Domestic Violence Injunctions

Table of Contents

Domestic violence injunctions, as well as dating violence, sexual violence, repeat violence, and stalking injunctions, are matters that can have a considerable emotional impact on individuals. This holds true for both the person seeking to have an injunction entered and also for the person defending against an injunction. Further, injunctions involve allegations which can significantly affect other aspects of an individual’s life, including, for example, someone’s employment and contact with their minor children. Seeking to obtain a domestic violence injunction or defending against one can be one of the most pivotal moments in your life.

What Is A Domestic Violence Injunction?

Domestic violence injunctions, commonly called, “restraining orders,” are court orders that are designed to protect a person who is a victim of domestic violence or has reasonable cause to believe that they are in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence. Domestic violence injunctions are controlled by Florida Statutes, §741.30. In this context, an act of domestic violence includes committing or threatening to commit various criminal offenses such as assault, battery, sexual assault, stalking, kidnapping, etc. Domestic violence also includes things like intentionally injuring or killing a family pet, and threatening to kidnap or harm children of the person seeking an injunction, and destroying personal property such as cell phones or clothing that belong to the person seeking an injunction.

Domestic Violence Injunctions – Relationships Involved

Specifically, with domestic violence injunctions, the individuals involved must be family or household members. This means that domestic violence injunctions can be brought by spouses; former spouses; individuals related by blood or marriage; or any other individuals who are currently living together or previously lived together in one residence as a family; and individuals that have a child in common (even if they were never married or lived together).

Different Types Of Interpersonal Injunctions

Other types of interpersonal injunctions and what an individual is trying to seek protection against:

  1. Dating violence – between people who have or have had an ongoing and significant romantic or intimate relationship
  2. Repeat violence – involves incidents of violence that have occurred on at least two separate occasions with one of the incidents occurring within the last six months
  3. Sexual violence – involves sexual battery, lewd or lascivious acts committed on or in the presence of a child under the age of 16, luring or enticing a child, sexual performance of a child, or any forcible felony in which a sexual act is committed or attempted
  4. Stalking – involves repeated following, harassment, or cyberstalking

Process Of Obtaining Or Defending Against Domestic Violence Injunctions

  1. Filing a Petition. The person seeking the domestic violence injunction (the Petitioner) must file a Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence with the court. A judge will then review the petition
  2. Entry or Denial of a Temporary Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence. After reviewing the petition, if the court believes that the allegations contained in the petition show there is an immediate and present danger of domestic violence, the court may enter a temporary injunction. This temporary injunction can be done without notice to the other party (the Respondent). If the court does not believe there is a basis to issue a temporary injunction, the court may deny the petition without scheduling a full hearing. If the court believes that there is no immediate danger of domestic violence, the court may deny the petition but must set a full hearing as soon as possible on the petition.
  3. Full Hearing. A full hearing on the petition will occur before a judge. At this hearing, the Petitioner, Respondent, and any of their witnesses will testify. Also, both parties may present evidence. After hearing and reviewing the evidence, the court may dismiss the petition, deny the petition, or enter a final judgment of injunction.

Consequences Of A Domestic Violence Injunction

Along with any requirements ordered to protect the Petitioner, a domestic violence injunction can have significant consequences for the person it was entered against. The court may order the Respondent to vacate the residence the parties share. If the parties have children, an injunction may restrict or limit contact with these children. Also, a domestic violence injunction can negatively affect a Respondent’s current employment or applications for employment; professional licenses held; entry into the military; and admissions to schools. Further, the Respondent will have to surrender any firearms and ammunitions.

Due to the very significant implications of having a court enter, or not enter, an injunction, having an attorney experienced in bringing or defending against these matters is crucial. The attorneys of Artemis Family Law Group are practiced litigators in domestic violence matters. If you would like to discuss domestic or other interpersonal violence injunctions, please click here to schedule a consultation.

Frequently asked Questions

The short answer – No. There is no monetary fee associated with filing a petition because courts do not want lack of funds to be a barrier in seeking protection against domestic violence.

The short answer – It depends. The length of the injunction differs from case to case. When a final judgment of injunction is entered, it will remain valid through the expiration of the date entered by the court (for example 3 months, 5 months, 1 year, etc.) or until changed by the court upon request by either party with notice and hearing.

The short answer – Yes. If you have children in common, the injunction case might contain provisions relating to the children such as restricting or limiting contact with them. If there is a divorce or paternity case that was pending before or at the time of the filing of the petition for injunction, the Petitioner must note the existence of the other case in the petition. The existence of the injunction case must also be noted if a divorce or paternity case is filed afterwards. It is important to note that subsequent orders related to children in the divorce or paternity case can have precedence over the orders in the injunction case.

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