Seeking Injunctions Against Domestic, Dating, Repeat or Sexual Violence
Florida law allows for an individual to seek protection when a domestic or dating relationship has turned violent. Injunctions for Protection, more commonly known as "restraining orders", can be granted for Domestic, Dating, Repeat or Sexual violence when an individual feels that they are in an "immediate and present danger" of violence. Section 784.046(1)(a), Florida Statutes, defines "violence" as "...any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death..."
Obtaining a Jacksonville, Orange Park, or Yulee permanent Injunction for Protection requires two things. First, a petition is filed with the Court to obtain a temporary injunction. Second, the Court will consider the merits of the case during a full evidentiary hearing. If the Court believes there is an "immediate and present danger" of violence, the relief will be granted, and an Order of Protection issued.
Filing the initial petition can be critical to the outcome of the case. The petition is your opportunity to explain to the Court the nature of your situation and fears. It is also your one and only chance to request specific relief of the Court. Failure to state necessary relief in the petition will preclude you from arguing it at the full evidentiary hearing. For example, if you are the victim of Domestic violence and are seeking an injunction for protection from your spouse, failure to request temporary child support in the petition will preclude the Court from hearing that issue and granting any necessary relief.
If a temporary injunction is issued, a final injunction hearing will be set within 15 days. This evidentiary hearing is your opportunity to formally plead your case. The Court will consider all proper evidence and testimony presented by witnesses. If a final or "permanent" injunction is granted, it will remain in effect unless modified or dissolved by the Court. Permanent injunctions are indefinite unless the Court sets a specific expiration date. An injunction set to expire may be extended by request of the petitioner prior to the termination date. Again, in determining whether to extend the protective order, the Court will consider if the petitioner has a continuing reasonable fear that violence is likely to occur in the future. Although subsequent acts of violence will be considered by the Court, they are not necessary.
Our firm will assist you in gathering the proper evidence, testimony, or documentation needed to prove your case in front of the judge. We will prepare your witnesses and make sure their testimony is accurate and addresses the Duval, Clay, Nassau, or St. John's Court's concerns.
The subject of injunctions in Florida is complex, the case law is dense, and there are several specific areas which we also address. Please click on the links below to learn more about: