Victim & Witness Resources

Injunctions For Protection

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An injunction for protection is a court order by which an individual is required to perform, or is restrained from performing, a particular act for a period of time. Failure to comply with the injunction can result in criminal or civil penalties. A petition (application) for an injunction for protection is available through your local Clerk of the Court. 


Types of Injunctions

Domestic Violence

  • Requires the petitioner and respondent to be family or household members who are or were living together in the same single dwelling unit, unless they have a child together.
  • Parents of a child in common are not required to have been married or have lived together.
  • The petitioner must show that they are a victim of domestic violence or reasonably believe that they are in immediate danger of becoming a victim.

Dating Violence

  • Requires a dating relationship within the past 6 months.
  • The relationship must have an expectation of affection; not a causal relationship.
  • The petitioner must show that they are a victim of dating violence and have reasonable fear that they are in immediate danger of becoming a victim of dating violence.

Repeat Violence

  • Requires at least 2 or more incidents of violence or stalking by the respondent on the petitioner or an immediate family member; one must be within the past 6 months.
  • The petitioner must fear repeat violence by the respondent.

Sexual Violence

  • Requires the charges of sexual battery; a lewd or lascivious act upon or in presence of a person younger than 16; luring or enticing a child; and sexual performance by a child.
  • May protect petitioner from the respondent who was jailed for the sexual violence against petitioner, and whose prison term has expired, or is due to expire within 90 days.

Stalking

  • Requires at least two incidents of stalking or cyber stalking


Process For Obtaining An Injunction

A petition (application) for an injunction for protection is available through the Clerk of the Court.  You can call the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence at 800-500-1119 or your local domestic violence center for more information on how to proceed.


Use Of Petition

The petition allows you to: 

  • Ask the judge to order the abuser to stop all acts of violence against you
  • To order the abuser to leave the home that you share
  • To order the abuser to have no contact with you at all unless ordered by the judge
  • To order the abuser to have no contact with you at all at your work, school or places where you spend time, such as a family member’s house
  • To order you to get custody and child support for minor children

If you have other requests for the judge, you should state them clearly in writing in the petition. It is important for you to state clearly what your relationship is to the abuser. You should also be prepared to explain in detail the latest violent event, any other violent events toward you or another household member and why you think violence is likely to happen again. 


What You Need To Apply

When applying for an injunction for protection, you must provide the Clerk of the Court with a photo ID of yourself, directions to where the abuser can be found, and the names and ages of children under 18. Florida law requires that you are NOT charged for an injunction.


After You Apply

Upon completing the petition, the clerk will immediately give it to the judge. The judge may or may not grant you a temporary injunction and will decide what parts of the petition will be temporarily ordered. This temporary order will be valid for no more than 15 days.

Sometime within the 15 days, the judge will hold a hearing for a permanent injunction. At this hearing, you will have the opportunity to tell the judge in your own words about the abuse and what kind of protection you are asking the court to give you. The abuser (respondent) may be present at the hearing. At this hearing, the judge may change the temporary court order or leave it as originally ordered. If you are afraid of seeing the abuser at the hearing, let the clerk or court security know that you would like protection. You may ask a security person to walk with you to your car. You have the right to have a victim advocate present with you at the hearing. Contact the local domestic violence center to have an advocate attend the hearing with you.  You must attend the hearing date to obtain a permanent injunction. If you miss the hearing, the injunction will be dismissed.


Once You Have An Injunction

Always keep one copy of your injunction with you and keep another in a safe place. Remember, an injunction does not guarantee your safety and does not take the place of a safety plan. It will permit the police to respond to violations. 

Any violation of the conditions of the injunction for protection from domestic violence should be reported to law enforcement and you should ask for a copy of the report. If it is an emergency, call 911. In some cases, an arrest can be made, and criminal charges can be filed. Violations should also be reported to the Clerk of the Court. The clerk can help you fill out the paperwork to report the violation to the judge and to the State Attorney’s Office. 

Scope Of Injunction

An injunction for protection issued anywhere in Florida is valid in all of Florida’s 67 counties. Injunctions for protection issued in other states or countries are also enforceable. However, any time you relocate to another state or country, it’s a good idea to file a copy of your injunction with the local sheriff’s office.

The information on this page came from the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association.