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What to do if in possession of a protective order

If someone serves you a protective order, this means that someone filed a petition for, and a judge approved, a temporary order. If so, you may be wondering what you should do.

You will have the opportunity to defend your case in front of a judge. At this hearing, the judge decides whether to approve a permanent order. Either way, while in possession of an order, it is important to follow all elements outlined in the order.

Prepare for the hearing

According to the Arizona State Legislature, whether the person who requested the order receives a temporary order or not, the court may schedule a hearing, which generally occurs within 10 days of the request. You can also request one if you contest the order.

At this hearing, you and the plaintiff have the chance to state your case. Prepare to present evidence, such as communications or witness statements, to demonstrate you are not a threat. Based on each of your testimonies, the judge will approve or deny a final order of protection.

Follow the conditions of the order

Both a temporary and final order of protection include conditions that you are to follow. These may include:

  • Refraining from contacting the plaintiff
  • Moving out of your shared residence
  • Refraining from harassment, stalking or causing physical harm
  • Surrendering all firearms
  • Attending an alcohol abuse or domestic violence treatment program

You must refrain from doing anything outlined in the protective order. The AZ Court Help states that violating any part of the order can result in arrest, even if the plaintiff is the one initiating contact. Penalties may include fines, jail time or both.