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Temporary Injunction for Protection

When a person fears they are in danger of imminent harm, they can petition for a protective order from a Florida court. Also referred to as a restraining order, this is a legal mandate issued by a court to prevent one person from contacting or engaging in specific behavior against another person.

An injunction for protection is meant to safeguard against stalking, harassment, domestic violence, and other forms of abuse. However, what about cases where the petitioner exaggerated or falsified their claims? Since many of these cases arise in domestic disputes, it is not unheard of for people to petition for a restraining order to get ahead in civil court proceedings.

If you were served a temporary injunction for protection against domestic violence, repeat violence, dating violence, sexual violence, or stalking, consider working with a defense attorney experienced in protective orders. It is important that you are familiar with the legal terms and how the process works in Leon County. If you are accused of violating the terms of a protective order, then you should immediately contact Pumphrey Law to represent your case. Our attorneys are experienced in representing the respondent at a hearing for an injunction for protection.

What is a Temporary Injunction for Protection?

An injunction is a court order that requires a person to do or omit from doing a specific action. In the legal world, there are options for preliminary, temporary, and permanent injunctions. It is legal documentation that the court utilizes in cases where a plaintiff has addressed their concern of irreparable harm by the specific person the injunction is addressed to. Another common term for an injunction is a restraining order.

Under Florida law, an injunction directs a person not to have any contact with another person. Injunctions are often requested following allegations of domestic violence. In many of these cases, due to the nature and domestic aspect, the allegations contained in the petition are false or exaggerated.

An attorney in Tallahassee can represent your case and fight to have the order dropped or challenged during a hearing.

Types of Injunctions for Protection in Florida

According to Florida Courts, the State provides several distinct types of injunctions for protection. Depending on the nature of the petitioner’s allegations, a person may receive a restraining order for one of five different types of interpersonal violence. The types of injunctions include domestic violence, repeat violence, dating violence, sexual violence, and stalking.

Injunction for Protection from Domestic Violence

A petition for injunction can involve allegations of domestic violence. Actions of domestic violence are outlined under Florida Statute Section 741.30. The petition for injunction is available if the petitioner and respondent:

  • Presently reside together;
  • Have lived together in the past as a family or in an intimate relationship;
  • Are related by blood or marriage; or
  • Have a child together (even if they never lived together).

To obtain an injunction for protection from domestic violence, the petitioner (alleged victim) must be able to provide evidence that they are the victim of domestic violence or have reasonable cause to believe they are in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.

Injunction for Protection from Repeat Violence

A petition for injunction can involve allegations of repeat violence (when the parties are not related by blood, marriage, living arrangements, or having a child in common). Florida Statute Section 784.046 defines violence as any:

  • Assault / Aggravated Assault;
  • Battery / Aggravated Battery;
  • Sexual Assault;
  • Sexual Battery;
  • Stalking / Aggravated Stalking;
  • Kidnapping;
  • False Imprisonment; or
  • Any other criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of another person.

To obtain a temporary injunction for protection against repeat violence, the petitioner must be able to prove they were victim of violence or stalking at least twice within the last 6 months. The alleged violent or stalking acts must have been directed against the petitioner or their immediate family.

Injunction for Protection from Dating Violence

An injunction for protection against dating violence can be filed if the petitioner and respondent have, or previously had, a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or significant nature, which is determined based on consideration of the following factors:

  1. The dating relationship existed within the last 6 months;
  2. The nature of the relationship is characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties; and
  3. The frequency and type of interaction must be based on the party’s involvement over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship.

Under Florida Statute Section 784.046(2)(b), any person who is the victim of dating violence, and has reasonable cause to believe they are in imminent danger of becoming the victim of an act of dating violence has standing in the circuit court to file a sworn petition for an injunction of protection. The same rule applies for the parent or legal guardian of a minor seeking an injunction for protection.

Injunction for Protection from Sexual Violence

Sexual violence is defined under Florida Statute Section 784.046(c) as any one incident of sexual battery, lewd or lascivious act(s), luring or enticing a child, sexual performance by a child, or any other forcible felony wherein a sexual act is committed or attempted.

To obtain a temporary injunction for protection against sexual violence, the victim or the parent of the victim can file, when:

  1. The petitioner has reported the sexual violence to a law enforcement agency and is cooperating in any criminal proceeding against the respondent; and
  2. The respondent who committed sexual violence was sentenced to a term of imprisonment in state prison, and the term of imprisonment has expired or is due to expire within 90 days following the date the petition is filed.

Injunction for Protection from Stalking

Under Florida Statute Section 784.0485, stalking acts are a cause of action for an injunction for protection. Any person who is the victim of stalking, or the parent or guardian of a minor who is the victim of stalking has standing in the circuit court to file a sworn petition for an injunction. To obtain a temporary injunction for protection against stalking, it requires two reported incidents of stalking or cyberstalking.

