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Injunctions for Protection/Restraining Orders




HELPFUL INFORMATION:
  • What is an Injunction for Protection?
  • Types of Injunctions
  • Filing a Petition
  • Once you file your Petition
  • Violation of Injunction
  • Contempt of Injunction
  • Modification of Injunction
  • Extension of Injunction
  • Dismissal of Injunction
  • Forms
  • Where to File a Petition

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    Injunction for Protection

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    Pinellas County Sheriff's Office (727) 582-6200

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    Pinellas County Clerk's: (727) 464-4933
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    Statewide Abuse Hotline: (800) 500-1119

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    Haven of RCS:
    Clearwater (727) 442-4128
    CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse):
    St. Petersburg (727) 898-3671

    VIDEO:
    FILING AN INJUNCTION FOR PROTECTION

     

    What is an Injunction for Protection?

    AN INJUNCTION FOR PROTECTION IS a Civil Court Order (often referred to as a "restraining order" and herein referred to as "Injunction") that places restrictions on an individual (referred to as the Respondent) who has allegedly committed acts or (in some cases) made threats of violence against another individual (referred to as the Petitioner). An Injunction is requested by the Petitioner who files a "Petition" with the Court asking for protection from the Respondent.

    AN INJUNCTION MAY INCLUDE PROVISIONS THAT: restrain the Respondent from further acts of violence; order the Respondent to leave a shared dwelling; prevent the Respondent from coming to your home, school or place of employment; and/or award temporary custody of minor children.

    AN INJUNCTION SHOULD NOT BE USED as a tool to manipulate the Respondent or the Judicial System, gain access to property, or to settle issues of child custody or spousal support, but rather to protect you against a genuine and well-founded fear of continued violence or abuse.

    VIOLENCE IS DEFINED by Florida Statute 784.046(1)(a) as "any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death, by a person against another person."

    VIOLENCE DOES NOT INCLUDE ALL OFFENSIVE BEHAVIOR. Trespassing, criminal mischief, threats, tampering with a witness and harassing phone calls are all criminal offenses which should be reported to law enforcement, but may not necessarily, alone, qualify for the issuance of an Injunction.

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    Types of Injunctions

    FLORIDA LAW SEPARATES INJUNCTIONS FOR PROTECTION INTO FIVE CATEGORIES: Domestic, Stalking, Repeat, Sexual and Dating. When determining the type of Injunction for which you need to file it is very important that you read over all of the requirements for each type before selecting one; choosing the incorrect type may cause your Petition to be denied by the Judge.
    The types are defined as:
    • DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (FS 741.28(2) and (3)): Violence or stalking that has occurred, or that the Petitioner has reasonable cause to believe they are in imminent danger of becoming the victim of, between individuals who are spouses, former spouses, or persons related by blood or marriage who are residing or have resided together as a family, or individuals who are residing together or have resided together as if family, or individuals who have a child in common.
      Download and print the "Petition" form from the Clerk's Office website HERE.
      If you and the Respondent have minor children in common you must fill out a Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Affidavit (UCCJEA) found HERE. Additional forms may be required to be completed when you are present at the courthouse.

    • STALKING VIOLENCE (FS 784.048) and (FS 784.0485): means someone is purposely following or harassing you repeatedly over a period of time for no legitimate purpose, causing you emotional stress. If in doing so, he/she threatens your life or threatens to harm you, with the intent to cause you reasonable fear for your safety, then the act becomes aggravated.

    • REPEAT VIOLENCE (FS 784.046(1)(b) and (2)(a)): Two acts of Violence or stalking on two separate occasions, one of which must have been within the past 6 months committed by a person against another person. These types of Injunctions are usually appropriate for neighbor-against-neighbor, coworker-against-coworker, or other types of relationships that are of a non-domestic or non-dating nature.
      Download and print "Petition" forms from the Florida State Courts' website (http://www.flcourts.org) HERE. Additional forms may be required to be completed when you are present at the courthouse.

    • SEXUAL VIOLENCE (FS 784.046 (1)(c) and (2)(c)): Any one of the following criteria must be met: (1) You must have reported the incident to law enforcement and be cooperating in any criminal proceedings or (2) The Respondent must have been sentenced to prison and the term expired or is due to expire within 90 days, and any incident of the following: (1) sexual battery (2) a lewd or lascivious act, committed upon or in the presence of a person younger than 16 (3) luring or enticing a child (4) sexual performance by a child or (5) any other forcible felony wherein a sexual act is committed or attempted.
      Download and print "Petition" forms from the Florida State Courts' website (http://www.flcourts.org) HERE. Additional forms may be required to be completed when you are present at the courthouse.

