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Largo, FL 33770
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Tips for Filing a Restraining Order in Florida


An injunction is a type of court order that prohibits the subject from engaging in certain behaviors. In a domestic violence setting, these injunctions are often referred to as restraining orders, as they restrain the respondent from engaging in certain behaviors towards the protected party. Most domestic violence injunctions, for instance, direct the recipient of the order to remain a certain distance from the filer at all times and to avoid any form of contact with that person. Obtaining such protections, however, isn’t always easy, so we’ve included a few tips on how to file restraining order petitions in a way that will maximize your chances of approval.

Assess the Types of Restraining Orders 

There are actually a few different kinds of restraining orders, all of which fall under the umbrella of domestic violence injunctions, including injunctions to protect someone from:

  • Dating violence;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Repeat violence;
  • Sexual violence; and
  • Stalking

Each type of injunction comes with its own rules for filing and offers differing protections and limitations, so eligibility for one type of injunction doesn’t necessarily mean that a person will be eligible for another. Failing to file for the correct type of injunction could delay or even jeopardize a petition. For a breakdown of the difference between each of these injunctions, please reach out to our legal team today.

Act Quickly 

It’s important for those who are seeking protection for some sort of domestic violence to act quickly when attempting to obtain that protection via an injunction. This is not only to help prevent future acts of violence, but also because injunction petitions require that petitioners describe an incident that took place within the last month. Petitioners who are unable to identify an incident in the last 30 days will likely not receive any protections beyond a temporary restraining order.

Identify Potential Witnesses 

After granting a temporary injunction for domestic violence, courts will hold a hearing before deciding to make that restraining order permanent. At this hearing, both sides will have the opportunity to present evidence in support of their claims, including eyewitness testimony. Witnesses to abuse can play an important role in proving that the threat of violence is very real, so it’s a good idea for petitioners to have a list of people they can reach out to who may have witnessed that abuse.

Keep Relevant Documentation 

Besides identifying people who can help prove allegations of domestic violence, petitioners should be sure to keep a record of any written evidence that can support their claim. This includes text messages, emails, and other digital content, which can be used to prove that a respondent has threatened the petitioner in the past. Medical records from prior incidences can also be used as evidence.

Our Experienced Domestic Violence Attorneys Can Help You 

Working with a Florida family lawyer who is well-versed in how restraining orders work can significantly improve your chances of obtaining court approval for an injunction. For help with your own domestic violence-related legal matter, please call the skilled and compassionate Clearwater domestic violence attorneys at Cairns Law today. We can be reached at 727-683-1472 or via online message and are available for both evening and weekend appointments.




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