I am writing this guest commentary to bring to your attention that, effective January 1, 2020, there exists a new process for individuals who would like a court to consider issuing a protective order to complete required paperwork and have it transmitted for service upon the defendant.
Previously applicants had to visit a justice, municipal or superior court in order to complete and submit petitions seeking Orders of Protection or Injunctions Against Harassment or Workplace Harassment. If granted applicants had the duty of subsequently taking the court order to a private process server, constable or law enforcement agency to have it served upon the defendant to put it into effect. Changes to Arizona laws provided applicants with an additional method to complete petitions for protective orders.
If they wish to do so applicants may still visit a court and complete a petition on-site; however, they now can also do so by accessing a portal at the following address: https://azpoint.azcourts.gov
Individuals who utilize the portal will still need to visit a court to submit the petition and give testimony under oath to a judge who will decide if it should be granted. Those that are will result in the court issuing an Order of Protection, Injunction Against Harassment or Injunction Against Workplace Harassment. Orders of Protection will be transmitted by the court immediately, or if requested by the petitioner no later than seventy-two hours from the date of issuance, to a constable or law enforcement agency for the purpose of serving it. Unless dismissed at the request of the petitioner or subsequent to a court hearing sought by the defendant, it will remain effective for twelve months from the date of service In the past courts did not, and still do not, transmit Injunctions Against Harassment for service. That remains the responsibility of the applicant to arrange.
One important point worth noting concerning Injunctions Against Harassment is that the aforementioned change in statutes created a new eligibility criteria, specifically the occurrence of a single incident of sexual violence.
More detailed information about Protective Orders is available at the website I previously mentioned.
Editor’s Note: Craig Wismer is a justice of the peace in the Arrowhead Justice Court.