If you are the victim of domestic violence, there is a proceeding available through the Court with which you can obtain a temporary and/or permanent injunction against an individual who has committed an act of domestic violence against you. Domestic violence is defined in Florida Statute 741.28 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.” Florida Statute 741.30 also extends protection to individuals who have not yet actually been the victim of domestic violence but who have “reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of any act of domestic violence.”
In order to obtain an injunction for protection, you would physically go to the courthouse in your county to the injunction division and request to file an injunction. The clerk will ask you questions about your assailant as well as the events that occurred which prompted you to file the injunction. If you have photographs of your injuries, it is important to bring them with you to the injunction interview. You will also be asked to fill out a sworn written statement setting forth the facts of your case. Once you complete your interview with the clerk, the clerk will send your injunction directly to a judge for immediate review. At that point, the judge has a few options. The judge can grant the injunction on a temporary basis and order the parties back for a full evidentiary hearing usually within two weeks. If the judge grants the temporary injunction, this temporary injunction will be served on the other party by the Sheriff. The judge can deny the injunction on a temporary basis but still order the parties to return for a full evidentiary hearing. In this case, the other party will not be served with a temporary injunction; rather, they will be served with a notice to appear at the hearing. Lastly, the judge can dismiss your injunction totally, meaning that no further action will be taken by the Court on your behalf.
Assuming that your injunction is temporarily granted, you can expect to return to a Court hearing within two weeks. At this hearing, the Court will take testimony and evidence and determine whether to make the injunction permanent. The Court can and usually will determine any child support, spousal support and timesharing if appropriate. Any order entered by the Court stays in force for the duration of the injunction (usually one year) or until the Court modifies the injunction. You are entitled to legal counsel at this hearing and we strongly suggest that you obtain counsel as far in advance of the hearing as possible.
We also represent individuals in defending domestic violence injunctions. If you have been served with a temporary injunction and/or a notice to appear, it is imperative that you contact us immediately so that we have time to properly prepare your case. Sometimes, injunctions are filed against people who either did not commit the acts which were alleged in the injunction or the acts committed do not rise to the level of domestic violence required by statute. If this is the case, we may be able to prevent the injunction from being entered. It is important that you contest an injunction that you believe to be false, rather than not attending the hearing. A permanent injunction is recorded in the public records and will come up if an employer performs a routine background check on you.
It is also important to attend your hearing with counsel so that any child support, spousal support and/or timesharing awards can be entered as fairly as possible. Remember, the orders in the injunction are temporary and subject to modification by the Court or by the parties via their underlying divorce or paternity action. If you attended a domestic violence hearing and were unsatisfied with the result, we may be able to help you modify it. It is extremely important that you consult with us as quickly as possible so that we can help.
For over twenty years, the law firm of Allen & Abaray, P.A. has provided exceptional statewide representation for injury victims, and the families of those who are injured or killed by the conduct of others. While our personal injury lawyers are based in Lakeland, we represent clients throughout the State of Florida.
Allen & Abaray, P.A. offers a free consultation in all personal injury cases. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in any type of accident, call (863) 669-9999 or toll-free at (877) 669-6899 today to speak with a Lakeland personal injury attorney about your case. We won’t charge an attorney’s fee unless we recover money for your injuries.*