Under Florida law, an individual can apply to the court for a Domestic Violence Injunction. Florida Statute 741.30 creates a cause of action for an injunction against domestic violence and provides guidelines for applying for and receiving such injunctions. Florida law requires that there be a reasonable fear of imminent physical violence and that the other individual is capable of causing harm or injury.
Generally, words or threats on the telephone are not enough. In order to obtain a domestic violence injunction, an individual must apply for one at their local clerk of court office. This individual is known in the court system as the petitioner.
The party against whom the injunction is being sought against is the respondent.
Generally, a domestic violence advocate will be available to assist the petitioner in filling out the necessary paperwork. By the end of the day, a judge will determine if a temporary injunction should be granted. If a temporary injunction is granted, it is normally only for a period of two weeks. The court will schedule a hearing at the two week mark to determine if the injunction should become permanent.
If an injunction is granted, the respondent cannot come within 500 feet of the petitioner, he/she must move out of the house, and he/she can be arrested and charged criminally for violating the injunction. At the permanent injunction hearing, a judge will determine if the injunction should be extended for a period of time or granted indefinitely.
This Domestic Injunction Hearing is like a miniature trial where witnesses can be used and evidence can be presented under the Florida Rules of Evidence. Permanent injunctions are meant to be hard to obtain since Constitutional rights are at stake.
It must be proven to the judge that the petitioner has a reasonable fear of imminent physical violence. After presentation of the evidence, the judge will make a determination of whether a permanent injunction should be granted.
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