Obtaining A Restraining Order In Florida
Are You Entitled To A Restraining Order?Restraining orders, or injunctions, are not tools for revenge but court orders that prohibit contact between parties. They are serious and if imposed upon somebody can have grave consequences. However, if you are the victim of violence and need the court to intervene, you may be justified in seeking a restraining order. Restraining orders, also known as permanent injunctions in Florida, can only be issued by judges after a hearing where the party receiving the injunction (Respondent) has been properly served. At the hearing, the Petitioner (person seeking the injunction) must prove to the court why such relief is needed. You must follow the statutory criteria in order to qualify. For domestic violence injunctions, the Respondent must be somebody with whom you have had a domestic relationship (family member, spouse, parent of shared child) and you must have suffered violence at their hands. Repeat violence injunctions are for people not in a domestic relationship.
Is The Injunction For Domestic Violence Or Repeat Violence?As stated above, domestic violence would be if you are seeking an injunction against a family member, former family member, spouse, former spouse, live-in significant other, or parent of a shared child. Repeat violence is for Respondents who have committed violence against you but are not related to you in a manner that would constitute a domestic relationship. In a repeat violence injunction, the Petitioner must prove that at least two violent acts occurred, with one happening within the last six months.
The ProcessIf you believe that you qualify for injunctive relief, you must go to the courthouse in your county and file a Petition. If the Petition is legally sufficient, you will be issued a Temporary Restraining Order while the Respondent is served by the county sheriff with a copy of the Petition, Temporary Restraining Order, and Notice of Hearing. About 7 days after the issuance of the Temporary Restraining Order, a Circuit Court Judge will hold a hearing to decide whether a permanent injunction should be issued or whether your Petition should be denied.
It is important to be well-represented by a competent attorney throughout the process to ensure that the legal criteria for this process is followed. Also, retaining an attorney with courtroom experience will help better your chances of prevailing and getting the restraining order you deserve and need for your own protection.