Domestic Violence Injunctions and Restraining Orders In Florida
How to get an injunction or restraining order for protection against domestic violence?
Restraining orders (known as injunctions in Florida) for protection against domestic violence are controlled by § 741.30, Florida Statutes.
Pursuant to § 741.30(e), Florida Statutes any family or household members may petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence. Note that under subsection (e), “[n]o person shall be precluded from seeking injunctive relief under this chapter solely on the basis that such person is not a spouse.” In other words, the law does not require the people to be legally married to get an injunction for protection against domestic violence. Further, an injunction is not just for couples, any family members living together may apply for one.
What Do I have to Prove to get an injunction or restraining order for domestic violence?
To get an injunction or restraining order for protection against domestic violence you must prove you are a “victim” of “domestic violence” or you have a “reasonable cause to believe [that you are] in imminent danger of becoming the victim of any act of domestic violence”. § 741.30(1)(a), Florida Statutes.
Section 741.28, Florida Statutes defines “domestic 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 of one family or household member by another family or household member.” If you have been a victim of any of the above crimes, you may apply for an injunction for protection against domestic violence under § 741.30, Florida Statutes.
Even if violence has not happened yet the law allows you to apply for an injunction or restraining order. To qualify, you must reasonably believe you are in imminent danger of “domestic violence”. This means that you reasonably fear that “domestic violence” is about to happen. For example, if you have received violent threats or violence has been very close to happening, then you may be entitled to an injunction for protection against domestic violence.
Aside from “no contact”, what else can an injunction include?
If the Judge rules that you are entitled to an injunction for the Protection Against Domestic Violence, under § 741.30, Florida Statutes, the Judge may include the following in the injunction:
- An order restraining respondent (person who the injunction is against) from committing any acts of domestic violence
- Awarding you the petitioner the exclusive use and possession of the house you share, or excluding the respondent from your house if they have been living with you.
- If the you have minor children with the respondent, then you may receive 100 percent of time sharing in a temporary parenting plan.
- Like a divorce, the judge may establish temporary support of your minor child(ren) or yourself.
- Force the respondent to participate in treatment, intervention, or counseling services to be paid for by the respondent.
- Refer you to a certified domestic violence center.
- Order any other relief that the Judge deems necessary for your protection.
What will the judge consider when actual “domestic violence” has not happened yet?
When actual domestic violence has not happened yet, you must be able to prove that you have “reasonable cause to believe [you are] in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.” According to § 741.30(6)(b), Florida Statutes, the judge should consider the following factors when determining if you meet this standard:
- The history between the petitioner and the respondent, including threats, harassment, stalking, and physical abuse.
- Whether the respondent has attempted to harm the petitioner or family members or individuals closely associated with the petitioner.
- Whether the respondent has threatened to conceal, kidnap, or harm the petitioner’s child or children.
- Whether the respondent has intentionally injured or killed a family pet.
- Whether the respondent has used, or has threatened to use, against the petitioner any weapons such as guns or knives.
- Whether the respondent has physically restrained the petitioner from leaving the home or calling law enforcement.
- Whether the respondent has a criminal history involving violence or the threat of violence.
- The existence of a verifiable order of protection issued previously or from another jurisdiction.
- Whether the respondent has destroyed personal property, including, but not limited to, telephones or other communication equipment, clothing, or other items belonging to the petitioner.
- Whether the respondent engaged in any other behavior or conduct that leads the petitioner to have reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.
- Any other fact that is relevant to whether you meet the standard.
Domestic Violence Restraining Order or Injunction Attorney
At The Law Offices of Scott J. Kalish we have the experience to help you get a restraining order or injunction for protection against domestic violence. We represent people throughout South Florida, specifically Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, Martin, and St. Lucie Counties.
With our main office conveniently located in Coral Springs, and other office locations throughout South Florida we are never far. If you have a question about getting a restraining order or injunction for protection against domestic violence, reach out to us today for help.