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Injunction for Protection against Domestic Violence

Florida law provides a mechanism to issue injunctions for protection against domestic violence (also called restraining orders). The order can be issued in civil court. The person who files the petition is called the petitioner. The person who must respond to the petition is called the respondent.

If you have been served with an order for protection for domestic violence, then contact an experienced attorney at the Galigani Law Firm to discuss your defense for any case in Gainesville, Ocala, Alachua and nearby areas. The order of protection is a drastic remedy that can have long-lasting consequences, particularly for anyone who has been falsely accused of domestic violence.


Injunction Against Domestic Violence Information Center


Obtaining a DV Injunction in Florida

In Alachua County, the petitioner can obtain an Injunction for Protection against Domestic Violence at the following address:

Civil Justice Center / Alachua County Family
(often called the "Old" Courthouse or the Civil Courthouse)
201 East University Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32601

In order to qualify for an ex parte order of protection, the petitioner must allege being a victim of domestic violence as defined by Florida Statutes within the last 6 months. Florida law defines the term "victim of domestic violence" to mean a person who has reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in immediate danger of becoming the victim of any act of domestic violence.


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Different from a "No Contact Order"

A no contact order can be issued as a condition of bond or as a condition of probation after a person is put on probation for a crime of domestic violence such as domestic violence battery or assault, stalking or cyberstalking, or violation of an injunction against domestic violence.


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Injunction Against Domestic Violence under Florida Law

Under Florida law, an injunction against domestic violence can be issued against a respondent who is "domestically related" to the petitioner in one of the following ways:

  • a husband and wife or former husband and wife;
  • people related by blood or marriage;
  • people who have previously lived together in an intimate or romantic relationship; or
  • people who have a child together (even if they were never married and never lived together.

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Consequences of an Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence

An injunction for protection against domestic violence can prevent the respondent from doing any of the following:

  • Owning or possession any firearm or ammunition;
  • Going to the home, or the petitioner's place of business, or the child's school or daycare facility;
  • Prevent the respondent from communicating with the petitioner either directly or indirectly by calling, texting, or writing to the petitioner;
  • Give the petitioner temporary custody of any children which is called "100% of the time-sharing" in a temporary parenting plan;
  • Give the respondent only limited time-sharing which is supervised by a third party;
  • Order the respondent to pay child support or spousal support to the petitioner;
  • Order the respondent to attend a batterers' intervention program (BIP), or obtain a mental health or substance abuse evaluation and complete any recommended follow-up treatment.

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Other Types of Injunctions for Protection in Florida

In addition to injunctions against domestic violence, Florida law provides for three other types of injunctions including: repeat violence, dating violence and sexual violence.


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Injunction Against Repeat Violence

Under Florida law, an injunction against repeat violence can be filed if the petitioner alleges that the respondent committed at least two acts of stalking, harassment or violence against the petitioner or an immediately family member such as a parent, child, or sibling when at least two of those acts occurred within the last 6 months.


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Injunction Against Dating Violence

In Florida, the petitioner can file for an injunction against dating violence if the petitioner has been subjected to domestic violence or reasonably believes that he or she is in immediate danger of becoming the victim of domestic violence by someone with whom he or she has been dating within the last six months.

Dating is generally defined as being in a significant and continuing relationship of an intimate or romantic nature within the past six months. Dating violence does not include acts between neighbors or "roommates" or other people who know each other from a social or a business setting.


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Injunction Against Sexual Violence under Florida Law

Under Florida law, the petitioner can file for an injunction against sexual violence if the petitioner has been a victim of sexual violence. To qualify for a petition for an injunction against sexual violence, the petitioner must have reported the act of sexual violence to the law enforcement and cooperate with any criminal investigation or criminal proceeding against the person accused of the act of sexual violence.


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Injunctions for Protection Can be Filed On Behalf Of a Child

An injunction for protection can be filed on behalf of a child under the age of 18 years old (which is often abbreviated as OBO) by a parent or guardian.


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Jurisdiction in Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence

The petitioner can file for an injunction for protection against domestic violence in the Circuit Court in the county where the petitioner lives or works, or where the respondent lives, or where the alleged acts of domestic violence occurred.


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Resources

Alachua County Sheriff's Office Victim Services for DV Injunctions - Provides information on obtaining "after hours" domestic violence services provided by Alachua County Sheriff's Office (ACSO), including on weekends or holidays from ACSO staff who are authorized to act as a Deputy Clerk of the Court.

Gainesville Police Department Domestic Violence Unit - The domestic violence unit of the Gainesville Police Department provides important information on orders for protection against domestic violence, repeat violence or dating violence in Alachua County, Florida. Read more about how the Gainesville Police Department provides assistance with protective injunctions including advocates who assist the alleged victims in filing and obtaining a protective injunction against domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence or repeat violence.


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Finding an Attorney for an Order of Protection Against Domestic Violence Injunction

If you have been served with an order of protection against domestic violence, repeat violence, dating violence or sexual violence, then contact the Galigani Law Firm to speak with an experienced attorney. We represent respondents and petitioners in cases throughout Alachua County, Union County, Bradford County, Marion County, and the surrounding areas. Call an experienced domestic violence attorney in Gainesville, FL, to discuss your defense today.