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Injunctions

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In Florida, five different types of protective injunctions are available:

  • Domestic Violence
  • Sexual Violence
  • Dating Violence
  • Repeat Violence
  • Stalking

How do you know which of Florida's five injunctions for protection you need?

How are all petitions for an injunction for protection alike?

  • The victim is known in court as the petitioner, the other party is the respondent.
  • The petition must be sworn. This means signed in front of a notary or court clerk.
  • The judge may issue a temporary injunction to petitioner before a hearing is held.
  • The temporary injunction stays in effect until a hearing with both parties can be held.
  • The temporary injunction must be served on respondent (usually by the Sheriff).
  • A hearing may still be held even if there is no temporary injunction.
  • The respondent must be given notice of any hearing.
  • Each party may bring witnesses to testify for them at the hearing.
  • The judge may issue a final, or permanent injunction after a hearing with both parties.
  • Unless it is for a certain time, an injunction stays in effect until the court changes it.
  • There are penalties if respondent violates the injunction.

How are they different? 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:
  • Petitioner and respondent must 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 do not have to have married or lived together.
  • Petitioner must show that he or she is a victim of domestic violence OR reasonably believes that he or she is in immediate danger of becoming a victim.
  • Protects adults from violence or contact, terms may include children.
  • Petitioner may be allowed to live in shared dwelling while respondent must leave.
  • Respondent may be barred from petitioner’s residence or a shared dwelling.
  • Petitioner may have the children 100% of the time on a temporary basis.
  • Petitioner and/or children may receive support on a temporary basis.
  • A temporary injunction may require respondent to surrender guns and ammunition.
  • A permanent injunction must require respondent to surrender guns and ammunition.
  • Respondent may be ordered to attend a Batterers’ Intervention Program (BIP).
REPEAT VIOLENCE:
  • Requires at least two incidents of violence or stalking by respondent on petitioner or an immediate family member; one must be within past 6 months.
  • Petitioner must fear repeat violence by respondent.
  • Either victim, or parent or guardian of minor child living at home, may file petition.
  • Protects adults and minor children from further violence or contact.
  • Respondent may be ordered to surrender guns and ammunition.
DATING VIOLENCE:
  • Requires a dating relationship within the past 6 months.
  • The relationship must have an expectation of affection, not a casual relationship.
  • Petitioner must show that he or she is a victim of dating violence and has reasonable fear he or she is in immediate danger of become a victim again OR reasonably believes that he or she is in immediate danger of becoming a victim of dating violence.
  • Either victim, or parent or guardian of minor child living at home, may file petition.
  • Protects adults and minor children from further violence or contact.
  • Respondent may be ordered to surrender guns and ammunition.
SEXUAL VIOLENCE:
  • Sexual violence includes: sexual battery; a lewd or lascivious act upon or in presence of a person younger than 16; luring or enticing a child; sexual performance by a child.
  • Petitioner must cooperate with law enforcement after reporting sexual violence.
  • Protects petitioner from respondent who was jailed for the sexual violence against petitioner and whose prison term has expired or is due to expire within 90 day.
  • Either victim, or parent or guardian of minor child living at home, may file petition.
  • Protects adults and minor children from further violence or contact.
  • Respondent may be ordered to surrender guns and ammunition.
STALKING (INCLUDES CYBERSTALKING):
  • Requires at least two incidents of stalking or cyberstalking.
  • Either victim, or parent or guardian of minor child living at home, may file petition.
  • Protects adults and minor children from further stalking or cyberstalking.
  • A temporary injunction may require respondent to surrender guns and ammunition.
  • A permanent injunction must require respondent to surrender guns and ammunition.
  • Respondent may be ordered to get treatment at his or her own expense.