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Legal Information: Arizona

Statutes: Arizona

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December 12, 2023

§ 12-1809. Injunction against harassment; petition; venue; fees; notices; enforcement; definition

A. A person may file a verified petition with a magistrate, justice of the peace or superior court judge for an injunction prohibiting harassment. If the person is a minor, the parent, legal guardian or person who has legal custody of the minor shall file the petition unless the court determines otherwise. The petition shall name the parent, guardian or custodian as the plaintiff, and the minor is a specifically designated person for the purposes of subsection F of this section. If a person is either temporarily or permanently unable to request an injunction, a third party may request an injunction on behalf of the plaintiff. After the request, the judicial officer shall determine if the third party is an appropriate requesting party for the plaintiff. Notwithstanding the location of the plaintiff or defendant, any court in this state may issue or enforce an injunction against harassment.

B. An injunction against harassment shall not be granted:

1. Unless the party who requests the injunction files a written verified petition for injunction.

2. Against a person who is less than twelve years of age unless the injunction is granted by the juvenile division of the superior court.

3. Against more than one defendant.

C. The petition shall state all of the following:

1. The name of the plaintiff. The plaintiff’s address and contact information shall be disclosed to the court for purposes of service and notification. The address and contact information shall not be listed on the petition. Whether or not the court issues an injunction against harassment, the plaintiff’s address and contact information shall be maintained in a separate document or automated database and is not subject to release or disclosure by the court or any form of public access except as ordered by the court.

2. The name and address, if known, of the defendant.

3. A specific statement showing events and dates of the acts constituting the alleged harassment.

4. The name of the court in which there was or is any prior or pending proceeding or order concerning the conduct that is sought to be restrained.

5. The relief requested.

D. A fee shall not be charged for filing a petition under this section. Fees for service of process may be deferred or waived under any rule or law applicable to civil actions, except that fees for service of process shall not be charged if the petition arises out of sexual violence as defined in § 23-371. The court shall advise a plaintiff that the plaintiff may be eligible for the deferral or waiver of these fees at the time the plaintiff files a petition. The court shall not require the plaintiff to perform community restitution as a condition of the waiver or deferral of fees for service of process. A law enforcement agency or constable shall not require the advance payment of fees for service of process of injunctions against harassment. If the court does not waive the fees, the serving agency may assess the actual fees against the plaintiff. On request of the plaintiff, an injunction against harassment that is issued by a municipal court may be served by the police agency for that city if the defendant can be served within the city. If the defendant cannot be served within the city, the police agency in the city in which the defendant can be served may serve the injunction. On request of the plaintiff, each injunction against harassment that is issued by a justice of the peace shall be served by the constable for that jurisdiction if the defendant can be served within the jurisdiction. If the defendant cannot be served within that jurisdiction, the constable in the jurisdiction in which the defendant can be served shall serve the injunction. On request of the plaintiff, an injunction against harassment that is issued by a superior court judge or commissioner may be served by the sheriff of the county. If the defendant cannot be served within that jurisdiction, the sheriff in the jurisdiction in which the defendant can be served may serve the order. The court shall provide, without charge, forms for purposes of this section for assisting parties without counsel.

E. The court shall review the petition, any other pleadings on file and any evidence offered by the plaintiff, including any evidence of harassment by electronic contact or communication, to determine whether the injunction requested should issue without a further hearing. Rules 65(a)(1) and 65(e) of the Arizona rules of civil procedure do not apply to injunctions that are requested pursuant to this section. If the court finds reasonable evidence of harassment of the plaintiff by the defendant during the year preceding the filing of the petition or that good cause exists to believe that great or irreparable harm would result to the plaintiff if the injunction is not granted before the defendant or the defendant’s attorney can be heard in opposition and the court finds specific facts attesting to the plaintiff’s efforts to give notice to the defendant or reasons supporting the plaintiff’s claim that notice should not be given, the court shall issue an injunction as provided in subsection F of this section. If the court denies the requested relief, it may schedule a further hearing within ten days with reasonable notice to the defendant. For the purposes of determining the one-year period, any time that the defendant has been incarcerated or out of this state shall not be counted.

F. If the court issues an injunction, the court may do any of the following:

1. Enjoin the defendant from committing a violation of one or more acts of harassment.

2. Restrain the defendant from contacting the plaintiff or other specifically designated persons and from coming near the residence, place of employment or school of the plaintiff or other specifically designated locations or persons.

3. Grant relief necessary for the protection of the alleged victim and other specifically designated persons proper under the circumstances.

G. The court shall not grant a mutual injunction against harassment. If opposing parties separately file verified petitions for an injunction against harassment, the courts after consultation between the judicial officers involved may consolidate the petitions of the opposing parties for hearing. This does not prohibit a court from issuing cross injunctions against harassment.

