Injunction for Protection Against Repeat Violence
If you were served with a petition and injunction for protection from repeat violence and wish to contest the allegations, then you have come to the right place. The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm only represent Respondents in these types of cases.
Section 784.046(2) creates a cause of action for an injunction for protection in “cases of repeat violence.” The statute defines “repeat violence” as “two incidents of violence or stalking committed by the respondent, one of which must have been within 6 months of the filing of the petition, which are directed against the petitioner or the petitioner’s immediate family member.” § 784.046(1)(b).
Because the parties do not need to be “domestically” related in an action for repeat violence, these actions are often brought by co-workers, neighbors, or roommates. False allegations are most common in these types of actions. Many of these cases involve cyberstalking online or throughout postings on social media platforms.
The courts have found that petitions for injunctions against repeat violence “are to be used only to rectify the egregious conduct outlined in the statutes themselves, but not as a “panacea to be used to cure all social ills” or uncivil behavior. Gagnard v. Sticht, 886 So.2d 321, 322 (Fla. 4th DCA 2004).
The courts have found that argumentative behavior that was extremely uncivil and threatening “fell short” of meeting the legal requirements of section 784.046. Id. “The statute does not allow the trial court to enter injunctions simply to ‘keep the peace’ between parties who, for whatever reason, are unable to get along and behave civilly toward each other.” Power v. Boyle, 36 Fla. L. Weekly D857a (Fla. 1st DCA April 21, 2011),
“[E]ven courts of general jurisdiction are without plenary power to enjoin citizens to remain on good behavior.” Horne v. Endres, 36 Fla. L. Weekly D813a, 814 (Fla. 1st DCA April 15, 2011).
Attorney for Repeat Violence Injunctions in Tampa, FL
If you were served with an injunction for protection against repeat violence then contact an attorney at the Sammis Law Firm. We represent clients who wish to contest false or exaggerated claims made in a petition for an injunction for protection in domestic violence, repeat violence, dating violence, or stalking cases.
Talk with an attorney at the Sammis Law Firm about what you need to do immediately to properly contest the allegations. Our attorneys can help you request that the court deny any petition for protection against repeat violence.
Elements Required for Repeat Violence Injunctions in Florida
The Third District, in Gasilovsky v. Ben-Shimol, 979 So.2d 1179, 1180 (Fla. 3d DCA 2008), listed the following elements required to enter an injunction for protection against “repeat violence”:
- the Respondent committed at least two incidents of violence or stalking as required by § 784.046(1)(a), Fla. Stat.;
- one of these acts must have been committed within six months of filing a petition for protection from repeat violence; and
- each act of violence and/or stalking must be proven by competent substantial evidence
- the petitioner has demonstrated reasonable cause to believe that he or she is about to become a victim of that violence or stalking.
“A finding of only one incident of violence does not constitute ‘repeat violence’ under section 784.046, Florida Statutes.” Gasilovsky v. Ben-Shimol, 979 So.2d at 1180.
Why Did the Court Grant the Temporary Injunction?
In repeat violence injunction cases, the court first considers the petition on an ex-parte basis to determine whether it appears to the court that an immediate and present danger of repeat violence exists. § 784.046(6)(a), Fla. Fam. L. R. P. 12.610(c)(1)(A). The initial determination is based solely on the allegations in the petition. At that stage of the case, the respondent has no ability to respond to the allegations.
Under § 784.046(6)(b), the court can only consider the verified pleadings/affidavits unless the respondent appears at the hearing or has received reasonable notice of the hearing.
The petitioner can file an amended petition or affidavit and the amended pleading must be considered by the court as if originally files. Fla. Fam. L. R. P. 12.610(c)(1)(A).
What Happens if the Temporary Injunction for Repeat Violence is Denied?
A denial of a petition for an ex-parte injunction shall be by written order noting the legal grounds for denial. Fla. Fam. L. R. P. 12.610(b)(3), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.980(b)(2).
When the only ground for denial is that there does not exist “an appearance of an immediate and present danger of repeat violence, the ex-parte temporary injunction may be denied but the court shall set a full hearing on the petition for injunction with notice at the earliest possible time. Fla. Fam. L. R. P. 12.610(b)(3), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.980(b)(1).
What Happens if the Temporary Injunction for Repeat Violence is Granted?
If the ex-parte (temporary) injunction is granted then any such ex-parte temporary injunction shall be effective for a fixed period not to exceed 15 days. § 784.046(6)(c), Fla. Fam. L. R. P. 12.610(c)(4). A full hearing shall be set for a date no later than the time when the temporary injunction ceases to be effective. § 784.046(6)(c), Fla. Fam. L.R. P. 12.610(c)(4).
The court may grant a continuance of the ex-parte temporary injunction and the full hearing before or during a hearing, for good cause shown by any party, or upon its own motion for good cause, including failure to obtain service. §784.046(6)(c), Fla. Fam. L. R. P. 12.610(c)(4).
