Glossary of Terms

"Pending" means, with respect to an action for annulment, legal separation, or dissolution of marriage or for maternity or paternity, either that:

1. An action has been commenced but a final judgement decree, or order has not been entered

2. A post-decree proceeding has been commenced, but a judgement, decree, or order finally determining the proceeding has not entered.

A petition is a formal written request to a court in which the plaintiff is asking for a court order. In the petition, the plaintiff must explain why the order is needed. The petition is then filed with the court, and if the judicial officer issues the protective order, a copy of the petition, along with the order, must be served on the defendant.

The plaintiff is the person who files a petition with the court for a protective order.

A protective order is a document obtained from a court that orders the defendant not to contact the plaintiff and to prevent abusive behavior. In Arizona, protective orders include an Order of Protection, an Injunction Against Harassment, an Injunction Against Workplace Harassment, and an Emergency Order of Protection.