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Temporary And Permanent Injunctions For Domestic Violence Or Repeat Violence

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Obtaining a restraining order or permanent injunction in Miami-Dade County or Broward County, Florida is not always a simple procedure.

First, you must see if you meet the statutory criteria necessary to obtain one.

Are you a victim of domestic violence? If so, is the person you are seeking an injunction against a blood relative, spouse, former spouse, somebody with whom you are in a romantic relationship and are residing together or have resided together in the past, or somebody with whom you have children?

If the person is related to you in the manner mentioned above, are you in imminent danger of becoming a victim of violence at the hands of this person? Violence includes assault, battery, stalking, sexual violence, or any act that could cause death or great bodily harm?

Has an act or threat of violence occurred within the past six months?

If seeking a repeat violence injunction, the party against whom you are seeking the injunction need not be related to you, but your petition must allege at least two incidents of violence with one incident occurring within the past six months.

If the above criteria can be met, you will file a Petition with the Court. You, as the party seeking the relief, are known as the Petitioner. The party against whom you are seeking the injunction is known as the Respondent.

In Miami-Dade, you will file your Petition at Courthouse Center. In Broward, you will file at the Broward Judicial Complex.

If the Petition is legally sufficient, the court will issue a temporary restraining order which will prohibit the Respondent from contacting you until a final judgment is entered. The Respondent shall be served with a copy of the Petition and a notice of the hearing, which is typically 7 days after issuance of the temporary restraining order.

At the hearing, both the Petitioner and Respondent should be represented by attorneys. Your attorney, if you are the Petitioner, must prove the allegations set forth in the Petition. This is done through the testimony of witnesses (including the Petitioner), as well as the introduction of evidence. Evidence could consist of photos, text messages, emails, and phone records.

The Respondent will have an opportunity to challenge the evidence as well as present testimony and evidence of their own.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Judge with either deny the Petition if the statutory criteria has not been met or grant the Petition.

If the Judge grants the Petition, a permanent injunction may be issued. "Permanent" means final judgement of the court. It doesn't necessarily mean "forever." The Judge will issue the injunction for a period of months, years, or indefinitely.

Either side may move to modify or vacate the injunction at any time.

If you are successful in obtaining the injunction, the Respondent must stay away from you and may not have any contact whatsoever with you. They must also, by law, not possess any firearms while the injunction is in place.

If you are a victim and you are in need of a restraining order, retain the services of a qualified attorney who understands the legal requirements that must be met in order to obtain the relief you need.