Jacksonville Injunction Lawyers: Temporary & Permanent Injunctions
In addition to representing clients facing criminal charges, the firm of Lufrano Legal, P.A. also assists Florida residents with injunctions for protection. Tensions often run high in this type of case, and it can be difficult to clearly, calmly, and concisely present the evidence in the most effective way. Working with an experienced Jacksonville injunction attorney can help keep the focus on the evidence and legal arguments that best support your position, and can reduce the stress that comes with having to interact directly with the other party.
Whether you are in need of a protective injunction or have been served with an injunction and want to fight the injunction or limit its terms, we’re here to help.
What is an Injunction for Protection?
“Injunction” is the legal term for a court order that prohibits (enjoins) someone from doing something. You may also hear protective injunctions described as “restraining orders” or “protective orders.” Although they may have similar provisions, injunctions are separate from the no-contact orders that are sometimes entered in criminal proceedings.
Types of Protective Injunctions in Florida
In Florida, there are five types of protective injunctions:
- Domestic Violence injunctions
- Repeat Violence injunctions
- Dating Violence injunctions
- Sexual Violence injunctions
- Stalking injunctions / Cyberstalking injunctions
While these injunctions are similar in many ways, the requirements for obtaining each injunction are a bit different. For example, a domestic violence injunction may only be entered against specific people, including relatives and intimate partners who live with or have lived with the petitioner and co-parents of children. But, other types of injunctions may be entered against anyone as long as the person has committed the acts specified for each. The restrictions that may be or must be placed on the person restrained are also different depending on the type of restraining order.
Temporary Injunctions for Protection
In some cases, a temporary injunction may be entered based on the sworn petition, even before the other party has been notified or has had a chance to respond. This can provide the person who has been injured, threatened or stalked with important protection right away, rather than having to wait for a court hearing. However, the respondent can’t be expected to comply with an order they don’t know about. So, if a temporary injunction is entered without notice, the order does not become effective until the respondent is served.
Injunction Hearings in Florida
While Florida law recognizes that an immediate order of protection may sometimes be necessary, that need is balanced with the respondent’s right to address the allegations in court. So, when a temporary injunction is entered based on the petition and without advance notice to the respondent, the court must set a hearing within 15 days. At that hearing, the petitioner may present evidence (in the form of documents, witnesses, and their own testimony) and the party served with the injunction will have an opportunity to respond before the judge makes a decision about entering a permanent injunction. Each party has the right to subpoena witnesses if necessary.
Building an Order of Protection Case in Florida
Petitioning for an Order of Protection
Your case for a Florida protective order begins with your petition and supporting documents. If the judge reviews your petition and determines that there are no grounds for an injunction, the petition may be dismissed without a court hearing. If that happens, you can refile. But, you may lose valuable time re-starting the process. It’s in your best interest to ensure that your paperwork is complete, accurate, and effective from the beginning.
In the brief period between filing your petition and your hearing, you’ll have to assemble any evidence you want to present to the court and make arrangements for any witnesses you may want to call. Depending on the witness, you have to send a subpoena to make sure they appear in court.
A Jacksonville injunction lawyer can help you assemble the evidence required, assess what will be required to get that evidence admitted in court, and handle the technical aspects of presentation of evidence and questioning of witnesses for you. The attorney will also cross-examine the respondent, if necessary, so you don’t have to engage directly with the person who hurt or threatened you.
Defending against a Florida Injunction for Protection
The requirement that a hearing be set within 15 days when a temporary injunction is entered protects the respondent from being restrained for a longer period of time without the opportunity to respond to the allegations and get a ruling from the court based on evidence from both sides. But, this also means that if you have been served with a temporary restraining order, you have little time to prepare your defense. You should reach out to a Jacksonville injunction attorney as quickly as possible to learn more about what type of evidence may be helpful in fighting a Florida restraining order, how that evidence may be presented to the court, how to secure witnesses on your behalf, and other important information.
Your attorney can also help ensure that the petitioner presents only relevant and admissible evidence. And, an experienced Florida injunction attorney will know how to question witnesses to bring out the other side of the story, highlight any inconsistencies that may call their testimony into question, and ensure that the court hears a more complete and accurate version of events.
Get the Help You Need with a Florida Protective Order
Whether you’re seeking an injunction for protection after having been the victim of domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking, or repeat violence or have been served with a temporary injunction, your next step should be to consult an experienced Florida injunction lawyer.
Matthew Lufrano, of Lufrano Legal, P.A., has the experience necessary to skillfully navigate any injunction proceeding. The firm also offers free consultations to help you make informed decisions. Schedule yours now by calling 904-513-3905.
Florida Injunction FAQs
Obtaining an injunction for protection in Florida requires proving very specific points, and each type of injunction has slightly different requirements. It is also critical that you clearly understand what a restraining order prohibits, what to do if someone violates your restraining order, and what consequences you may face if you are the one to violate the court’s order. Therefore, it is generally best to consult an attorney who is experienced in handling protective injunctions.