H. At any time during the period during which the injunction is in effect, the defendant is entitled to one hearing on written request. A fee may not be charged for requesting a hearing. A hearing that is requested by a defendant shall be held within ten days from the date requested unless the court finds compelling reasons to continue the hearing. The hearing shall be held at the earliest possible time. An ex parte injunction that is issued under this section shall state on its face that the defendant is entitled to a hearing on written request and shall include the name and address of the judicial office where the request may be filed. After the hearing, the court may modify, quash or continue the injunction.

I. The injunction shall include the following statement:


This is an official court order. If you disobey this order, you may be arrested and prosecuted for the crime of interfering with judicial proceedings and any other crime you may have committed in disobeying this order.

J. An injunction that is not served on the defendant within one year after the date that the injunction is issued expires. The injunction is effective on the defendant on service of a copy of the injunction and petition and expires one year after service on the defendant. A modified injunction is effective on service and expires one year after service of the initial injunction and petition.

K. A supplemental information form that is used solely for the purposes of service of process on the defendant and that contains information provided by the plaintiff is confidential.

L. Each affidavit, declaration, acceptance or return of service shall be filed as soon as practicable but not later than seventy-two hours, excluding weekends and holidays, with the clerk of the issuing court or as otherwise required by court rule. This filing shall be completed in person, electronically or by fax.

M. The supreme court shall maintain a central repository for injunctions. Within twenty-four hours after the affidavit, declaration, acceptance or return of service has been filed, excluding weekends and holidays, the court from which the injunction or any modified injunction was issued shall enter the order and proof of service into the supreme court’s central repository for injunctions. The supreme court shall register the injunction with the national crime information center. The effectiveness of an injunction does not depend on its registration, and for enforcement purposes pursuant to § 13-2810, a copy of an injunction, whether or not registered, is presumed to be a valid existing order of the court for a period of one year from the date of service of the injunction on the defendant.

N. A peace officer, with or without a warrant, may arrest a person if the peace officer has probable cause to believe that the person has violated § 13-2810 by disobeying or resisting an injunction that is issued pursuant to this section, whether or not the violation occurred in the presence of the officer. The provisions for release under § 13-3903 do not apply to an arrest made pursuant to this subsection. A person who is arrested pursuant to this subsection may be released from custody in accordance with the Arizona rules of criminal procedure or any other applicable statute. An order for release, with or without an appearance bond, shall include pretrial release conditions that are necessary to provide for the protection of the alleged victim and other specifically designated persons and may provide for additional conditions that the court deems appropriate, including participation in any counseling programs available to the defendant.

O. If a peace officer responds to a call alleging that harassment has been or may be committed, the officer shall inform in writing any alleged or potential victim of the procedures and resources available for the protection of the victim including:

1. An injunction pursuant to this section.

2. The emergency telephone number for the local police agency.

3. Telephone numbers for emergency services in the local community.

P. The remedies provided in this section for enforcement of the orders of the court are in addition to any other civil and criminal remedies available. The municipal court and the justice court may hear and decide all matters arising pursuant to this section. After a hearing with notice to the affected party, the court may enter an order requiring any party to pay the costs of the action, including reasonable attorney fees, if any. An order that is entered by a justice court or municipal court after a hearing pursuant to this section may be appealed to the superior court as provided in title 22, chapter 2, article 4,1 § 22-425, subsection B and the superior court rules of civil appellate procedure without regard to an amount in controversy. A fee may not be charged to either party for filing an appeal.

Q. A peace officer who makes an arrest pursuant to this section is not civilly or criminally liable for the arrest if the officer acts on probable cause and without malice. A peace officer is not civilly liable for noncompliance with subsection O of this section.

R. This section does not apply to preliminary injunctions issued pursuant to an action for dissolution of marriage or legal separation or for protective orders against domestic violence.

S. In addition to the persons who are authorized to serve process pursuant to rule 4(d), Arizona rules of civil procedure, a peace officer or a correctional officer as defined in § 41-1661 who is acting in the officer’s official capacity may serve an injunction against harassment that is issued pursuant to this section.

T. For the purposes of this section, “harassment”:

1. Means either of the following:

(a) A series of acts over any period of time that is directed at a specific person and that would cause a reasonable person to be seriously alarmed, annoyed or harassed and the conduct in fact seriously alarms, annoys or harasses the person and serves no legitimate purpose.

(b) One or more acts of sexual violence as defined in § 23-371.

2. Includes unlawful picketing, trespassory assembly, unlawful mass assembly, concerted interference with lawful exercise of business activity and engaging in a secondary boycott as defined in § 23-1321 and defamation in violation of § 23-1325.