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Injunctions: What Is And What Isn't Third-Party Contact?

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If you are the respondent in an Injunction proceeding, or a Petitioner, you need to understand the concept of third-party contact.

If you are on the receiving end of an injunction (restraining order) or you have obtained one in your favor, third-party contact will be expressly prohibited by the terms of the Injunction.

An Injunction, be it permanent or temporary, is a court order the prevents one person from contacting another.  This includes direct contact - such as an in-person visit, a phone call, a text, an email or letter, or a social media message.  Third-party, or indirect contact, means that one person passes a message to the other through a third-party.  

A common example of third-party contact would be when the Respondent, who has received a five-year permanent Injunction, tells his friend to tell the Petitioner he says hello.

While seemingly innocuous, this simple act of passing a message to the Petitioner through a third person constitutes a violation of the Injunction, as well as the commission of a misdemeanor offense.

It is not considered third-party contact to look at somebody's Facebook page or other online profile.  It is not a violation of the third-party contact prohibition to Google somebody.

It would be a violation only if the Judge has expressly forbidden you from look at the Petitioner's Facebook page or something to that effect.  In sum, the standard language of an Injunction in the State of Florida would only prohibit third-party communication.  That is, a message must be conveyed from the Respondent to the Petitioner through a third person.

Remember - Injunctions may be issued for sexual violence, repeat violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

Eric Matheny represents clients seeking Injunctions (Petitioners) as well as those receiving them (Respondents).  Eric Matheny represents clients in Injunction proceedings in Miami-Dade and Broward.