    • DATING VIOLENCE (FS 784.046 (1)(d) and (2)(b)): Violence or stalking that has occurred, or that the Petitioner has reasonable cause to believe they are in imminent danger of becoming a victim of, between individuals who (1) have been in a dating relationship within the past 6 months (2) have had an expectation of affection or sexual involvement and (3) have been involved over time and on a continuous basis, excluding individuals who have engaged in ordinary fraternization in a business or social context.
      Download and print "Petition" forms from the Florida State Courts' website (www.flcourts.org) HERE. Additional forms may be required to be completed when you are present at the courthouse.
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    Filing a Petition

    FILING FOR PROTECTION IS FREE. There is no fee to file a Petition and the Sheriff's Office also serves (hand delivers) certified copies of the Judge's order to the Respondent without charge.

    A PETITION MAY BE FILED IN the county where you currently or temporarily reside, where the Respondent resides or where the violence occurred.

    • In Pinellas County, a Petition may be filed at one of the Pinellas County Clerk's Office locations listed at the bottom of this page, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., excluding County holidays.
    • To file a petition in Pinellas County after 4:00 p.m. contact The HAVEN in Clearwater at (727) 442-4128 or C.A.S.A. (Community Action Stops Abuse) in St. Petersburg at (727) 898-3671.
    A PETITION IS FILED BY AN INDIVIDUAL AGAINST AN INDIVIDUAL. A Petition may not be filed by or against a group of individuals or an entity (such as a business).

    IF YOU ARE A MINOR (UNDER AGE 18) one of your parents or your legal guardian must file the Petition on your behalf.

    IF YOU ARE FILING AGAINST A MINOR you must provide the the first and last name of the minor child against whom you are filing as well as the first and last name of that minor's parent or legal guardian.

    WHEN FILLING OUT YOUR PETITION:

    • YOU MUST PROVIDE THE RESPONDENT'S FIRST AND LAST NAME.
    • IF YOU DO NOT WANT THE RESPONDENT TO KNOW WHERE YOU ARE LIVING: write "Confidential" anywhere your address is requested in the Petition and related forms. You should then fill out a Petitioner's Request for Confidential Filing of Address form. This form will not be subject to public disclosure.
    • PROVIDE A BRIEF, SPECIFIC SUMMARY of any recent violence or stalking that the Respondent has committed against you. If you use general terms such as "violence" and "threats" you should include a description of the acts committed and/or words used.
    • COPIES OF SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATIO (such as police reports, other court orders, etc.) may be submitted, but are generally not necessary. The
    • YOU MUST PROVIDE THE RESPONDENT'S LOCATION and/or as much information about the respondent as you can by completing a Sheriff's Information Sheet, so that the Sheriff's Office can serve (hand deliver) certified copies of the Judge's order and your Petition to him or her (as required by law if a hearing is scheduled).
      • If the Respondent lives outside of the State of Florida, you will need to contact the Sheriff of the county that he or she lives in to obtain information about having Court papers "served". Provide this information and any relevant fees to the Clerk's Office where you filed your Petition by completing an Out-of-County Service Information Sheet.
    IF YOU FEEL YOU ARE IN IMMINENT DANGER OF VIOLENCE you should contact your local law enforcement agency.

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    Once you file a Petition:

    IT WILL BE TAKEN TO A JUDGE FOR REVIEW.
      THE JUDGE MAY MAKE ONE OF THREE DECISIONS:
    1. Determine that you need protection and put in place a Temporary Injunction.
    2. Determine that your allegations do not meet Florida Statute requirements for a Temporary Injunction to be put in place but find that a hearing is merited.
    3. Determine that your situation does not meet Florida Statute requirements for a Temporary Injunction to be put in place and that a hearing is not merited.
    In the first two instances, a hearing will be scheduled (within seven (7) to fifteen (15) calendar days of your Petition filing date) that you will be required to attend. The Respondent will be served (hand delivered) notice of the hearing and certified copies of both the Judge's order and your Petition.

    YOU WILL NEED TO RETURN to the Clerk's Office where you file your Petition, on the day that you file your Petition, between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to receive paperwork explaining the Judge's decision.

    IF A HEARING IS SCHEDULED, the Judge at the hearing will determine whether or not to grant you a Final Judgment based on testimony from you, the Respondent and any eye-witnesses. If the Judge grants you a Final Judgment, it may be in effect for an indefinite period of time or may expire on a specific date.

    IF YOUR PETITION IS DENIED, but new information about additional acts of violence or stalking arises, you may ask the Judge to review your original Petition and these new acts by filing a Supplemental Affidavit in Support of Petition for Injunction for Protection (F.L. Form 12.980(g)).