The information below provides a general overview of who can get a protective injunction, how these injunctions are obtained, what types of actions they prohibit, and what you can expect when an injunction is violated.
What is an injunction?
An injunction is simply a court order that tells an individual, business, or governmental entity that it can’t do something, and there will be legal consequences if it does. Injunctions arise in a wide range of circumstances: divorcing parties may be enjoined from selling marital property pending a settlement or court order; a business may be enjoined from bulldozing a forest to put up a strip mall pending an environmental impact study; and a gossip magazine may be enjoined from publishing private photos of a celebrity.
One of the most common types of injunction in Florida is the injunction for protection, which is entered to protect individuals from violence, stalking, and other types of harassment and intimidation.
For more information on Florida injunctions, read our free post “What is an Injunction? Meaning, Types, & Implications of Florida Injunctions.”
How is a Florida injunction for protection different?
Injunctions for protection are a special type of injunction that is used to protect victims of domestic violence, stalking, or certain other types of violence. The specifics differ depending on the type of order sought and sometimes from case to case. But, a protective injunction may prohibit the restrained person from committing further acts of violence or harassment, may bar the respondent from the petitioner’s home, and may prohibit contact.
Injunctions for protection may also impose obligations on the respondent, such as surrendering any guns and ammunition and attending a Batterers’ Intervention Program (BIP).
What happens when you file an injunction in Florda?
When you petition for an injunction, the court may or may not enter a temporary restraining order immediately. If the court enters a temporary injunction, Florida law requires that a hearing be scheduled within 15 days. If the court determines that there is not sufficient evidence in the petition to support a temporary injunction, the judge may still schedule a hearing to determine whether a permanent injunction is appropriate.
At that hearing, both parties will have the opportunity to present evidence.
How long does a restraining order last?
If the court enters a temporary restraining order based on the sworn petition, that order remains in effect until the scheduled hearing date. At the hearing, the judge will determine whether or not to enter a permanent injunction.
It’s important to note, though, that the term “permanent” injunction is used here to distinguish from the temporary injunction that is entered without a hearing. A court-ordered injunction may be indefinite, remaining in effect until one of the parties successfully petitions to have it dissolved. But, a longer-term injunction may also be entered for a set period, such as one year or five years.
How much does it cost to get a restraining order?
Florida law prohibits courts from charging a filing fee for domestic violence injunctions for protection. The court may charge a filing fee for certain other types of protective injunctions, but it is usually quite low. The Florida statute regarding sexual violence protective orders caps the filing fee at $20. And, some courts don’t even charge that.
How can I fight a restraining order against me?
Florida law ensures that a person who has been served with a temporary injunction for protection or is the respondent in a pending petition for an injunction for protection has an opportunity to respond. If a temporary order has been entered, it will typically last only until your scheduled hearing date, at which time you will have the opportunity to present evidence as to why the injunction is not necessary for the protection of the petitioner.
Only certain types of evidence are admissible in a courtroom proceeding, and in some cases you are required to provide copies of evidence to the petitioner, so it is in your best interest to work with an attorney experienced in handling injunction cases to prepare your defense.
What happens if I don’t appear for a protective injunction hearing?
Both parties are ordered to appear for hearing on an injunction for protection, and the Duval County Court warns that if either party fails to appear, he or she may be held in contempt of court.
If the respondent fails to appear, the court may proceed and enter a permanent order based on the petitioner’s evidence. However, the petitioner bears the burden of proof. So, if the petitioner fails to appear, the temporary injunction will expire and the petition will typically be dismissed, leaving the petitioner unprotected.
What should I do if someone violates my injunction for protection?
If you have a restraining order for domestic violence, sexual violence, repeat violence, stalking, or dating violence and the restrained person violates that order, you should call your local police immediately. If you feel you are in danger, call 911. If you are represented by an attorney, notify your attorney as soon as possible after the incident. However, you should never delay contacting the police if you are in a potentially dangerous situation.
You may also go to the Court Clerk’s office to fill out an affidavit informing the court of the violation and asking that the respondent be held in contempt. If you have an injunction attorney representing you, you should speak with your attorney before deciding whether to pursue a contempt citation against the respondent.
What happens if I violate an injunction for protection?
Violating a Florida injunction is serious business. First, an injunction is a court order, which means that anyone who violates the order may be held in contempt of court. Florida judges have broad discretion about the penalties they may impose for violation of court orders.
But, that’s only the beginning. Violation of one of the types of injunctions listed above is also a crime in Florida; a first-time violation is a first degree misdemeanor. That means a conviction could carry a sentence of up to 12 months in jail. In certain circumstances, violation of a protective order can also be used as evidence to convict the respondent of other crimes, such as stalking.