Get an order of protection
AZPOINT, the Arizona Protective Order Initiation and Notification Tool, is designed to help you fill out a petition for an Order of Protection. An Order of Protection is a court order that is issued to stop a person from committing domestic violence or from contacting other people protected by the order.
Through an interview in AZPOINT, you can quickly fill out the forms needed. The portal will help you figure out whether you (the plaintiff) and the person from whom you are seeking protection (the defendant) have a qualifying relationship for an Order of Protection. Your information will be saved in AZPOINT for up to 90 days. At any time during this 90-day period, you may take the next step of filing your petition at an Arizona court. Until you file your petition at a court, you will be able to return to AZPOINT to update your information if necessary. You are encouraged to speak to a victim advocate before you file your petition. An advocate can help you make a safety plan and give you more information about how an Order of Protection works and how it will be served on the defendant.
What is an order of protection?
An Order of Protection is requested when seeking protection against
- a spouse
- a former spouse
- a relative
- a person of the same or opposite sex with whom you live or have lived in the past
- a person with whom you are expecting a child, or with whom you have a child in common
- a person with whom you have or have had in the past a sexual relationship
To qualify for an Order of Protection, a domestic violence crime has to have been committed, or is likely to occur without protection. If both of the above requirements are not found, you still may have grounds for an Injunction Against Harassment instead.
What is a domestic violence crime?
Domestic violence includes:
- Aggravated Assault
- Aggravated Harassment
- Aggravated Domestic Violence
- Child or Vulnerable adult abuse
- Criminal Damage
- Criminal Trespass
- Dangerous Crimes Against Children
- Custodial Interference
- Disobeying a court order
- Disorderly Conduct
- Negligent Homicide
- Negligent Abandonment or cruel mistreatment of an animal
- Surreptitious Videotaping or Photographing a Person
- Threatening and Intimidating
- Unlawful Imprisonment
- Use of Telephone to Harass
A petition must be filed, followed by an appearance before a judge. If the judge finds that the defendant may commit or has committed an act of domestic violence, the judge may issue an Order of Protection:
- Ordering the defendant not to commit acts of domestic violence
- Granting one party exclusive use of a residence
- Granting one party exclusive custody of pets
- Ordering the defendant not to come near residence, place of employment or school of the other petitioner
- Ordering the defendant not to possess or purchase firearms and ammunition
- And other relief necessary for protection.
An Order can prohibit weapons and after a hearing, order the defendant to obtain counseling.
The judge at this court does not have the authority to order parties to resolve property disputes, or fashion an Order of Protection affecting child custody or visitation rights. These types of relief must be reviewed by a superior court.
What information do I need to file a request for an Order of Protection?
An order can only be issued against one person . Each person you want to file against requires a separate petition. You will need the following information:
- The defendant's name.
- A list of all acts of domestic violence or harassment that the defendant has committed.
- Your address and phone number so we can contact you if the defendant requests a hearing. (Upon request, this information will be withheld from the defendant.)
- An address at which the defendant can be legally served with the court's order.
You can request an Order of Protection without the defendant's address but the order is not in effect until the defendant is served. If the defendant works or lives in the Sedona city limits, the Sedona Police Department will serve the Order at no charge. If the defendant lives in the Village of Oak Creek or outside the city limits you may be charged for service of the order by the law enforcement agency providing this service.
You should report whether there are any other court proceedings regarding the defendant's conduct toward you or any other orders in effect.
How an Order of Protection is served
If the judge issues the Order of Protection, it must be served on the defendant before it can be enforced. Once the order is served, it will be in effect for 12 months.
You may use a private process server or you can use the Sedona Police Department to serve the order. If you elect to use the Sedona Police Department, there is no fee. The Sedona Police Department can serve the Defendant only if he or she either lives or works within the city limits. If you use a private process server you are responsible for delivering the defendant's copy of the order to the process server and for paying a service fee and mileage.
Depending upon the availability of the defendant, it may take several weeks to serve your order.
If you do not presently know where the defendant is, or do not have an accurate address, you should keep a copy of the injunction. As soon as you learn where the defendant is, you can contact a private process server or the police, so that they may attempt to serve the defendant.
If the defendant is in jail, jail personnel will serve the injunction. If the defendant is in the process of being released, there may not be enough time to have service completed.
You have one year in which to have the defendant served. Once an injunction order has been served, it will be in effect for 12 months from the date of service.
The defendant may request a hearing on the injunction one time during the 12 months in which it is in effect. A hearing will be held within 10 days from the date requested unless the Court finds compelling reasons to continue the hearing.
If during the period of time your injunction order is in effect your circumstances change, you must appear in person to request a possible modification to your order.
Violating the Order of Protection is a crime
If the defendant violates the court order you should call 911 for emergencies. If you wish to file a police report, call the Sedona Police Department at (928) 282-3100. A decision to file criminal charges is made by the prosecutor's office, not by the court.