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    Violation of Injunction:

    IF THE RESPONDENT CONTINUES TO HARASS YOU after an Injunction has been entered, you should first contact your local law enforcement agency and file a police report. If law enforcement does not find that there are grounds to press criminal charges, but you wish to pursue a Violation of Injunction, you can go to one of the Pinellas County Clerk's Office locations listed at the bottom of this page, Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., excluding County holidays, and fill out, then file an Affidavit in Support of Violation of Injunction. Your affidavit will then be taken to the Judge for determination.

    Some examples of possible Violations of Injunction by a Respondent are:

    1. Refusing to vacate the dwelling that the parties share;
    2. Going to, or being within 500 feet of, the petitioner's residence, school, place of employment, or a specified place frequented regularly by the petitioner and any named family or household member;
    3. Committing an act of violence against the petitioner;
    4. Committing any other violation of the Injunction through an intentional unlawful threat, word or act to do violence to the petitioner;
    5. Telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the petitioner directly or indirectly, unless the Injunction specifically allows indirect contact through a third party;
    6. Knowingly and intentionally coming within 100 feet of the petitioner's motor vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is occupied;
    7. Defacing or destroying the petitioner's personal property, including the petitioner's motor vehicle; or
    8. Refusing to surrender firearms or ammunition if ordered to do so by the court.

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    Contempt of Injunction:

    EITHER PARTY MAY FILE FOR CONTEMPT if the opposing party is not complying with the Final Judgment in regards to child support, custody, and/or visitation, the aggrieved (wronged) party may file a Motion for Civil Contempt/Enforcement of Final Judgment of Injunction-Child Support and/or Visitation at one of the Pinellas County Clerk's Office locations listed at the bottom of this page, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., excluding County holidays. The matter may be referred to the General Magistrate. If a hearing is scheduled both parties will be notified by mail of the hearing date, time and location.

    Modification to Injunction:

    EITHER PARTY MAY REQUEST CHANGES TO THE PROVISIONS of the Injunction by filing a Motion for Modification of Injunction for Protection at one of the Pinellas County Clerk's Office locations listed at the bottom of this page, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., excluding County holidays.

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    Extension of Injunction:

    IF YOUR INJUNCTION IS ABOUT TO EXPIRE you may file a Motion for Extension of Injunction for Protection at one of the Clerk's Office locations listed below.

    You should file your Motion for Extension at least two (2) weeks prior to the expiration date. If a hearing is scheduled both parties will be notified by mail of the hearing date, time and location.


    Dismissal of Injunction:

    EITHER PARTY MAY REQUEST A DISMISSAL by filing Motion to Dismiss (CTCIV140Ab) at one of the Clerk's Office locations listed below. If a hearing is scheduled both parties will be notified by mail of the hearing date, time and location.

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    Forms:

    ADDITIONAL FORMS ARE AVAILABLE at one of the Pinellas County Clerk's Office locations listed at the bottom of this page, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., excluding County holidays. You may get the forms in person when you go to file a petition, or you may print them out from this page.

    Initiating Forms:

  • Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence (F.L. Form 12.980(a))
  • Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Repeat Violence (F.L. Form 12.980(f))
  • Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Dating Violence (F.L. Form 12.980(n))
  • Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Sexual Violence (F.L. Form 12.980(q)
  • Supplemental Affidavit in Support of Petition for Injunction for Protection (F.L. Form 12.980(g))

    Post-Judgment Forms: (Not related to Child Support, Custody and/or Visistation)

  • Affidavit in Support of Violation of Injunction Order (CTCIV204)
  • Motion for Modification of Injunction for Protection (F.L. Form 12.980(j))
    (non-child support/custody/visitation related)
  • Motion for Extension of Injunction for Protection (F.L. Form 12.980(i))
  • Motion to Dismiss (CTCIV140Ab)

    Post-Judgment Forms: (Related to Child Support, Custody, and/or Visitation)

  • Motion for Civil Contempt/Enforcement of Final Judgment of Injunction-Child Support and/or Visitation
  • Motion for Modification of Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence
    (Child support/custody/visitation related)
  • Miscellaneous Forms:

  • Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Affidavit (F. L. Form 12.902(d))
  • Petitioner's Request for Confidential Filing of Address (F.L. Form 12.980(h))
  • Sheriff's Information Sheet
  • General Motion

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    A Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Domestic/Repeat/Sexual/Dating Violence, as well as all related or post-judgment paperwork, may be filed or additional information obtained, at any of the following locations between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding County holidays.
    Please Note: For faster and more efficient service all paperwork being mailed should be sent to the Civil Court Records address.

    For more information call (727) 464-7000.

    CIVIL COURT RECORDS
    315 Court Street, Room 170
    Clearwater, FL 33756

    CRIMINAL JUSTICE CENTER
    14250 49th Street North
    Clearwater, FL 33762

    ST. PETERSBURG BRANCH OFFICE
    545 First Avenue North, Room 101
    St. Petersburg, FL 33701

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  • Ken Burke, Clerk of the Circuit Court
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