In an emergency situation call 9-1-1
- 9:00AM - 5:00PM, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (except holidays)
- If you need an order on Thursday or Friday, these orders may be obtained at any municipal, justice or superior court in the state, regardless of where you live.
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 ARE APPROPRIATE FOR REVIEW ONLY BY A SUPERIOR COURT.
How do I file?
You must fill out petition form given to you by the clerk. An order can only be issued against one person . Each person you want to file against requires a separate petition.You MUST provide the court with:
- 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.
Remember - you can request an Order of Protection without the address -- BUT IT IS NOT EFFECTIVE 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 tell this court if there are any other court proceedings regarding the defendant's conduct toward you or any other orders in effect. It does not matter if the court proceedings are going on now, or if they happened in the past, this Court should be told about all of them.
After you complete the paperwork, you will be scheduled go go before the judge, who will review your petition, and usually request additional testimony, which is taken under oath and recorded. This appearance is usually on the same day. At the conclusion of this hearing, the judge will either grant or deny your petition, or set the matter for a full hearing with both you and the defendant a later date.
Serving an order of protection:
If the judge issues the Order of Protection, it must be served on the defendant before it may be enforced. Once an order has been served, it will be in effect for twelve (12) months.
You may use a private process server ...OR ... You may use the Sedona Police Department to serve the order. If you elect to use the Sedona Police Department, there is no service fee. however, the Sedona Police Department will serve the Defendant only if he or she either lives or works within the city limits of Sedona. 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 order. 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, the court will transmit the order to the jail and request that jail staff serve the defendant. 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 order has been served, it will be in effect for twelve (12) months.
The defendant may request a hearing on the order one time during the twelve 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 you (the plaintiff) have been granted exclusive use of the residence the hearing will then be held within 5 days.
If during the period of time your order is in effect your circumstances change, you must appear in person to request a possible modification to your order.
If a petition for dissolution or separation of marriage or maternity/paternity action is filed, you must notify the court immediately and the proceedings will be transferred to superior court.
Violation of the Court Order is a criminal charge:
If the defendant violates the court order you should:
- CALL 9-1-1 FOR ALL EMERGENCIES
- OTHERWISE, CALL THE SEDONA POLICE DEPARTMENT 282-3100 TO FILE A POLICE REPORT.
The decision to file criminal charges is made by the prosecutor's office, NOT by the court.