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When Should I Seek A Restraining Order?

A restraining order, or injunction, is a court order preventing another individual from having any contact with you.  Injunctions can be imposed for a set period of time - for instance, one year - or indefinitely.  In other words, forever.

The decision to seek a restraining order against somebody should not be made lightly.  The courts are not a forum in which we can air personal grievances.  A judge will only impose a restraining order against another if the respondent - the person receiving the restraining order - is a threat to the petitioner - the person seeking the court's protection.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you should consider seeking a restraining order.  Florida law defines a domestic relationship as one where two people live together, have lived together in the past, or have children in common.  Any act of violence that occurs between two people in a domestic relationship will satisfy the requirement for a restraining order.

If you are not in a domestic relationship but are the victim of repeat violence, you may want to consider a restraining order.  Repeat violence would include an act of violence (battery, assault, etc...) that has occurred more than once.  Specifically, Florida law defines repeat violence as "two incidents of violence or stalking committed by the respondent, one of which must have been within 6 months of the filing of the petition, which are directed against the petitioner or the petitioner’s immediate family member."

Sexual violence would be the type of restraining order needed if you are the victim of a sexual battery or other sex crime.

Stalking violence would be the type of restraining order you would seek if you are the victim of stalking or cyberstalking.  Florida law defines stalking as, "when someone willfully (intentionally), maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person."  Specifically, Florida law defines cyberstalking as, "a series of acts that communicate (or cause to be communicated) words, images, or language through e-mail or other electronic communication that is directed at you, causing you substantial emotional distress (and serving no legitimate purpose)."

If you qualify for any of the named criteria for an injunction in Miami-Dade County, contact me to discuss your options.