Injunctions – Restraining Orders



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In Florida, Restraining Orders are known as “protective injunctions.”  There are several different types recognized in Florida. These include Protective Injunctions Against Domestic Violence, Repeat Violence, Dating Violence and Sexual Violence.  Getting an injunction is a Civil Law action.  However, violating an injunction is a crime.  Injunctions restrict a person’s right to contact someone, travel to certain places, and legally bear arms.  Often an injunction can also require a person to move out of their home, turn their firearms in to the Sheriff, and attend certain classes like Batterers Intervention or Anger Management.

Domestic Violence Injunction

Florida Statute 741.30 defines this injunction. The injunction can be granted when the victim believes or has reason to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of an act of domestic violence. The Petitioner seeks the injunction by filing a Petition, which includes an affidavit of the grounds for the relief.  The violence must be between family or household members; the Petitioner must claim to have been the victim of violence or reasonably fear imminent violence; the Petition must allege the specific facts and circumstances of the violence; and that jurisdiction exists.  The original is filed with the Court and a copy is served by the Sheriff on the Respondent. Often the Petitioner is granted a Temporary Injunction, which is also served on the Respondent.  The Court sets a hearing date at which time the Petitioner must present sworn testimony to support their allegations. The Court will dismiss the Petition, grant the injunction for a certain period of time, or make the injunction permanent. If the injunction is granted, the Respondent usually is ordered to attend a 26-week Batterers Intervention Program and will not be allowed to posses, purchase or carry any firearms.

Repeat Violence Injunctions

Florida Statute 784.046 sets forth the parameters for an injunction against repeat violence. This injunction allows non-family members who have been threatened with repeat violence to seek injunctive relief against the aggressor. Repeat violence is defined as two acts of violence or stalking, one of which occurred within the last six months.  “Violence” is defined in the statute and includes but is not limited to assaults, batteries, stalking, sexual assault and kidnapping.  The process to obtain this injunction is the same as the Domestic Violence Injunction.  The Court, upon granting this injunction, may order counseling, restrict travel, etc. These are also enforced criminally.

Dating Violence Injunction

This injunction is also established by 784.046, Florida Statutes. It allows individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature to seek protection against the person causing the violence. Again, “violence” is defined in the statute as noted above. The Petitioner must prove:

  1. The petitioner and respondent must be in or have been in a significant relationship.

     a.    A dating relationship must have existed within the last six months.

b.    The relationship must have been characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement.

c.     The relationship must have been involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship

  1. An act of violence must be alleged in the petition and
  2. The petitioner fears repeat violence by the respondent.

The Court may restrain the abuser from further acts of abuse; direct the abuser to leave the household; prevent the abuser from entering your residence, school, business, or place of employment.

Sexual Violence Injunction

This injunction is also governed by 784.046 Florida Statutes.  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 to seek this injunction on their own behalf or on behalf of the minor child.  The sexual violence must have been reported to law enforcement, though it does not matter whether the criminal charges based on the violence were filed, reduced or dismissed by the State Attorney or the respondent who committed the sexual violence was sentenced to prison for the crime and his term is due to expire within 90 days.

What To Do If You Are Served with an Injunction

If you are served with an injunction you are usually notified of an upcoming hearing date.  The injunction that you are served with is usually temporary and can be made permanent at the hearing.  Whether you are seeking an injunction to protect you or want to defend against the allegations in an injunction we can help.

Contact any one of our two Jacksonville, Florida, criminal defense offices for more info.