Domestic Violence Injunctions in Pinellas County, FL

What is an injunction for protection against domestic violence? If granted by the court on a temporary basis, the injunction prohibits the respondent from having contact with the petition, directly or indirectly.

The petition is a sworn statement, filed in the circuit court in Pinellas County, FL, declaring that the petitioner is:

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

The petition must state the reasons for that belief as explained in Section 741.30(1)(a) and (3)(a), F.S.

The petition often alleges that the respondent has engaged in abusive, threatening, intimidating, or controlling behavior. The petition might allege that the incidents of violence increased in frequency and severity over time.

Attorney for Domestic Violence Injunctions in Clearwater, FL

If you were served with a petition for an injunction to prevent domestic violence, contact an attorney at Sammis Law Firm. We represent clients throughout Clearwater and Pinellas County, FL. We also represent clients accused of domestic violence battery in Pinellas County.

Visit our office at 14010 Roosevelt Blvd Suite 701, Clearwater, FL 33762-3820. 

Don’t face the judge alone. Contact our experienced criminal defense lawyers in Pinellas County, FL.

Call 727-210-7004. 

Jurisdiction for Domestic Violence Injunction in Pinellas County, FL

When can the petitioner file a petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence in Pinellas County, FL? Under Section 741.30(1)(j), F.S., the petition can be filed in Pinellas County, FL, if one of the following applies:

  • the petitioner currently or temporarily resides in Pinellas County;
  • the respondent resides in Pinellas County; or
  • the domestic violence allegedly occurred in Pinellas County.

If none of those factors apply, the respondent can file a motion to dismiss the petition on jurisdictional grounds.

Factors Considered by the Court in a Domestic Violence Injunction Hearing

Section 741.30(6)(b), F.S., establishes ten (10) factors that a court must consider when determining whether a petitioner who files for an injunction has stated reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence. The court is also permitted to consider any other factors it deems relevant.

The ten (10) statutory factors the court will consider include;

  1. Whether the respondent has destroyed personal property, including, but not limited to, telephones or other communications equipment, clothing, or other items belonging to the petitioner;
  2. The existence of a verifiable order of protection issued previously or from another jurisdiction;
  3. Whether the respondent has a criminal history involving violence or the threat of violence;
  4. Whether the respondent has physically restrained the petitioner from leaving the home or calling law enforcement;
  5. Whether the respondent has used, or has threatened to use, against the petitioner any weapons such as guns or knives;
  6. Whether the respondent has intentionally injured or killed a family pet;
  7. Whether the respondent has threatened to conceal, kidnap, or harm the petitioner’s child or children;
  8. Whether the respondent has attempted to harm the petitioner or family members or individuals closely associated with the petitioner;
  9. Any history of violence between the petitioner and the respondent, including threats, harassment, stalking, and physical abuse; and
  10. Whether the respondent engaged in any other behavior or conduct that leads the petitioner to have reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.

What Happens After the Petition is Filed?

The form the petitioner must use to apply for a domestic violence injunction can be found in Section 741.30(3)(b), F.S. The petitioner is not required to pay a fee to file the petition.

After the petition is filed, the court must set a hearing for the earliest possible time, as explained in Section 741.30(4), F.S.

The respondent must be served with a copy of the petition, order, and notice of hearing. At the hearing, the respondent can appear on a pro se basis or with an attorney.

The court will not appoint an attorney to an indigent respondent, although the petitioner might find a free attorney through a non-profit legal aid organization.

This article was last updated on Wednesday, May 17, 2023.