Upon notice and hearing, when it appears to the court that an immediate and present danger exists, the court may grant such relief as the court deems proper, including injunctions or directives to law enforcement agencies as provided in this section. § 784.046(7).
An injunction for protection against repeat violence is valid and enforceable in all counties of the State of Florida. Law enforcement officers may use their arrest powers pursuant to section 901.15(6) to enforce the terms of the injunction.
If a final injunction is granted then any relief granted shall be effective for a fixed period or until further order of the court.
What relief can the court grant in the temporary injunction?
The court can grant the following relief in the temporary injunction order:
- Restrain the respondent from contact with the petitioner. Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.980(k).
- Restrain the respondent from knowingly coming within 100 feet of petitioner’s automobile at any time. Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.980(k).
- Restrain the respondent from going to, in, or within 500 feet of the petitioner’s current or future residence the petitioner’s current or any subsequent place of employment or school the places frequented regularly by the petitioner and/or petitioner’s minor child(ren). Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form12.980(k).
- Restrain the respondent from committing any acts of violence. § 784.046(7)(a).
- Order respondent to not use or possess a firearm or ammunition and surrender any firearms and ammunition in respondent’s possession to the specified sheriff’s office pending further order of the court. Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.980(k).
- Order other relief as the court deems necessary for the protection of the petitioner, including injunctions or directives to law enforcement agencies as provided in this section. § 784.046(7)(b), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.980(k).
Standing to Bring a Petition for Repeat Violence
Any person who is the victim of repeat violence or the parent or legal guardian of any minor who is living at home and who seeks an injunction for protection against repeat violence on behalf of the minor child has standing in the circuit court to file a sworn petition for an injunction for protection against repeat violence. Florida Statute § 784.046(2)(a).
In order for the parent or legal guardian to file on a minor child’s behalf against a respondent who is not the minor child’s parent, stepparent, or legal guardian the following requirement of Florida Statute § 784.046(4)(a)(2) must be met:
- The parent or legal guardian must have reasonable cause to believe that the minor child is a victim of repeat violence; and
- The minor child must also be living at home with the parent or legal guardian, who is filing as the petitioner on their behalf.
In order for the parent or legal guardian to file on a minor child’s behalf against a parent, stepparent, or legal guardian of the minor child of the following requirements must also be met:
- The minor child must be living at home with the parent or legal guardian who is filing as the petitioner on the child’s behalf; and
- The parent or legal guardian must have been an eyewitness to, or have direct physical evidence or affidavits from eyewitnesses of, the specific facts and circumstances of the violence. § 784.046(4)(a)2.1
The Petitioner must allege the incidents of repeat violence and shall include specific facts and circumstances that form the basis upon which relief is sought. § 784.046(4)(a).
Timing Requirements for Injunctions Against Repeat Violence
Upon the petition for an injunction against repeat violence is filed, the circuit court judge is required by Florida Statute § 784.046(5) and Fla. Fam. L. R. P. 12.610(b)(3) to set a hearing to be held at the earliest possible time.
The respondent shall be personally served with a copy of the petition, notice of hearing, and temporary injunction, if any, prior to the hearing. § 784.046(5), Fla. Fam. L. R. P. 12.610(b)(2)(B).
Motions to Modify or Dissolve an Injunction for Repeat Violence
The terms of the injunction shall remain in force and effect until modified or dissolved. Either party may move at any time to modify or dissolve the injunction. Such relief may be granted in addition to other civil and criminal remedies. § 784.046(7)(c).
Upon petition of the victim, the court may extend the injunction for successive periods or until further order of the court. Broad discretion resides with the court to grant an extension after considering the circumstances. No specific allegations are required. Fla. Fam. L. R. P. 12.610(c)(4)(B).
Finding an Attorney for Injunctions for Repeat Violence
If you were served with an injunction for protection against repeat violence then contact an attorney at the Sammis Law Firm. We help our clients fight false or exaggerated allegations of repeat violence with the goal of winning the hearing so that no final order is granted.
We also represent either side, the petitioner or respondent, who wants to move the court to modify or vacate an injunction at any time as provided in § 784.046(10), Fla. Fam.L. R. P. 12.610(c)(6).
It is important to have an attorney prior to the arrest. If you are arrested for any charge of Violation of Repeat Violence Injunction when the alleged violation involves repeat violence (§ 784.046(9)(b), Fla. Stat.), then you will not be released on a bail bond until after your first appearance hearing. The judge presiding at the first appearance hearing will determine the appropriate amount of bail bond, if any.
We represent men and women in injunction hearings for repeat violence cases in Tampa and Plant City for Hillsborough County, FL. We also represent clients in the surrounding counties of St. Petersburg in Pinellas County, New Port Richey and Dade City in Pasco County, and Brooksville in Hernando County, FL.
We also have a second office in New Port Richey and help clients fight petitions for protection from violence in Pasco County, FL.
If you wish to hire an experienced attorney to help you with the case then call (813) 250-0500.
This article was last updated on Friday, June 4, 2021.