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Injunction for Protection against Domestic Violence

What is an Injunction for Protection against Domestic Violence?

An injunction for protection against domestic violence (sometimes called an injunction or a restraining order) is a court document that orders the abuser to stop doing certain acts (such as abusing you, contacting you or coming near you) and makes the abuser do other acts (such as leaving your home, and paying you temporary child support). It can also give you certain rights (such as custody of your children). If you have an injunction, and the abuser violates it, the police may arrest him/her for the violation.

An Injunction for Protection against Domestic Violence is NOT the same as a No Contact Order that issued as a result of a crime. An Injunction for Protection against Domestic Violence is issued in a civil court whereas a No Contact Order is issued at First Appearance when the defendant appears before a judge following an arrest.

What are the different types of Injunctions for Protections?

Injunction Against Domestic Violence. You may file an injunction against domestic violence against anyone who is your current or former husband or wife, any person related to you by blood or marriage, any person who lives or has lived with you, as if they were part of the family (the law protects you against these people even if they are no longer living with you) and someone you have a child in common with, even if you have never lived together and never married that person.

Injunction Against Repeat Violence. You may file for an injunction against repeat violence against anyone who has committed at least two acts of violence or stalking against you or a member of your immediate family (your child, your parents, or a sister or brother) and one of those two acts of violence has occurred within the last six months.

Injunction Against Dating Violence. You may file for an injunction against dating violence if you have been abused or reasonably believe you are in immediate danger of becoming the victim of abuse by someone you have or had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature within the past six months. Dating violence does not include violence in a casual acquaintanceship or violence between individuals who have only socialized in a business or social context.

Injunction Against Sexual Violence. You may file for an injunction against sexual violence if you are a victim of sexual violence. To be eligible to file a petition for an injunction against sexual violence, you must have reported the incident of violence to the police or other law enforcement agency and be cooperating in any criminal proceeding against the abuser if criminal charges are brought against him.

*Injunctions for Protection may be filed by an parent or guardian on behalf of any minor child (under 18) who is a victim of violence.

Would I qualify for an Injunction for Protection against Domestic Violence?

In order to petition for an Injunction for Protection against Domestic Violence, you would have to have been a victim of domestic violence as defined by Florida Statute within the last 6 months of the date of the petition. According to Florida Statute, if you are the victim of domestic violence or if you have reasonable cause to believe that you are in immediate danger of becoming the victim of any act of domestic violence, you can apply for an injunction against domestic violence.*

*F.S.A. § 741.30(1)(a)

How can an Injunction for Protection against Domestic Violence help me?

An injunction for protection against domestic violence can:

  • Order the abuser to stay away from you, your home, where you work, your child's school, etc.*
  • Order the abuser to not contact you, directly (for example via telephone, email, text message, etc.) or through a third party*
  • Order the abuser to stop abusing you
  • Tell the abuser to leave you alone
  • Order the abuser to leave the home you share with him/her
  • Give you temporary custody (known as 100% of the time-sharing in a temporary parenting plan) and limit or prohibit the abuser from time-sharing (visitation) of your children or have those visits supervised by a third party**
  • Order the abuser to pay temporary child support or spousal support**
  • Order the abuser to go to mental health or substance abuse treatment, counseling, or a batterers' intervention program. The abuser would be required to pay the fees associated with these services.
  • Refer you to a certified domestic violence center, which you can contact if you choose
  • Order anything else that the judge believes is necessary for your protection or the protection of your children.***
  • Make it illegal for the respondent (abuser) to have a gun or ammunition in his/her possession.****

A judge will decide which of the above will be included in the order.

* F.S.A. § 741.31(4)(a)(2),(5)
** F.S.A. §§ 741.30(3)(k); (5)(a)(3) & (6)(a)(3)
*** F.S.A. § 741.30(6)(a)
**** F.S.A. § 741.30(6)(g)

Where can I file for an Injunction for Protection against Domestic Violence?

You can file for an injunction for protection against domestic violence in the circuit where you live permanently or temporarily, where the abuser lives, or where the abuse occurred.*

If you would like to petition in Alachua County, you can go to the Alachua County Family/Civil Justice Center (commonly called the Civil Courthouse or the "Old" Courthouse) at 201 East University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601.

If you would like to request assistance in completing a petition, you may contact the Victim Advocate Unit at (352) 367-4193 or (352) 367-4155 or by emailing Trauma Intervention & Special Services Bureau.

*F.S.A § 741.30(1)(j)

How much does it cost to petition for an Injunction for Protection against Domestic Violence?

There is NO FEE associated with filing an Injunction for Protection against Domestic Violence.

What if I need to petition for an injunction after hours, on the weekend or holiday?

All law enforcement agencies in Alachua County may utilize the "after hours" domestic violence service provided by ACSO. In an emergency situation on a weekend, holiday or after hours, a Temporary Domestic Violence Injunction can be obtained from ACSO staff who have been trained and deputized as a Deputy Clerk of the Court.

If you are seeking to petition for an injunction after hours or on the weekend, please contact the Combined Communications Center at (352) 955-1818 and ask for a Shift Commander. The Shift Commander will provide guidance on how you can obtain the injunction at the Sheriff's Office.


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