Domestic Violence Petitions
Domestic Violence petitions will be accepted and processed at the Clerk's Family Law office from 8 a.m.to 4 p.m. and Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
An injunction is a court order signed by a judge that can be served and or enforced by law enforcement. Injunctions for Protection Against Domestic Violence may be issued against a spouse or former spouse, a person related by blood or marriage, a person which you are presently living with or have formerly lived with, as if a family, or against someone with whom you have a child in common, regardless whether you were ever married to that person or lived with them.
Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence
If a person falling within one of the previous descriptions has committed a crime against you resulting in your physical injury, or that person has placed you in fear (with words or physical acts), and made you believe you would be immediately harmed by an unlawful act of violence, you may have grounds to ask the court for an Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence.
Injunction for Protection Against Repeat Violence
An Injunction for Protection Against Repeat Violence may be issued if someone has committed two separate acts of violence, one being within the last six months, against you. The Injunction for Protection Against Repeat Violence is available for those individuals not covered by the Domestic Violence Injunctions. These are sometimes filed against neighbors, friends, or co-workers.
Injunctions for Protection Against Dating Violence
Injunctions for Protection Against Dating Violence may be issued against an individual with whom you have or had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. It is determined by consideration of such facts as the dating relationship existed within the past six months, the nature of the relationship included an expectation of affection or sexual involvement and the frequency and type of interaction between you and the individual included involvement over time and on a continued basis.
Injunctions for Protection Against Sexual Violence
Injunctions for Protection Against Sexual Violence may be issued if one incident of the following acts occur regardless of whether criminal charges based on the incident were filed, reduced or dismissed by the state attorney:
- Sexual battery, as defined in Florida Statutes Chapter 794
- A lewd or lascivious act, as defined in Florida Statutes Chapter 800, committed upon or in the presence of a person younger than 16 years of age
- Luring or enticing a child, as described in Florida Statutes Chapter 787
- Sexual performance by a child, as described in Florida Statutes Chapter 827
- Any other forcible felony wherein a sexual act is committed or attempted
Filing an Injunction
It is a requirement that the sexual violence be reported to a law enforcement agency and that the person filing the petition cooperate in the investigation. A petition may be filed against a respondent who was sentenced to imprisonment for the sexual violence and who has been or will be released from incarceration. A person who is the victim of sexual violence or the parent or legal guardian of a minor child who is living at home who is the victim of sexual violence has standing in the circuit court to file a sworn petition for an injunction for protection against sexual violence on his or her own behalf or on behalf of the minor child if:
- The person has reported the sexual violence to a law enforcement agency and is cooperating in any criminal proceedings against the respondent, regardless of whether criminal charges based on the sexual violence have been filed, reduced or dismissed by the state attorney, or the respondent who committed the sexual violence against the victim or minor child was sentenced to a term of imprisonment in state prison for the sexual violence and the respondent's term of imprisonment has expired or is due to expire within 90 days following the date the petition is filed.
Protection Against Stalking
Injunction for Protection Against Stalking may be issued if someone has willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person.
- "Harass" means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.
- "Creditable threat" means a verbal or nonverbal threat, or a combination of the two, including threats delivered by electronic communication or implied by a pattern of conduct, which places the person who is the target of the threat in reasonable fear for his or her safety or the safety of his or her family members or individuals closely associated with the person, and which is made with the apparent ability to carry out the threat to cause such harm.
- "Cyberstalk" means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed to a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.
If an injunction for protection against domestic violence, repeat violence, dating violence, sexual violence, or stalking is granted by the court, the judge may order the other party not to have contact with you and not to harm you mentally or physically.
- What are the statutory requirements for filing a "Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence?
- What is an injunction?
- Where can I obtain an injunction?
- Is there a fee for filing an Injunction of Protection?
- What Information is helpful in filing a Petition for Injunction?
- What are other steps in the legal process?
- What if the respondent is outside the State of Florida?
- What can the injunction do for you?
- Can my child be a witness?
- How long does the injunction remain in effect?