An injunction, commonly known as a restraining order, is a court order restricting someone from taking certain actions. In cases of domestic violence, a court will put an injunction in place to restrict the abuser from taking certain actions relating to the victim. A domestic violence injunction order may award the victim temporary, but exclusive use of the home. It may also do things like requiring the abuser to surrender weapons to law enforcement. The nature and extent of the restrictions put in place by the injunction will vary based on the individual circumstances of a specific case. Failure to honor the injunction may result in criminal charges.
How to Obtain a Domestic Violence Injunction
To obtain a domestic violence injunction, you must first get the required forms. These are available at the courthouse and are often available online as well. The forms will include the petition which is your formal request for an injunction. This must be carefully filled out as the judge will use the information contained in the petition to decide what, if any, kind of protection you need. The petition will ask for information regarding the abuser such as a current address and whether or not the two of you were ever married. You will also need to provide a detailed description regarding the circumstances that led to you seeking the injunction. Be as clear and specific about the details as possible. The forms must be signed and notarized. You must submit them to the clerk of the circuit court where:
- You currently live;
- Your abuser lives; or
- The domestic violence occurred.
The service of process must occur on the abuser before any kind of injunction or hearing on the petition can take place. The clerk of court provides all necessary paperwork to law enforcement who will deliver the papers to the other party. The service papers will provide the date and time of the hearing on the injunction petition.
Once the forms have been filed and the other party has been served, a judge will review the petition and, if necessary, issue a temporary ex parte injunction. This will happen if the judge finds that there is an immediate threat of violence to you or a family member. The temporary injunction will be in place for no more than 15 days. A full hearing on your petition will be scheduled prior to the expiration of your temporary injunction. A hearing is required before you can be granted a long term injunction.
At the hearing, which you are required to attend, you will be asked to testify about the abuse and/or harassment you have experienced as well as other things that were included in the petition. The abuser has the opportunity to not only be present at this hearing but to present evidence and testify as well. If he or she does not show up at the hearing, a judge may still proceed in granting a final injunction.
Dedicated Domestic Violence Injunction Legal Counsel
Filing for a domestic violence injunction can be an emotionally and logistically overwhelming experience. It is important to make sure all paperwork is properly prepared and accurately reflects your situation. The attorneys at the Orlando Family Team will stand by your side and guide you through the entire process. Contact us today.