Florida law allows a person to file a request for a domestic violence injunction, also known as a restraining order, in just a few simple steps.
1. First, you must decide if you qualify for a domestic violence injunction. In order to qualify you must have a domestic relationship with the Respondent (the person you are seeking protection from.) A domestic relationship includes a person you live or lived with, have a child with, are married to, or are related to by blood. There must also have been one or more acts or threats of violence committed against you or a family member by the Respondent within the past six (6) months.
2. You then must fill out a Petition for Protection Against Domestic Violence. This form is available online or at the Court House. If you have an attorney, he or she will prepare this Petition for you. It may be beneficial to have the attorney prepare this document for you since he or she is experienced in handling these kinds of cases.
3. You submit your Petition to the Court. Within 24 hours a judge will review your petition and will determine whether or not you qualify for a TEMPORARY injunction. If the court finds your petition meets that burden, a TEMPORARY injunction will be put into effect for up to 15 days while the hearing is pending.
4. The Court will set you a hearing which you and the Respondent both must attend. At the hearing you will have the opportunity to present your testimony and evidence and cross-examine the Respondent. Again, this is something you may want to have an attorney present for.
5. If the Court finds you have met your burden, a permanent injunction will be entered. Note that a permanent injunction may still only last for a set period of time (typically one year.)
If you have questions about this process feel free to call our office for a free consultation. We have very affordable payment plans available for victims of domestic violence. We also have a branch of our firm dedicated to family law and we may be able to help you with any related divorce or custody issues.