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Encuesta de Necesidades Legales Civiles de Arizona

Las organizaciones legales civiles en Arizona buscan su opinión para aumentar su capacidad de satisfacer las necesidades legales civiles de los residentes de bajos ingresos de Arizona. Por favor complete esta encuesta para ayudar a mejorar los servicios legales civiles en Arizona.

Protections from Violence and Abuse

Military Protective Orders and Civilian Order of Protection

Experiencing domestic violence or other crimes may make someone feel unsafe, even in their own home. A Military Protective Order (MPO) and an Order of Protection are documents that prohibit one person from coming into contact with another.

Where should I go for an Order of Protection?

When abuse takes place and there is a service member involved, where to go for an Order of Protection depends on where the abuse occurred and the military status of the victim/offender: 

  • If BOTH individuals are members of the military, a Military Protective Order (MOP) should be requested, 
  • If the VICTIM has a child with the OFFENDER, and either parent is in the military, the victim may decide if an Order of Protection with the military or the state would be the more effective option. 
  • If the OFFENDER is a service member and the victim is a civilian, who does not live on base, an Order of Protection should be requested through a state court. 
  • If the VICTIM is a service member and the OFFENDER is a civilian, an Order of Protection should be requested through a state court. 
  • If the abuse took place outside of the United States, and EITHER parent is in the military, a MOP should be requested.  

What is a Military Protective Order?

A gavel

A Military Protective Order (MPO) is a tool used by military command to keep victims of domestic abuse and their children safe. A person does not have to be in the military to request an MPO.

MPOs are only enforceable at the military base where the request for an MPO was made. If the offender is transferred to a different command, meaning they are placed to serve somewhere else, the approved MPO is no longer valid and an approval by the new commander will be needed for another MPO.  

When there is a change of command, the old commander may request a new MPO to be issued.

What are the major differences between a Military Protective Order and a civilian Order of Protection?

Both a MPO and a civilian Order of Protection are intended to stop the offender from committing domestic violence and from contacting people listed in the order.

A document being inspected with a magnifying glass
Military Protective Order (MPO) 
Civilian Order of Protection


  • Faster to obtain. 
  • No cost to the victim. 
  • Restricted or Unrestricted reporting options available. 
  • No need for a hearing, meaning not having to be in the same room as the offender. 
  • Resources and support available through the Family Advocacy Program (FAP). 


  • May be enforced on and off a military installation. 
  • No cost to the victim. 
  • Orders last longer than an MPO 
  • Distinct types of Order of Protections are available. 
  • Resources and support are available through Arizona Protective Order Initiation and Notification Tool (AZPOINT). 


  • May be only enforced in a military installation. 
  • If an offender moves to a different installation, a new MPO is needed.  
  • MPOs are typically short-term. 


  • Slower to obtain. 
  • A hearing needs to be held, which may require the victim to be in the same room as the offender.  
A MPO may be submitted and approved a lot faster since there is no due process required. For a civilian Order of Protection, due process is required. This means that there is an official court filing and court hearing where the offender may offer a defense against the order of protection.

Who can get a Military Protective Order (MPO)?

A family, two parents, two children

To request an MPO, the offender needs to be an active-duty member who is: 

  • A spouse or ex-spouse, 
  • A current or past intimate partner if you lived together, and/or  
  • Someone with whom you share a child with.

How long does a Military Protective Order (MPO) last?

MPOs tend to be short-term. While they can be issued to be as little as 10 days long, they can always be extended by the commander for more time.

The commander’s decision on how long to make the MPO last depends on the Family Advocacy Program’s (FAP) information for the commander about the incident and past abuse. Typically, an estimated expiration date is set for the MPO that gives time for FAP to review the case and for the situation to improve. An MPO may be shortened if all documentation was gathered and there is no longer a need for an MPO.

A family, two parents, two children
NOTE: MPOs become invalid if the offender is moved to a different base and changes command. A second MPO would need to be approved by the new commander.

Can pets be included in an MPO?

A checklist

Yes, they can be. Under Section 7(m) of an MPO (DD FORM 2873) a request may be made to include pets. Under Section 5, the victim may include details about the harm or threats that the offender made to the pets.

What happens if the offender does not follow the MPO?

If the offender violates a MPO or a civilian Order of Protection in a military installation, the victim may call military law enforcement or a victim advocate. Military law enforcement is instructed to notify the commander if they are called about a service member violating an MPO or an Order of Protection.

A document being torn in two

Victims may also reach out to the victim advocate to report the violation, since this incident suggests an increase of risk. If the offender does not follow the orders of the MPO, this is considered disobeying direct orders. They may be persecuted through the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), under Article 92, Failure to Obey Order or Regulation. Violation of an MPO may have several different consequences including: 

  • Non-judicial punishment, 
  • Court-martial proceedings, and 
  • Other disciplinary measures.

What if the offender did not follow the MPO outside of the military installation?

A hand indicating

Since an MPO is only enforceable at a military installation, civilian police are not required to enforce an MPO. However, it is still recommended to call local authorities if you feel at risk of being harmed.

While civil police cannot enforce an MPO, they may still report the MPO violation to the military law enforcement who are instructed to inform the commander of any MPO violations.  

Once the commander is informed, they may revisit the consequences set for the offender since violating the MPO may be seen as violating an order.

How can I get a civilian Order of Protection in Arizona?

A checklist

Requesting an Order of Protection may either be done using the online Arizona Protective Order Initiation and Notification Tool (AZPOINT) system or using a paper application Find forms at This portal will help victims determine if they have a qualifying relationship for an Order of Protection. AZPOINT may also connect applicants to a victim advocate, to assist with making a safety plan, and providing support at the court hearing.


Once the victim completes their online or paper application, the petition may be filed with any courthouse in Arizona. To find the nearest Arizona Court, click the Find My Court image:

A document

If the judge issues the Order of Protection, the court will send a copy to law enforcement (local police, county sheriff, or constable) to serve notice to the offender. When the order is filed there will be an opportunity for a hearing if the offender disagrees with the protective order. At the hearing, both sides will be allowed to speak in front of a judge and explain why the order should or should not be granted. 

To find more information about civilian protective orders in Arizona, visit -

What happens to a service member who does not follow a civilian Order of Protection?

Service members who do not follow a civilian Order of Protection may be subject to administrative and/or disciplinary action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Additionally, the civil court judge who issued the civilian Order of Protection may also punish the service member for violating the order even though it took place on a military installation.

A judgement being made on a person

This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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