How to Get a Restraining Order in Florida

A restraining order is called an “injunction for protection” in the state of Florida.  A civil court issues the injunction and commands the person who is named in the restraining order to cease coming within a certain distance of you and your children. In this blog, we explain how to obtain a restraining order in Florida.

Types of Restraining Orders

There are four types of restraining orders in Florida, they are:

  • Domestic Violence: The petitioner and the respondent have lived together at some point or have a child in common
  • Dating Violence: When the petitioner and the respondent have never lived together, have no children in common and were involved in a romantic relationship within 6 months of filing the injunction
  • Sexual Violence: For a victim of sexual abuse that has been reported to law enforcement
  • Repeat Violence: Covers repeat violence or stalking and is usually used for disputes between neighbors, coworkers, or other non-dating relationships

It is possible to get a domestic violence restraining order if the abuse hasn’t happened yet. If you can show that you are in imminent danger of violence, the court will issue an “injunction for protection.”  The following factors are used to determine imminent danger:

  • Is there a history of threats, stalking, physical abuse, or harassment between you and the abuser?
  • Has there been an attempt made to harm you or your family?
  • Have there been threats made about harming or kidnapping your children?
  • Has the abuser intentionally injured or killed a family pet?
  • Has the abuser used or threatened to use any weapons against you?
  • Have you been restrained from calling the police or leaving your home?
  • Does the abuser have a criminal history involving violence or threats of violence?
  • Is there any prior order of protection entered against the abuser?
  • Has the abuser destroyed your personal property?

If you do not qualify for a domestic violence restraining order, you can try to file for one of the other categories.

How to File

You can file a restraining order petition in the county where you reside, where the abuser lives, or where the violence occurred. You can get the forms you will need from the court clerk, or you can download and fill them out before going to court. When you describe the violence, be as specific as possible so that the judge can make a clear decision about whether you qualify for a restraining order.

The restraining order forms have to be signed in front of a notary public or in front of the court clerk. If you fill out the forms before going to court, make sure to leave the signature line blank. After your forms have been turned in, you will get a hearing date where a judge will rule if you qualify for a restraining order.

Do you need help getting a restraining order? Contact our Clearwater domestic violence lawyers to get started on your case today.