You can file an injunction for protection against domestic violence in Florida if a spouse, partner, former spouse or partner, family member, or household member harms or threatens to harm you. Commonly called a restraining order, this legal order prevents the person from approaching or contacting you.
Review the process of seeking an order of protection if you fear for your safety when ending a relationship.
Filing a petition
First, you must visit the court in the county where you or the abusive person lives. Florida also allows you file in the county where the abuse happened. Ask the clerk for a Petition for an Injunction for Protection against Domestic Violence. You can also file this form online.
You will have to provide information about the abuser’s current address, physical characteristics, birthdate, names used, and marriage dates if you were previously married to the person in question. You should also list other pending cases involving the other person, including divorce and child custody proceedings.
Include details about the physical and emotional abuse you have experienced. Note if you think you are in immediate danger.
Receiving legal protection
The judge will review your petition and may issue a temporary ex-parte injunction if he or she feels you are at risk of violence. This order lasts for 15 days and the court will serve papers to notify the abuser.
In the meantime, the court will schedule a hearing. You must attend and will have a chance to explain your case or have your attorney do so. Based on the facts you present, the judge may provide a final injunction that prevents the abuser from contacting you, sharing your home or otherwise interfering with your safety and well-being.