship requirements."
1 A.R.S § 13-3602(A)
Can I get an order of protection against a minor?
Maybe, but there are special considerations involved.
Where the abuser is a minor (under 18), you need to petition the court naming the minor as the defendant. You cannot name the minor's parent, guardian or the person who has legal custody as the defendant.
Additionally, when the abuser is under the age of 16, you must serve the appropriate court paperwork, to the abuser and his/her parent, guardian or the person who has legal custody of the abuser. For more information on serving a defendant/abuser, see Steps for getting an order of protection.
Only the juvenile division of the superior court may issue a protective order against a defendant who is under the age of 12.1
1 A.R.S. § 13-3602(B)(2)
Can I get an order of protection against a same-sex partner?
In Arizona, you may apply for an order of protection against a current or former same-sex partner as long as the relationship meets the requirements listed in Who can get an order of protection? You must also be the victim of an act of domestic violence, which is explained here What is the legal definition of domestic violence in Arizona?
You can find information about LGBTQIA victims of abuse and what types of barriers they may face on our LGBTQIA Victims page.
Is it possible to get another type of order if I am not eligible for an order of protection?
Even if you do not qualify for any one of these orders, the abuser's behavior may still be against the law. If you are in danger, you have the option of calling the police. For more information on stalking in general, you can look at our Stalking/Cyberstalking page. To read the definitions of common crimes in Arizona, go to our AZ Crimes page.
Whether you call the police or not, there are still other things you can do to stay safe. You may want to contact one of the domestic violence resource centers in your area to get help, support, and advice on how to stay safe. They can help you develop a safety plan and help connect you with the resources you need. For safety planning help, ideas, and information, go to our Safety Tips page. You will find a list of Arizona resources by clicking on the Places that Help tab at the top of this page.