Domestic Violence

questions & answers

Question: My roommate and I got into a fight, now she wants me to leave and is threatening to file an OoP to get me to move out. Is there anyway to protect myself from such an injunction and maintain ability to stay in my own home? She claims I'm going do her physical harm, and I think her claims are unwarranted. Help I have no where to go and I've been here longer than she has.

Answer: In Arizona, Orders of Protection (OOP) are issued ex parte, with only the requesting party appearing before the judge. If your roommate obtains an OOP, once you are served, you will have the opportunity to request a hearing to contest the OOP and tell the judge your side of the story. There is really no way to protect yourself from having another person obtain a protective order against you. Your roommate meets the relationship test for obtaining an OOP against you, because the two of you reside or have resided in the same household (A.R.S. 13-3601). A judge can issue the OOP if he or she determines there is reasonable cause to believe you may commit or have committed an act of domestic violence (as defined in A.R.S. 13-3601), and the OOP can give your roommate exclusive possession of your shared residence “on a showing that there is reasonable cause to believe that physical harm may otherwise result” (A.R.S. 13-3602). If you are removed from your home by the OOP, you should request a hearing on the OOP as soon as possible. The court must conduct a hearing contesting an OOP within 10 court business days or within 5 court business days if you have been removed from your home (Rule 8, Arizona Rules of Protective Order Procedure). If you are served with an OOP, you must abide by it unless and until you are able to have a hearing to have the OOP modified or dismissed. (Violating an OOP is a domestic violence crime in itself.) So, if the OOP orders that you may not be at your residence, you will have to find another place to stay at least until a hearing can be held.

QUESTIONS

  • My roommate and I got into a fight, now she wants me to leave and is threatening to file an OoP to get me to move out. Is there anyway to protect myself from such an injunction and maintain ability to stay in my own home? She claims I'm going do her physical harm, and I think her claims are unwarranted. Help I have no where to go and I've been here longer than she has.

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OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
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