In Florida, when someone is exposed to violence or stalking, and simply wants the individual to leave them alone, a restraining order or an injunction may be the best option. There are five types of restraining orders that differ based on the nature of the threat and the individual's relationship to the abuser. When determining the type of restraining order to file, it is important that you review all of the requirements for each type before selecting one. Selecting the incorrect type may cause your Petition to be denied by the Judge.
You may file a Domestic Violence restraining order if violence or stalking has occurred, or the Petitioner (person filing the restraining order or an injunction) has reasonable cause to believe may occur, between individuals who are spouses, former spouses, or persons related by blood or marriage who are residing or have resided together as a family, or individuals who are residing together or have resided together as if family, or individuals who have a child in common.
You may file a Stalking Violence restraining order if someone purposely follows or harasses you repeatedly over a period of time. If in doing so, he/she threatens your life or threatens to harm you, with the intent to cause you reasonable fear for your safety, then the act becomes aggravated.
You may file a Repeat Violence restraining order if there have been two acts of violence or stalking on two separate occasions, one of which must have been within the past 6 months committed by a person against another person. These types of Injunctions are usually appropriate for neighbor-against-neighbor, coworker-against-coworker, or other types of relationships that are of a non-domestic or non-dating nature.
Let us walk you through your options.
You may file a Sexual Violence restraining order if any one of the following has occurred:
A lewd or lascivious act, committed upon or in the presence of a person younger than 16
Luring or enticing a child
Sexual performance by a child
Any other forcible felony wherein a sexual act is committed or attempted
In addition, you must have reported the incident to law enforcement and be cooperating in any criminal proceedings or the Respondent must have been sentenced to prison and the term expired or is due to expire within 90 days.
You may file a Dating Violence restraining order if violence or stalking has occurred, or the Petitioner has reasonable cause to believe may occur, between individuals who:
Have been in a dating relationship within the past 6 months or
Have had an expectation of affection or sexual involvement or
Have been involved over time and on a continuous basis, excluding individuals who have only engaged in ordinary fraternization in a business or social context
To start the process, you must file a petition in the county where you currently reside. As stated earlier, you must fill out the correct petition for the type of injunction you would like to receive. For your convenience, each form is available on the court’s website or in person at the clerk's office. The petition needs to include your contact information and the contact information of the perpetrator, referred to in the petition as the “respondent.” It will also ask you to provide details about the incidents.
Once the petition is complete, the Court will determine if you will be issued a temporary injunction to protect you until the hearing. The Court will provide a copy of the petition, temporary injunction if issued, and notice of the hearing to the Sheriff. The Sheriff will then personally deliver the document to the perpetrator. This is known as the service of process.
At the hearing, both sides will have the opportunity to present their case and the Judge will determine if an injunction will be issued. If an injunction is issued, it could be for a fixed period of time or permanently.
If the injunction is granted, you have legal recourse if the respondent violates the terms of the injunction. If a violation occurs, you can call the police to report any violations. This violation can be prosecuted as a criminal violation or one may file a petition for Violation of Injunction with the same court that issued the original order.
If you need assistance filing for or defending an injunction, please call DiRenzo Defense today. Filing the wrong injunction can be as bad as not filing an injunction at all. If you have been served with an injunction, do not wait until the hearing date and do not try to defend this by yourself. We have seen too many people say “I did nothing wrong” and end up having a permanent injunction issued against them. Secure legal counsel and make sure things are handled the right way, call Direnzo Defense today.