Florida law provides for several different types of injunctions for protection, with the most common being for Domestic Violence.
Domestic violence means an 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.
Who qualifies as a family or household member?
A family or household member can be a spouse, former spouse, persons residing together as a family, whether that be currently or in the past. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in a single dwelling unit.
Who may file for an injunction?
Any person who is a member of a family or household that is the victim of domestic violence or has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.
Any spouse or former spouse; person related by blood or marriage; person who is or was residing within a single dwelling unit as if a family; or person who has a child in common with the respondent, regardless of whether the person and respondent are or were married or residing together as if a family.
The victim is the Petitioner who must file a sworn petition with the court. A petition may be filed on behalf of the victim and a minor child.
What happens after the injunction is filed?
A judge will review your petition for the issuance of a temporary injunction and upon adequate cause, will issue a temporary injunction. The court shall set a hearing at earliest possible time; the respondent must be personally served with the petition, notice of hearing, and any temporary injunction.
If an injunction is denied, the court must state the legal grounds for denial in writing. If the only ground for denial is no appearance of an immediate and present danger of domestic violence, the court must set a full hearing at the earliest possible time.
What proof do I need?
The Petitioner will need to organize their facts and information to include dates of incidents, electronic communications (text messages), and any witnesses, and any police reports or investigative reports.
The Petitioner must prove:
1.That a domestic relationship exists.
2. That you have been the victim of domestic violence OR that there is reasonable belief of an imminent threat of domestic violence.
It is imperative that petitions for protective injunctions are filed appropriately and follow the statutory guidelines. This often requires the help of a family law attorney who has experience handling cases that may involve domestic or other types of violence that may qualify for a protective injunction.
In family law matters like divorce and child custody proceedings, where emotions are heightened and those involved may think less clearly about their actions and their consequences, it is not uncommon for one or both parties to feel the need to file a petition for a protective injunction. This is especially true in cases where domestic violence is a primary cause of the decision to pursue divorce or take legal action.
Michel L. Watson has years of experience working with many different clients throughout the divorce and injunction process and can be an excellent tool in helping you take steps necessary for your safety or the safety of your family. If you have questions about protective injunctions as they relate to the divorce process, or other divorce-related questions, contact Michel L. Watson to schedule a consult today.