In Part I of this blog series we explained what a domestic violence injunction is. This legal document provides protection to domestic abuse victims by making certain legal requirements of the abuser, such as moving out of the victims home and staying a minimum of 500 feet away from them. The abuser is subject to arrest if he or she violates the order in any way.
In Part II of this blog, we will detail the process of obtaining a domestic violence injunction. Please refer to the eligibility criteria we detailed in Part I of this blog to be sure you are eligible to file for a domestic violence injunction. If not, there are other types of injunctions that you may qualify for so please contact the Quick Law Group for more information.
The first step to obtaining a domestic violence injunction is getting the necessary forms from the clerk of the circuit court in either the county where you currently live (even if you’ve only lived there 1 day), in the county where the abuser lives, or in the county where the abuse occurred. Click here for a list of locations and contact information for Florida Clerks of County Courts.
Next, you will fill out the “Petition for an Injunction for Protection against Domestic Violence,” which can also be found online. This form is what the judge will use to decide whether or not there is enough evidence to grant you an injunction so it is important that the document is accurate and detailed. Florida Women's Law Group can help you fill out the document in a way that gives you the best possible chance of being granted your injunction request.
If you are afraid of including your address on the paperwork, there are steps we can take as well to keep your location confidential. Do not sign the form until you are in front of the clerk of the court, and be sure to have a government issued I.D. with you like a driver’s license.
You will submit the form to the clerk, who will immediately take it to the judge. The judge will review your petition and will grant a temporary “ex parte” injunction if he or she finds there is an immediate threat of danger. This will be in effect for 15 days.
The judge will then schedule a court hearing to decide whether or not to grant a full, long-term domestic violence injunction. In this hearing you will have to prove that you were the victim of domestic violence or you fear an imminent threat of domestic violence. The abuser will also have the opportunity to plead his or her case. We highly suggest you utilize an experienced and knowledgeable advocate like those at the Quick Law Group for this phase of the domestic violence injunction process.
As long as the judge is convinced that a restraining order is necessary, he or she will then grant the permanent injunction and detail the specific requirements that the abuser must adhere to or face arrest, as well as the length of the injunction. The judge will also dictate terms with relation to things like custody or visitation of children. You can extend the injunction up to one year at a time.
Florida Women's Law Group is highly skilled at handling domestic violence issues with sensitivity, discretion, and diligence. We will advocate on your behalf to ensure that you receive an enforceable injunction that will keep you protected from your abuser. Please give us a call and let us help. And be sure to check out Part I of this blog for more information on domestic violence injunctions.