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Injunction Against Harassment
                                                                                                                            
 Información en Español
  
Petitions Heard
7 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Monday - Thursday (except holidays)
In an emergency situation call 9-1-1

This aid is requested against any specific person who has conducted a series of acts deemed to be harassing in nature. A petition and guide sheet must be filed, followed by an appearance before a Judge. The defendant has a right to be heard before the injunction can be issued, unless it is shown that great or irreparable harm will result if issuing the injunction is delayed until after the defendant is heard. The injunction is not in effect until it is served on the defendant.


What is harassment?
A series of acts which:
  • Can be spread over a long or short period of time,
  • Must show a continuity of purpose,
  • Must be directed at a specific person,
  • Must seriously alarm, annoy, or harass the victim without serving a legitimate purpose,
  • Must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress,
  • Must actually cause the victim to suffer substantial emotional distress

Remember - you must be specific about how the defendant has harassed you. Just because the defendant annoyed or alarmed you does not mean you have been harassed in the legal sense.
According to the law, harassment must involve a series of acts. A single incident, no matter how much it may bother you, does not constitute legal harassment. People cannot be precluded from taking legal action against you. Injunctions cannot resolve landlord-tenant disputes.


How to File
You must fill out the paperwork 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 harassment that the defendant has committed within the past year. (The 1-year requirement may be waived if the defendant is out of state, incarcerated, or good cause is shown.)
  • 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 Injunction Against Harassment without the address, BUT IT IS NOT EFFECTIVE UNTIL THE DEFENDANT IS SERVED.

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 before a Judge who will review your petition. This appearance is usually on the same day.


For Injunctions:
Petition for an injunction against harassment
Plaintiff's guide sheet for an injunction against harassment
Defendant's guide sheet for an injunction against harassment 

Serving an Injunction Against Harassment
If the Judge issues the Injunction Against Harassment, you must have the defendant served with the injunction before it will be effective. Once an injunction has been served, it will be in effect for twelve (12) months.

You may use a private process server or you may use the Avondale Police Department to serve the injunction. If you elect to use the Avondale Police Department, there may be a service fee, plus mileage. There is no service fee if the Injunction arises out of a dating relationship. If you use a private process server you are responsible for delivering the defendant's copy of the injunction to the process server and for paying a service fee and mileage.

 
IF YOU DO NOT PRESENTLY KNOW WHERE THE DEFENDANT IS, OR DO NOT HAVE AN ACCURATE ADDRESS, you should keep the pink 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.

You have one year in which to have the defendant served. Once an injunction order has been served, it will be in effect for twelve (12) months.


The defendant may request a hearing on the injunction 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 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.


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