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.
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.
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)
An injunction for protection against domestic violence can:
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)
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)
There is NO FEE associated with filing an Injunction for Protection against Domestic Violence.
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.