Protection Orders

questions & answers

Question: my live in boyfriend of three years was removed from my home which i own with pfa order. if the pfa is overturned at the hearing will he be able to move back in. he has threatened my life in the past.

Answer:

A lot depends on what agreements (if any) the two of you made at the time he moved into your house, especially concerning rent and other aspects of his status as a cohabitant. If he was no more than a live-in boyfriend (e.g. no rent payment, no maintenance services rendered in return for living rent free, no oral or written agreement that granted him a *right* to live there whether there was rent or not, etc.), then you can probably order him to leave summarily, and ask the police to stand by while he collects his belongings. He would constitute nothing more than a guest or trespasser.

However, if you did or said *anything* that would suggest to a neutral observer that he was more of a tenant than companion because of some oral or written agreement, it might be wise to follow the forcible detainer (i.e. eviction) process under A.R.S. §§ 33-1368 and 33-1377. It might be even smarter to start the process *now* - while the DV protective order remains in effect and he cannot return to the house anyway.

If you created a landlord-tenant relationship (which is easier to do than you might think), then you also have an obligation to safely maintain his possessions - intact! - for as long as 21 days after his departure from the residence. (If you decide to place his belongings into a separate storage unit, you may also have the right to charge him with the expense of that storage before the items are released.) I strongly, strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney who specializes in Arizona landlord/tenant law, and that you act swiftly to do whatever you intend to do. Not every police officer understands this area of law as well as s/he should, and s/he might refuse to force your ex-boyfriend's removal even though s/he should.

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QUESTIONS

  • my live in boyfriend of three years was removed from my home which i own with pfa order. if the pfa is overturned at the hearing will he be able to move back in. he has threatened my life in the past.

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  • State Bar of Arizona
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