Victim of Domestic Violence
Injunctions for Protection Against Domestic Violence are available under Florida law for members of a family or household against another member of the same family or household if (1) such person is the victim of domestic violence, or (2) has reason to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence. Domestic violence is defined as a criminal act of violence against a family or household member by another family or household member.
In order to obtain an Injunction for Protection Against Dating Violence, a person must show (1) they have been the victim of “dating violence” and have reason to believe they are in danger of becoming the victim of another act of dating violence, or (2) have reason to believe they are in imminent danger of becoming the victim of an act of dating violence. Dating violence is defined as violence between two people who have or have had a “continuing and significant” romantic or intimate relationship. Whether such a relationship exists is shown by a continuous dating relationship characterized by an expectation of affection or sexual involvement which existed within the 6 months prior to filing a Petition for Injunction.
Injunction for Protection
An Injunction for Protection Against Repeat Violence requires a showing that a person has been the victim of two incidents of violence or stalking committed by the person against whom the injunction is sought, one of which must have been within 6 months of the filing of the petition. These acts must also have been directed toward the person seeking the injunction or their immediate family member.
An Injunction for Protection Against Sexual Violence may be obtained upon a showing of one incident of sexual battery, a lewd or lascivious act, luring or enticing a child, sexual performance by a child, or any other forcible felony wherein a sexual act is committed or attempted. However, before one is able to pursue an injunction against sexual violence, Florida law requires that the incident be reported to law enforcement and that the victim is cooperative in that investigation, regardless of whether a criminal case is ultimately pursued by the State Attorney’s Office. One may also seek an injunction against sexual violence if the perpetrator of the incident was sentenced to prison for the act and is due to be released from his or her term of incarceration in the next 90 days.
Petition for Injunction
A person who is the victim of stalking, including the offense of cyberstalking, may seek an Injunction for Protection Against Stalking.
When an individual files a Petition for Injunction for Protection, it is typical that a judge will review the petition to determine whether it is legally sufficient on its face, and order a temporary injunction against the respondent. The judge will then set the petition for a hearing to occur shortly thereafter, at which point a decision will be made whether the injunction is granted and, if so, how long the injunction will remain in place.
While there are instances in which a judge will not grant a temporary injunction for protection pending a full hearing, it is important to understand that granting such a temporary injunction does not indicate what the court is likely to do after a full hearing. Keep in mind that a temporary injunction is only granted or denied based upon the story told within the petition itself. Testimony, evidence and legal argument are then presented at a later hearing, where the court will make a final decision based on the facts and the law before it.
Injunctions for protection are not granted as a matter of routine, but instead require a specific set of circumstances and events be shown to find an injunction is proper. It is important that all individuals seeking to either have an injunction put in place, or to avoid having an injunction against them, be prepared and know the statutory requirements for the particular injunction sought. If you are petitioning to have an injunction entered against someone, or seeking to avoid an injunction against you, please contact the Law Office of John M. Phillips for a free consultation.