Injunction for Protection

Injunctions for Protections FAQ’s


 

What is an Injunction?

An Injunction for Protection, sometimes referred to as a “restraining order,” is a means of getting legal protection, that directs the person not to have any contact with you, whether or not you have ever called the police or pressed charges. You do not need to have a lawyer to obtain an Injunction for Protection.

 

What are the different types of injunctions and how do you qualify?
Domestic Violence Injunction
Repeat Violence Injunction
Dating Violence injunction
Sexual Violence Injunction


Who can get an Order for Protection against Domestic Violence?

You may be entitled to obtain an Injunction under Florida Law if you fit into one of the following categories:

1) Florida Statute 741.30 (Domestic Violence) Your relationship with the person whom the Injunction is being filed against must be that of:

  • spouse or ex-spouse
  • a person related by blood or marriage
  • anyone who lives or has lived with you in the same dwelling as if family, or
  • anyone with whom you have had a child, with or without having lived together.

“Domestic Violence” means 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.

The Judge must believe that an immediate and present danger of domestic violence exists in order to grant a Temporary Injunction.


What can the Injunction do for you?

The Injunction can provide such relief as the court deems proper, including:

  • restrain the violator from committing any acts of domestic violence;
  • restrain the violator from further contact with you, whether direct or indirect;
  • award you temporary exclusive use of the home;
  • restrain the violator from going to your home, work place or other specified place;
  • award you temporary custody of your child(ren);
  • establish temporary child support for minor child(ren), if the violator has a legal obligation to do so;
  • order the violator to participate in counseling.

The Judge can order other help, depending upon the circumstances.

 

What are the costs? 

There is no fee for an injunction.

 

Where can I obtain an Injunction? 
You can petition the court for an Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence by going to the Victim Assistance Program Office, located at the Osceola County Courthouse, Court Administration Department,
2 Courthouse Square, Kissimmee, Florida. 
The Victim Assistance Program will assist you in filing your petition and can provide you with the necessary assistance in obtaining emergency shelter at Help Now, Inc., a local shelter for domestic violence victims. The program can also assist you by referring you to other community resources as needed.  Once you file your petition, the Clerk’s office will take the file to the Judge for his/her review. If the Judge finds merit in the petition, he/she will enter a Temporary Order for Protection Against Domestic Violence.  If the Domestic Violence occurs after regular business hours or on weekends or holidays, you may call the Domestic Violence Hot Line in Osceola County, (407) 847-8562 for further instructions.

 

What happens after the Judge grants the Temporary Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence?
The Respondent must be personally served with a copy of the petition, notice of hearing and Temporary Injunction. The formal hearing will be scheduled within a maximum of fifteen (15) days from the date that the temporary order was granted. Injunction Hearings are usually scheduled on Tuesday afternoons. You must attend the Hearing or the Injunction will be dismissed. If you cannot attend the Hearing for medical reasons, you must furnish a doctor’s note prior to the hearing date indicating your condition and release date in order for the Judge to grant you a continuance of the temporary order for protection and to schedule another Hearing.  At the hearing the Judge will decide whether to grant a Permanent Injunction. A Permanent Injunction is good until further order of the Court, unless the Judge includes an expiration date.

 

What happens at the Hearing? 

The Judge will decide at the hearing whether to issue a Permanent Injunction. Sometimes the Judge will order an extension of the Temporary Injunction, which is another way of ordering a Permanent Injunction. The Judge will specify what conditions or restrictions are to be placed upon the Respondent. Some examples of conditions or restrictions that the Judge may order include:

  • Requirement that the Respondent undergo counseling,
  • Recommendation that the Petitioner and any children in the home receive counseling,
  • Award of custody of the child(ren), including terms of visitation, or
  • Requirement that child support be paid through the Clerk’s Office.

Please note that the Injunction is not intended to provide you with a method to obtain custody of or support for a child. As a courtesy, the Judge will address these issues at the hearing. However, if the Respondent fails to comply with the visitation or child support portion of the order, you should not call the Judge’s Office. Instead, you may want to contact the Clerk’s Domestic Relations Division with your concerns.

 

What if I decide that I don’t want a Permanent Injunction to be issued? 

You may ask the Judge at the hearing to dismiss the Injunction, and the Judge will decide whether or not to do so. If you are not present at the hearing, you cannot assume that the Injunction will automatically be dismissed. If the hearing has already been held, and you want to request a dismissal of the Injunction, you may contact the Clerk’s Domestic Relations Division.

 

The Judge ordered an extension of the Temporary Injunction. What does that mean? 

If an Injunction is extended, that means that the terms of the Temporary Injunction will continue to apply for the period of time specified in the Court’s order, up to 1 year. The Judge may also order changes or additions to the original wording at the time the extension is ordered.

 

The Injunction ordered the Respondent to vacate my residence. Is he/she allowed to go back to the residence to retrieve personal belongings?

Yes, with an order from the court. The Respondent may retrieve personal belongings from the residence in the presence of a law enforcement officer.

 

The Injunction specifies that there is to be “no contact.” What does that mean? 

