A restraining order - referred to as an injunction for protection in Florida - is issued by a civil court. These injunctions order the person against whom it is filed to refrain from either contacting you, contacting your children, or being within a specified distance of you. Restraining orders may also grant you temporary custody of your children or other related rights.
To obtain a restraining order in Florida, it is important to understand the requirements and steps in the process.
Requirements for Filing a Restraining Order in Florida
You do not have to have a personal relationship with the abuser to obtain a restraining order. Additionally, it is not necessary for any abuse to have already occurred in order to successfully obtain a restraining order.
Depending on the relationship you have with your abuser, you might qualify for a specific type of restraining order. There are specialty restraining orders for cases involving stalking violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence.
In cases of domestic violence, you can get a restraining order against:
- A spouse
- An ex-spouse
- An individual related to you by blood or marriage
- Someone who is living with you or has lived with you in the past
- The parent of your child, regardless if you have lived together or been married
Domestic violence injunctions for protection are issued to those who have been the victim of domestic violence or or otherwise in immediate danger of becoming a victim.
These are some of the factors a court will consider when deciding whether or not you are in imminent danger:
- Your history with the abuser, including stalking, threats, or harassment
- Any attempts they might have made to harm you, your family, or anyone else close to you
- Threats of kidnapping or harm to you or your child
- Use of or threats to use weapons against you
- If the abuser restrained you or kept you from calling the police
- If there was a prior order of protection against the abuser
- If the abuser destroyed your personal property
- If the abuser intentionally harmed a family pet
- Other actions that might lead you to believe you are in imminent danger
The Restraining Order Process
To get a restraining order, locate the appropriate court and file a petition. Once you file and sign the forms, you will receive a hearing date.
Immediately after filing your petition, it will be brought before the judge to determine if there is immediate, present risk of domestic violence. If this risk exists, the judge will issue a temporary, or ex parte, injunction. This injunction will start once your abuser is issued a copy of the order. A sheriff can notify your abuser, to ensure your safety.
Temporary injunctions have fixed time periods, usually no longer than fifteen days. Before the temporary injunction expires, the judge will hold a final hearing. During the final hearing, the judge will decide whether or not to issue a final restraining order. This final order will often include stronger protections than the temporary injunction, and will stay in effect for a longer period of time, if not indefinitely.
Our Attorneys Can Help You Obtain a Restraining Order
At Chesser & Barr, P.A., our attorneys have been committed to providing clients with results-oriented representation in family law matters for decades. If you believe you are unsure how to proceed with the process of obtaining a restraining order in a domestic violence case, our lawyers can help guide you through it.
Contact us today at (850) 610-7471 to learn more about your legal options.