Filing a Restraining Order in Florida: Expert Guidance from a Florida Law Firm
Filing a restraining order, also known as a protection order, can be a critical step in safeguarding yourself and your loved ones from harassment, stalking, or abuse. As a trusted Florida law firm specializing in family law, we understand the legal complexities and emotional toll involved in such situations. In this blog post, we’ll outline the necessary steps for filing a restraining order in Florida.
Step 1: Determine the Type of Protection Order
Florida law provides four types of protection orders for different situations: domestic violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, and dating violence. Each has specific criteria, so it’s essential to identify the one most relevant to your situation.
Step 2: Obtain and Complete Necessary Forms
The required forms for a restraining order can be obtained from the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office in your county or downloaded from the Florida Courts website. You’ll need to complete the “Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence,” or the appropriate form for your type of restraining order.
Step 3: Filing the Petition
Once you’ve completed the forms, return them to the Clerk’s office. Be as specific as possible in describing the incidents leading you to seek the order. Remember, these forms will be read by the judge and form the basis of your request.
Step 4: Court Review
After filing, a judge will review your petition. If the judge believes you are in immediate danger based on your petition, a temporary ex parte order may be granted, which lasts up to 15 days.
Step 5: Hearing
A full hearing is usually scheduled within 15 days, at which you and the respondent (the person you’re seeking protection from) can present evidence and testimony. If the judge grants a final restraining order, it can last up to a year, and can be extended if necessary.
Step 6: Enforcement
If a restraining order is granted, any violation of the order is a crime. If the respondent violates the order, contact law enforcement immediately.
While these steps provide a general guide, every situation is unique, and it’s critical to seek professional legal advice when seeking a restraining order.
As a seasoned Florida law firm, we’re committed to providing expert legal guidance in difficult situations. If you’re considering a restraining order, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for personalized advice and support.