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  • Writer's pictureJeffrey D. Harper, MBA, Esq.

What You Need to Know About Injunctions for Protection in Florida


If you are a victim of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or dating violence, you may be eligible to obtain an injunction for protection in Florida. An injunction for protection, also known as a restraining order, is a court order that tells the person who harmed you or threatened to harm you to stay away from you and not contact you in any way. An injunction can also order the person to stay away from your home, work, school, car, or other places that you frequent.

An injunction for protection can provide you with some safety and peace of mind, but it is not a criminal charge or a conviction. The person who violated your rights may still face criminal charges and penalties if they are arrested and prosecuted. However, an injunction for protection is a civil matter that you initiate and control. You can file for an injunction for protection at any time, regardless of whether you reported the incident to the police or not.

How to File for an Injunction for Protection in Florida

To file for an injunction for protection in Florida, you need to fill out a petition form and submit it to the clerk of the court in the county where you live, where the person who harmed you lives, or where the incident occurred. You can get the petition form from the clerk's office or download it from the Florida Courts website.


There is no fee for filing an injunction for protection.

The petition form will ask you to provide information about yourself, the person who harmed you, and the incidents of violence or threats that occurred. You will also need to indicate what type of injunction you are seeking: domestic violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, dating violence, or stalking. Each type of injunction has different requirements and definitions that you need to meet.


You will also need to explain why you need an injunction for protection and what relief you are requesting from the court. For example, you may ask the court to order the person who harmed you to:


  • Have no contact with you in person, by phone, by email, by text message, by letter, or by any other means;

  • Stay at least 500 feet away from your home, work, school, or other places that you frequent

  • Stay at least 100 feet away from your car

  • Move out of your shared residence, if applicable

  • Surrender any firearms or ammunition they possess, if applicable

  • Attend a batterers' intervention program, if applicable

  • Follow any other conditions that the court deems necessary for your safety and well-being

What Happens After You File for an Injunction for Protection in Florida

After you file your petition for an injunction for protection in Florida, the clerk will send it to a judge for review. The judge will decide whether to issue a temporary injunction based on your petition. A temporary injunction is effective immediately and lasts until a final hearing is held. The judge may grant all or some of the relief you requested in your petition.


A copy of your petition and the temporary injunction (if issued) will be served on the person who harmed you. The person who harmed you will have an opportunity to respond to your petition and request a hearing. The clerk will schedule a final hearing within 15 days of issuing the temporary injunction. You must attend the final hearing and present evidence and witnesses to support your petition. The person who harmed you may also attend the final hearing and present evidence and witnesses to oppose your petition.


At the final hearing, the judge will decide whether to issue a final injunction based on the evidence and testimony presented by both parties. A final injunction can last indefinitely or until modified or dissolved by the court. The judge may grant all or some of the relief you requested in your petition.

How to Enforce an Injunction for Protection in Florida

An injunction for protection in Florida is enforceable throughout the state and can be registered in other states as well. If the person who harmed you violates any of the terms of the injunction, such as contacting you or coming near you, you should call 911 immediately and report the violation. The person who harmed you may be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. You should also keep a copy of your injunction and any evidence of the violation, such as phone records, emails, text messages, letters, or photos.

You can also file a motion for contempt or enforcement with the court if the person who harmed you fails to comply with any of the non-criminal terms of the injunction, such as paying support, attending a program, or surrendering firearms. The court may hold a hearing and impose sanctions on the person who harmed you, such as fines, jail time, or additional conditions.

How to Modify or Dissolve an Injunction for Protection in Florida

If you want to change or end an injunction for protection in Florida, you need to file a motion with the court that issued the injunction. You will need to explain why you want to modify or dissolve the injunction and what changes you are requesting. The court may schedule a hearing and notify the person who harmed you of your motion. The person who harmed you may also file a motion to modify or dissolve the injunction and notify you of their motion. The court will decide whether to grant or deny the motion based on the evidence and testimony presented by both parties.


You should not agree to modify or dissolve the injunction without going through the court process. If you do so, you may lose your legal protection and put yourself at risk of harm. You should also not resume contact with the person who harmed you unless the court modifies or dissolves the injunction.

Where to Get Help and Support

Filing for an injunction for protection in Florida can be a stressful and confusing process. You do not have to do it alone. There are many resources and services available to help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights and safety.

You are not alone. You have rights. You deserve respect. We can help.
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