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An injunction is a court order that is sometimes referred to as a “Restraining Order”. This order directs a person not to have any contact with you. The parties to an injunction proceeding are labeled “petitioner” and “respondent” The petitioner is usually the person seeking to have an injunction ordered. While the respondent is typically the person against whom the injunction is sought. It is one legal means of helping to protect a person from threats or acts of violence and or stalking by another person. There are four (4) kinds of civil injunction petitions that can be filed with the Clerk of Court in your county: domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence, and repeat violence/stalking. Each type has different requirements based on your relationship with the other person, and what occurred.

Typically, the process for an injunction will start with one party filing a Petition of Injunction with the Clerk of Court. The petition is merely the legal document used to ask the court to enter a permanent injunction. The petitioner is usually the person who files this document. In this document the petitioner gives information about themselves and where they live, any children they may have and or some brief history on the petitioner and respondent’s relationship. The address and last known whereabouts of the respondent will be asked. The petitioner is then asked about the instances giving rise to the petition. It is here with as much specificity as possible the petitioner will be required to set out the facts of the alleged violence, and or stalking. In these sections of the petition detail and dates are key. There are spaces on the legal petition for this explanation of facts also if the petitioner chooses, they may add a supplement to this petition where even more detail could be articulated.

After the petition is filed the court will usually decide on issuing a temporary injunction. Typically, if there is a recent incident alleged and it is the opinion of the court that a present or imminent threat of violence does exist then the court may grant a temporary injunction against the respondent. This is not final and does not mean the case is over just that in the time that the matter is pending there will be an order prohibiting contact of any kind. During this temporary injunction the respondent will likely be served with a copy of the petition and a hearing set to determine if a permanent injunction will be ordered.

Prior to the setting of a final hearing, the court will likely inquire as to whether this is a contested or uncontested petition for injunction. This simply means whether the respondent is opposed to the imposition of an injunction against them in the matter. If there is no opposition, the court will likely enter an order granting the permanent injunction. The duration of the injunction is determined by the court having the hearing, but great weight is given to the petitioner as far as how long they would like the injunction to be in effect subject to statutory provisions.

If the injunction will be contested this simply means that a hearing will be needed. At the final hearing both parties will likely be present in court. The petitioner will be called first and present their case for the injunction. If after the conclusion of the petitioner’s presentation the Judge is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence presented showing that there is a present and imminent threat to the petitioner, the respondent will be asked if they would like to present any evidence. Note that the respondent also has the right to cross-examine any of the portioner’s witness.

At the conclusion of both parties’ presentation, the Judge will make a ruling either granting or denying the petition. For more information on this call 407-717-8557.

DISCLAIMER: For More information on the legal process please call us at 407-717-8557. Note that the above information is not a guarantee of how your case will proceed nor is this page legal advice under an established client-attorney representation. This page is but a basic general overview of the misdemeanor judicial process in Florida and is intended for educational purposes only.