Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence

Under section 741.30(1)(a), Florida Statutes (2010), any person “who is either a victim of domestic violence ... or has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of any act of domestic violence,” may file a petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence. 

When moving for an extension of a preexisting injunction, the petitioner must establish either that additional domestic violence has occurred or that, at the time the petition for extension is filed, he or she has a continuing reasonable fear of being in imminent danger of becoming the victim of domestic violence.

We also represent clients in a motion to dissolve an injunction for protection when the scenario underlying the injunction no longer exists so that continuation of the injunction would serve no valid purpose.

Attorneys for Injunctions for DV Protection in Fort Lauderdale, FL

When the petitioner fills out the paperwork for an injunction, the court will often enter an “ex parte order” without any notice to the other side. The court must also set a hearing so that the other side can come to court to contest the allegations and fight for the injunction to be dismissed.

If the “ex parte order” was entered and a return hearing was set, be sure to find representation to fight the case at that hearing or ask for a continuance so that you have more time to be prepared to show the allegations are false or exaggerated.

If you were served with a petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL, for any case in Broward County. 

You are entitled to fight the allegations at an evidentiary hearing. We can also represent you if the other side wants to modify the injunction, dismiss the injunction or extend the injunction after a change in circumstances. 

Hire an attorney to defend yourself against a petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence. We represent both men and women during hearings on a petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence in Broward County, FL.

Call (954) 716-8538 to discuss your case.


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Requirement for a Domestic Violence Injunction

The trial court may grant a domestic violence injunction for either one of two reasons as provided in Florida Statute § 741.30(6)(a):

  • the petitioner is the victim of domestic violence; or
  • he or she has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.

When determining whether the petitioner has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, the court will consider and evaluate several factors including:

  • the history between the petitioner and the respondent, including threats, harassment, stalking, physical abuse;
  • whether the respondent has attempted to harm the petitioner or family members or individuals closely associated with the petitioner;
  • whether the respondent has physically restrained the petitioner from leaving the home;
  • whether the respondent has destroyed personal property belonging to the petitioner.

In other words, the trial court must consider the current allegations, the parties' behavior within the relationship, and the history of the relationship as a whole.


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Types of Accusations in Domestic Violence Injunction Hearings

For domestic violence injunction hearings, the term “domestic violence” is defined as any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member including:


Jurisdiction for DV Injunctions are Filed in Broward County, FL

A petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence may be filed in the circuit in Broward County when the petitioner currently or temporarily resides in Broward County, where the respondent resides in Broward County, or where the domestic violence occurred in Broward County, FL. Florida law does not require any minimum requirement of residency to petition for an injunction for protection.


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Procedures in DV Injunction Cases in Fort Lauderdale, FL

The sworn petition for an injunction for protection from domestic violence must be in substantially the form set forth in the statute. After the filing of the petition, the court is required to set a hearing and the respondent must be personally served with a copy of the petition.

If there is an immediate and present danger of domestic violence, the court is permitted to grant a temporary injunction ex parte until the full hearing is held.

Florida law provides a list of factors to be considered by the court when considering whether the petitioner has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.

Allegations contained in a petition for an injunction against dating violence must establish an immediate and present danger of violence against the petitioner. When this requirement is met, the petitioner is entitled to a temporary injunction pending a full hearing on the petition.

The petitioner has the right to allege and prove the grounds for injunctive protection at a full and fair evidentiary hearing. Likewise, the respondent is entitled to a fair hearing and protection from the effects of a final judgment of injunction that lacks any evidentiary support.

Due process requires that each party have a reasonable opportunity to prove or disprove the allegations made in injunction cases.


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Motion to Dissolve the Injunction in Florida

Even after the injunction for protection has been entered, the respondent can file a motion to dissolve the injunction if the circumstances have changed. The motion can be filed to dissolve an injunction for protection from domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or repeat violence. 

In Florida, either the petitioner or respondent can seek to dissolve an injunction by demonstrating that the scenario underlying the injunction no longer exists so that continuation of the injunction would serve no valid purpose.

The party opposing dissolution must demonstrate that he or she reasonably maintains a fear of becoming a victim of domestic violence, stalking, repeat violence or dating violence. When deciding a motion to dissolve an injunction for protection, the trial court has broad discretion in granting, denying, dissolving, or modifying injunctions. Unless a clear abuse of discretion is demonstrated, appellate courts will not disturb the trial court's decision.

If you would like to have an injunction for protection dissolve, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. in Broward County, FL. 


Additional Resources

Domestic Violence Unit of the Broward County State Attorney’s Office - Find information on the Domestic Violence Unit of the State Attorney’s Office for the 17th Judicial Circuit n Broward County. Find the definition of “domestic violence.” Learn more about who can be a victim and the signs of domestic violence. Find important numbers for community resources including full-service domestic violence centers, sexual assault treatment centers, and support for abused children. The domestic violence unit also provides information about how to petition for a restraining order or injunction through the Broward Clerk of Court office.


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Lawyers for DV Injunctions in Broward County, FL

Our Broward County Attorneys for domestic violence know the best ways to fight any petition for an injunction for protection. We can make sure you have a meaningful opportunity to address the allegations in the petition. We can help you argue all of the reasons that the trial court should not order a final permanent injunction.

The petitioner has the burden of proving the allegations in the petition. We can help you present evidence and testimony to show why an order should not be entered to grant the injunction for protection against domestic violence.


This article was last updated on Friday, November 3, 2017.

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