17 Issues Related to Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
A domestic violence restraining order is an important tool that can help protect victims of criminal abuse. The law authorizing the issuance of such an Order can be found in Chapter 741 of Florida Statutes. These court-issued injunctions prohibit the abuser from engaging in certain behaviors and provide some level of safety to the victim and his or her family. However, obtaining a restraining order isn’t always easy. This article will list 17 legal issues most often litigated related to domestic violence restraining orders, from having an Order issued to modifying or extending it once it has been issued.
Here is a list of common legal issues related to domestic violence restraining orders:
- Restraining orders require the party seeking the Order to have “substantial” evidence of “imminent” danger – Ex. The history between the petitioner and the respondent, including threats, harassment, stalking, and physical abuse.
- There are 8 ways listed in the law for someone to violate a restraining order, including refusing to vacate the dwelling that the parties share;
- Consequences for violating a court ordered restraining order – Florida Statute 741.31 states a person who violates a restraining order “commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, except as provided in paragraph (c).”
- Admissibility of evidence
- Burden of proof
- Child support and Temporary Alimony – You should consider filing an immediate petition for temporary support.
- Custody of children Expert witness fees
- Expiration of injunctions
- Extension of injunctions
- Firearms risk protection orders
- Permanent injunctions
- Sufficiency of evidence
- Sufficiency of notice
- Temporary restraining orders
- Terms of injunctions
- Modification of injunctions
- Voluntary dismissal of Injunctions – A petitioner or respondent may move to modify or dissolve a domestic violence injunction at any time, with no specific allegations required. Evidence supporting the request for modification must be presented and due process requires notice to the other party and an opportunity for them to be heard.
According to the legislature, the reason for the law is clear:
It is the intent of the Legislature that domestic violence be treated as a criminal act rather than a private matter. For that reason, criminal prosecution shall be the favored method of enforcing compliance with injunctions for protection against domestic violence as both length and severity of sentence for those found to have committed the crime of domestic violence can be greater, thus providing greater protection to victims and better accountability of perpetrators. This provision shall not preclude such enforcement by the court through the use of indirect criminal contempt. The state attorney in each circuit shall adopt a pro-prosecution policy for acts of domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28, and an intake policy and procedures coordinated with the clerk of court for violations of injunctions for protection against domestic violence.
Quick Facts About Filing A Petition For A Domestic Violence Injunction
A person experiencing or in danger of domestic violence can file a sworn petition for an injunction in the circuit court. There is no fee to do so and no bond required. The clerk of court is responsible for assisting with both injunctions and enforcement thereof, and the hearing must be set as soon as possible. Additionally, neither party needs to be represented by an attorney and the action cannot affect title to any real estate.
What Should You Do Now?
Domestic violence restraining orders can be difficult to obtain, modify or extend. It is important for victims of abuse to understand the legal issues with these Orders and their rights when it comes to obtaining and maintaining a restraining order. There are many resources available online, include at the County and State level and through independent advocacy groups.
Additionally, those who are accused of domestic violence should also know how they might violate such an injunction and what the consequences may be for doing so.
If you are facing domestic violence and need assistance or guidance from a lawyer on how best to approach the situation, especially when there are minor children, please feel free to contact us. Larry Schott can help provide clarity and support throughout this sometimes difficult process.
Do you have a question? Call Larry Schott Today at 954-880-1302
Contact us today to learn how we can help. Larry will listen to your case and explain your rights. When you’re ready to work with an experienced divorce attorney, please feel free to fill out the form on our Contact Us page or give us a call at (954) 880-1302.
To Learn More Read Our in-Depth Article: How to Get a Restraining Order in Broward and all Florida Counties