If the Injunction states that the parties are to have ‘no contact,” that means that there should be No Communication – either directly, indirectly, or through a third party - between the Petitioner and Respondent.

 

Is the Respondent in violation of the Injunction if he/she has contact with me at my invitation?

Yes. If the Injunction states that there is to be no contact, and the Respondent contacts you, the Respondent is in violation of the Injunction. It does not matter if the contact was made at your invitation.

 

Is the Respondent in violation of the Injunction if we continue to live together? 

Yes. If the Injunction states that the Respondent must vacate the residence or must not have contact with you, then the Respondent is in violation of the Injunction if you continue to live together.

 

Is the Injunction voided if the Respondent moves back into my residence at my invitation? 

No. Only the Judge can change or dismiss an Injunction.

 

Is there a violation of the Injunction if the Respondent is required to vacate the residence, but I move in with him/her at another address? 

Yes. You must not move in with him/her at another address.

 

If the Respondent and I want to resume our relationship, do we need to go back to court? 

If the Injunction orders the Respondent to avoid contact with you, but you both want to resume the relationship, you will need to petition the court for a dismissal or modification. Contact the Clerk’s Domestic Relations Division at (407) 742-3492 for more information.

 

Repeat Violence 

“Repeat Violence” means two incidents of violence or stalking committed by the Respondent, one of which must have been within six (6) months of the filing of the petition, which are directed against the Petitioner or the Petitioner’s immediate family member.

There is created a cause of action for an Injunction for Protection in cases of repeat violence.

  • any person who is the victim of repeat violence or the parent or legal guardian of any minor child who is living at home and who seeks an Injunction for Protection against repeat violence on behalf of the minor child has standing in the Circuit Court to file a sworn petition for an Injunction for Protection against repeat violence.
  • this cause for an Injunction may be sought whether or not any other petition, complaint, or cause of action is currently available or pending between the parties.
  • this cause of action for an Injunction shall not require that the Petitioner be represented by an attorney.

The Victims Assistance will provide a copy of this section, simplified forms, and clerical assistance for the preparation and filing of such a petition by any person who is not represented by counsel.

  • In the event the person desiring to file for an Injunction pursuant to this section does not have sufficient funds with which to pay filing fees to the Clerk of the Court or service fees to the Sheriff or Law Enforcement Agency and signs an affidavit so stating, the fees shall be waived by the Clerk of the Court and/or the Sheriff or Law Enforcement Agency to the extent necessary to process the petition and serve the Injunction, subject to a subsequent order of the Court relative to the payment of such fees.
  • No bond shall be required by the Court for the entry of an Injunction.
  • The Clerk of the Court shall provide the Petitioner with a certified copy of any Injunction for Protection Against Repeat Violence entered by the Court.
  • The sworn petition shall allege the incidents of repeat violence and shall include the specific facts and circumstances which form the basis upon which relief is sought. With respect to a minor child who is living at home, the parent or legal guardian of the minor child must have been an eyewitness to, or have direct physical evidence or affidavits from eyewitnesses of, the specific facts and circumstances which form the basis upon which relief is sought.

 

Sexual Violence

“Sexual violence” means any one incident of:

1.    Sexual battery as defined in chapter 794;

2.    A lewd or lascivious act as defined in chapter 800, committed upon or in the presence of a person younger than 16 years of age;

3.    Luring or enticing a child, as described in chapter 787;

4.    Sexual performance by a child, as described in chapter 827; or

5.    Any other forcible felony wherein a sexual act is committed or attempted. regardless of whether criminal charges based on the incident were filed, reduced or dismissed by the state attorney

 

Dating Violence 

“Dating Violence” means violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the consideration of the following factors:

1.    A dating relationship must have existed within the past 6 months;

2.    The nature of the relationship must have been characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties; and

3.    The frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship must have included that the persons have been involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship.

 

Community Resources

  • Help Now, Inc.
  • Services provided to victims of Domestic Violence:
    • 24 hour hotline (407-847-8562)
    • safe shelter
    • individual counseling
    • support groups

Food and Clothing

Food Pantry (St. Cloud)

(407) 892-7070

Red Cross (USDA Commodities)

(407) 847-2780

WIC (Women, Infants & Children)

(407) 870-1490

Rent and Utility Assistance

Red Cross

(407) 847-2780

Shelters

First United Methodist Church

(407) 847-2575

Orlando Rescue Mission

(407) 422-4855

Salvation Army

(407) 423-8581

Women’s Center

(407) 425-2502

Injunctions Processing Unit (3rd Floor)

  • assistance filing Injunction for Protection
  • information and referral
  • assistance with victim compensation
  • court orientation and escort
  • assistance with address confidentiality program

(407) 742-2464

Victim’s Service

Osceola County Sheriff’s Office

(407) 348-2222

Kissimmee Police Department

(407) 846-3333

St. Cloud Police Department

(407) 891-6700

Office of the Attorney General

  • Toll-free Victim Services Information and referral line

1-800-226-6667

  • TDD Users can call through the Florida Relay Service

1-800-955-8771

 

 


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