In Florida, when a person files a petition in court for an injunction for protection from domestic violence, the court generally issues a restraining order or an order of protection if the judge finds that there is a basis to issue a temporary injunction for the protection against domestic violence.
In that temporary injunction, the judge will set a formal hearing, usually in two weeks after signing the temporary injunction. The restraining order issued by the court is signed by a judge and it helps protects a person against domestic violence or abuse, stalking or intimidation or harassment. In case of domestic abuse and assault, it orders the abusing partner to cease all contact with the abused victim. It is issued when the court feels that the victim is in imminent danger or they would experience irreversible damage. The abusing partner could be arrested and jailed by the local law enforcement agencies if they do not adhere to the restraining order.
The restraining order has the following important provisions as directed by the court.
Stay Away Provisions:
It orders the abusing partner to stay away from the petitioner’s home, workplace and family. The abuser should always be at a certain distance from the victim and avoid approaching them.
No Contact Provisions
The restraining order mandates that the abusing partner to stop all contact with the petitioner by phone, email, letters or through a third-party messenger, such as passing a message through a friend or relative. No approach is permitted, even the delivery of flowers and gifts are not allowed under these provisions. This way the abuser cannot intimidate the victim or their other family members. Any violation of the provision can lead to immediate arrest by law enforcement. It may also order the abusing partner to stay away from the couple’s children, or the daycare or school the children attend and may make decisions as to child support and visitation rights.
The order may also compel the abusing partner to continue making any vehicle loan or mortgage payments if the home is owned by both people. It also provisions for awarding the home or vehicle to one of the people. In case of property damage, the abusing partner pay for the damage of property, or any other medical expenses the abused must pay for. It orders a division of property so that the abused can live safely away from the abusing partner.
Relinquish Firearms Provision
In Florida, the abuser must hand over all firearms and ammunition to law enforcement, where it is held. This provision is in place for the future safety of the victim.
De Facto Divorce Provision
Judges may also compel the abusers to attend batterer’s intervention programs. He may also order the abuser regularly test for drugs, alcohol, etc.
When you file the petition for an injunction, the Court will help have the abuser served personally with the injunction. Please bring with you to the courthouse, when you file, all addresses of your abuser. Bring with you copies of any proof that will help the judge in issuing a temporary injunction for the protection against domestic violence, which also includes threats of domestic violence. Such as text messages, photographs of injuries, recordings of voicemails, photographs of any damage to the home or other property caused by the abuser. For instance, I have brought in photographs of a TV punched by the husband in a case. Remember to also describe in detail, with dates if you can, of each instance of domestic violence or threats of domestic violence, including previous incidents.
The trial attorneys at Van Riper and Nies Attorneys, an Army Ranger Veteran-owned law firm, have successfully represented victims of domestic violence and those charged with domestic violence in cases in Broward, Palm Beach, Martin County and St. Lucie counties. This article is not a substitute for legal advice. For more information about our Criminal Defense and Family Law practice call Christian Van Riper at 877-322-5291.