Individuals who have experienced abuse or fear they will may seek protection through a protective injunction with the court. Florida offers 5 specific types of injunctions, depending on the circumstances surrounding the request. Keep reading to learn more about the 5 protective injunctions and what they require in a petition.
5 Types of Protective Injunctions
Generally, all protective injunctions in Florida have similar petitioning processes. A victim of domestic, sexual, dating, or repeat violence, or of stalking, can petition for a protective injunction with the court. In emergency situations, the judge may issue a temporary injunction to the petitioner before the official hearing is held. A temporary injunction stays in effect until a hearing with both parties can be held and must be served on the other party (the respondent).
The respondent must be given notice of a hearing after the petitioner files with the court, and each party may bring their own witnesses to testify for them at the hearing. After the hearing, the judge may issue a final, permanent injunction. Depending on the injunction, it may stay in effect until the court changes it or for a specified amount of time. Any violation of the terms of the injunction could lead to serious penalties on the defendant’s part.
Florida courts can grant one of five different types of protective injunctions, depending on the reasons for obtaining one:
- Domestic Violence Injunction
- Sexual Violence Injunction
- Dating Violence Injunction
- Repeat Violence Injunction
- Stalking Injunction
Domestic Violence Injunction
To petition for a domestic violence injunction, the petitioner and respondent must be family or household members who are or were living together in the same dwelling. Individuals with a child in common, though, do not have to have married or have lived together to qualify for a domestic violence injunction.
To being the petitioning process, the petitioner must show that they are a victim of domestic violence or reasonably believes that they are in immediate danger of becoming one. The aim of the injunction, after all, is to protect the petitioner and/or their child from violence or contact with the defendant.
In most cases, the petitioner will be allowed to live in the shared dwelling while the respondent must leave and will be barred from the shared home. The petitioner may also have any shared children for 100% of the time and receive support on a temporary basis as they seek their injunction.
Note that a temporary injunction may require the respondent to relinquish any guns and ammunition in their possession, and a permanent injunction will require them to do so. Depending on the severity of the incident, the respondent may also be ordered to attend a Batterers’ Intervention Program (BIP).
Sexual Violence Injunction
A sexual violence injunction may be relevant in cases involving:
- sexual battery;
- a lewd or lascivious act upon or in the presence of a person younger than 16 years old;
- luring or enticing a child;
- sexual performance by a child.
Such an injunction protects the petitioner from further violence or contact from a respondent who was jailed for the sexual violence against them and whose prison term has expired or is due to expire within 90 days. Either the victim or parent of a minor child living at home may file a petition. As with a domestic violence injunction, a sexual violence injunction may order the respondent to surrender any firearms and ammunition.
Dating Violence Injunction
An individual who was in a dating relationship with another within the past 6 months may file for a dating violence injunction against the violent individual. Note that the relationship must have some expectation of affection (not just a casual relationship), and the petitioner must show that:
- they are a victim of dating violence and have reasonable fear they are in immediate danger of becoming a victim again; or
- they reasonably believe they are in immediate danger of becoming a victim of dating violence.
Either the victim or the parent of a minor child living at home may file a petition for a dating violence injunction, and once granted, the order may protect the petitioner and their child from further violence or contact from the respondent, who may be ordered to relinquish firearms and ammunition in their possession.
Repeat Violence Injunction
To petition for a repeat violence injunction, the petitioner should have experienced at least 2 incidents of violence or stalking by the respondent on either the petitioner themselves or an immediate family member. One incident must have occurred within the past 6 months of filing for an injunction, and the petitioner must show a fear of repeat violence by the respondent.
As with the above injunctions, a repeat violence injunction protects adults and minor children from further violence or contact and can order the respondent to relinquish any guns and ammunition in possession.
Lastly, a stalking injunction is a protective order that requires at least 2 incidents of stalking or cyberstalking. The order protects the petitioner and any minor children from further incidents of stalking or cyberstalking, and either the victim or a parent of the minor child may file a petition.
A temporary injunction may ask the respondent to surrender guns and ammunition, and a permanent injunction will require them to. Additionally, a respondent may be ordered to obtain treatment at their own expense.
Contact an Experienced Attorney for Legal Counsel
If you seek to obtain a protective injunction against a former partner, you may petition with the court for one of five different types, depending on your situation. An experienced lawyer can help you determine which injunction to petition for and build your case for obtaining one. The lawyers at Orshan, Spann & Fernandez-Mesa, Family Law Attorneys can take a look at your circumstances and guide you through the petitioning process to obtain the protection you and your child deserve.
Contact our firm to get started on your protective injunction today.