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Injunctions and Their Function in Florida

by | Aug 24, 2023 | Criminal Law

Image by Sergei Tokmakov, Esq. https://Terms.Law from Pixabay

Injunctions in Florida are a somewhat common court order. However, most laypeople are unaware of the ins and outs of Florida injunctions. We intend to tell you everything you need to know about Florida’s laws on injunctions and what you need to know if you are ever party to an injunction in Florida.

Basics

At a high level, an injunction is an order by a court to a party compelling them to stop engaging in a particular behavior. An injunction is a civil proceeding, but injunctions can also potentially have repercussions in criminal court if they are not obeyed.

Some injunctions are used in a domestic law setting in an effort at reducing violence. Termed a restraining order in other jurisdictions, Florida law calls such orders “injunctions for protection.” Injunctions for protection in Florida are often sought in cases of domestic violence, stalking, cyberstalking, dating violence, and sexual violence. An injunction for protection can also be granted even if a criminal case on the matter is not underway.

Types of Injunctions for Protection

In Florida, there are many types of injunction for protection available for use by the courts. The five types of injunction for protection in Florida are

  • Injunction for protection against Dating Violence
  • Injunction for protection against Domestic Violence
  • Injunction for protection against Repeat Violence
  • Injunction for protection against Sexual Violence
  • Injunction for protection against Stalking

Although these injunctions yield the same results, they each have different situations and different standards that must be met before they are granted by a Florida court.

Process

There are several distinct differences between the injunction process and typical criminal proceedings. Firstly, the State of Florida is not a party to the injunction; the person seeking the injunction (“Petitioner”) and the person against whom the injunction is being sought (“Respondent”) are the only two parties in an injunction in Florida.

Further, as this is a civil proceeding and not a criminal one, no one is in peril of a criminal conviction or criminal punishment during the injunction process. Criminal punishments may come into play if the injunction is violated, however.

Also, as injunctions are civil proceedings, the standard of proof is competent and substantial evidence, not beyond a reasonable doubt. The usual rules of criminal procedure in Florida do not come into play in an injunction filing either.

Consequences

Having an injunction for protection against you in Florida has many different consequences. An injunction for protection limits where one can go and with whom you may interact. Often part of an injunction for protection is a requirement to seek counseling or to attend classes ordered by the court. Also being under an injunction for protection may require you to turn over firearms and other weapons for the duration of the injunction.

Length of Time

Usually an injunction for protection is temporary, which means it lasts from time of issuance until a hearing on the merits of the injunction is held. At the hearing, the judge will determine how long the injunction will last. The judge may then decide to make the duration for several more weeks or months, or he or she may choose to make the injunction permanent.

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