Process of Injunctions for Protection Filed in Leon County, FL

If the judge grants the injunction or schedules a return hearing, then the respondent must be personally served with a copy of the Petition, Notice of Hearing, and the Temporary Injunction.

If you’ve been served a court order for a temporary injunction, it’s important that you are familiar with the process as it would occur in Leon County. First, we should establish that injunctions for protection are civil matters, not criminal. Petitions for an injunction in Leon County are first filed with the Family Law Division of the Clerk’s Office, Suite 100, Leon County Courthouse.

Once the petitioner (alleged victim) has completed all relevant forms, the Family Law Division in Leon County will file the petition and forward it to a judge for review. If the judge finds sufficient grounds alleged in the petition, then a Temporary Injunction and Notice of Hearing will be entered.

Both parties are given the chance to address the court during a hearing. During this time, the respondent (person who received the restraining order) can give their side of the story prior to the court deciding on a final injunction. During the hearing, you can either consent or agree to the injunction against you, or you can object or disagree with the injunction.

Important: If you do not agree with the injunction being entered against you, you should appear at the hearing to give your case. While you are not required to attend this hearing, it’s worth noting that a judge can enter a final judgement whether you were present or notified. Any injunction granted by the Court will remain in effect until modified or dissolved by the judge. The defense attorneys with Pumphrey Law Firm can represent you at the hearing and show reasons why the court should dismiss the action and not grant the injunction.

Requirements of an Injunction for Protection

When an individual is given an injunction for protection in Florida, it means that a judge has ordered that you refrain from contacting the petitioner (alleged victim) in the case. This means you should not:

  • Call the petitioner;
  • Email the petitioner;
  • Text the petitioner;
  • Send messages to the petitioner via social media;
  • Send the petitioner letters or gifts;
  • Talk to the petitioner in public spaces;
  • Have others contact the petitioner on your behalf; and/or
  • Contact the petitioner in any manner, even if they contact you first.

In Florida, any violation of an injunction for protective order is considered a first-degree misdemeanor. That means if you are accused of violating the terms of your restraining order and are convicted, you could face:

  • Up to a $1,000 fine; and
  • Up to one year in jail.

Actions that can result in a protective order violation include:

  • Refusing to stay away from the petitioner or the common places they reside;
  • Going to, or staying within 500 feet of the petitioner’s home, work, school, or other areas frequented by them or their family members;
  • Committing another act of domestic violence, dating violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, or stalking against the petitioner;
  • Knowingly and intentionally coming within 100 feet of the petitioner’s vehicle;
  • Destroying the petitioner’s property, including their home or vehicle; and/or
  • Refusing to surrender ammunition or firearm if ordered by the court.

A copy of any injunction for protection will be placed on file with local law enforcement agencies in Tallahassee and Leon County. That means if you are stopped by police while being under a protective order, they would immediately know that you were a threat to someone and could attempt to arrest you for alleged violations. If you or someone you know is facing charges for violating an injunction, they should consult with a legal professional as soon as possible.

Additional Resources

  • The Refuge House The central domestic violence shelter in Tallahassee, FL. The organization provides direct services to alleged victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other forms of physical harm. The Refugee House has a volunteer office in the Leon County Courthouse that offers help to petitioners filing for an injunction. Volunteers with the Refuge House assist petitioners in completing forms, providing counseling, and obtaining emergency shelter.
  • Leon County Clerk of Courts Any petition for a temporary injunction in Tallahassee or the North Florida region should be filed with the Leon County Clerk of Courts office. The Clerk staff is responsible for creating the case and forwarding the file to a circuit judge for review. If the judge finds merit to the petition, there will be entered a Temporary Injunction and Notice of Hearing for the case.
  • Florida’s Domestic Violence Bench Book Last updated in June 2023, the official document provides advice, opinions, findings, and recommendations for judges throughout the State of Florida on how to resolve injunctions for protections and deal with other issued related to domestic violence.

Finding an Attorney for Temporary Injunctions in Tallahassee, FL

If you were served with a petition for a temporary injunction or order of protection, contact an experienced domestic violence attorney in Tallahassee. These cases require an attorney to be thoroughly prepared for the hearing. We can help you fight to get the action against you dismissed. This can include assisting in depositions, subpoena witnesses, filing documents, and presenting any evidence that shows the allegations are false or exaggerated.

The defense attorneys with Pumphrey Law Firm understand the difficulties that arise with a restraining order—especially when the facts of the alleged incident have been exaggerated or falsified by the apparent victim. Our firm has the knowledge and experience to guide you through this tough time, and to fight for the best possible outcome for your criminal case.

We represent individuals in Leon County and the surrounding North Florida region who wish to contest the allegations of a petition. Contact our office today at (850) 681-7777 or leave us a detailed message to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.

Page Updated February 12, 2024

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