Risk Protection Orders in Hillsborough County
Florida Statute Section 790.401 created a cause of action authorizing law enforcement officers to seek a risk protection order. When the petition for a temporary or final Risk Protection Order (RPO) is granted by the court, the order temporarily prevents the named petitioner from accessing firearms or ammunition while the order is in effect.
The risk protection order requires sufficient proof that the person is at high risk of harming themselves or others when there is demonstrated evidence that a person poses a significant danger to himself or herself or others, including significant danger as a result of a mental health crisis or violent behavior.
To handle risk protection order hearings in Hillsborough County, FL, a new administrative order S-2020-048 was signed on October 7, 2020, and became effective on January 1, 2021. The order established Probate, Guardianship, Mental Health and Trust Division “N” as a new division to handle all actions under section 790.401, Florida Statutes.
Under ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER A-2020-055, the Honorable Frances M. Perrone, Circuit Court Judge, was assigned to Division “N” effective on January 4, 2021.
The assigned division judge, Judge Frances M. Perrone, will review all petitions and other documents filed between 8:00 a.m. and 4:59 p.m. on non-holiday weekdays. The duty judge will review temporary ex parte petitions filed at and after 5:00 p.m. on non-holiday weekdays and temporary ex parte petitions filed on weekends and holidays.
In accordance with section 790.401(5), Florida Statutes, any sworn law enforcement officer in Hillsborough County may effect service of the petition, notice of hearing, and temporary ex parte risk protection order or risk protection order, as applicable. A law enforcement agency effecting service must use service and verification procedures consistent with those of the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office.
All hearings will be scheduled in the assigned division except when a petition for a temporary ex parte risk protection order is reviewed by the duty judge. In accordance with section 790.401(4)(d), Florida Statutes, a hearing on a petition for a temporary ex parte risk protection order will be conducted in person or by telephone on the day the temporary ex parte petition is filed or on the next business day immediately following the day the petition is filed.
In accordance with section 790.401(3)(a), Florida Statutes, upon the filing of a petition for (final) risk protection order, a hearing will be held no later than 14 days after the date the order setting a hearing is entered.
Attorney for the RPO in Hillsborough County, FL
Contact an attorney at the Sammis Law Firm if you were served with a petition for a risk protection order in Hillsborough County and the surrounding areas in the greater Tampa Bay area.
We are experienced in representing clients in a wide range of protective orders, including injunctions to prevent domestic violence, dating violence, repeat violence, and stalking.
Our offices are conveniently located in downtown Tampa, just a few blocks from the courthouse. We have a second office in New Port Richey, right across from the West Pasco County Judicial Center courthouse.
Contact us for a free consultation to discuss the newest type of protective order known as the risk protection order.
The provisions of this new statute are vague and overbroad. We can help you raise the proper challenges to the constitutionality of the statute both on its face and as applied to the particular facts of your case.
Our attorneys are familiar with the processes and procedures used in Hillsborough County in these types of cases. We can help you fight to keep your firearms and prevent a violation of your due process rights.
Call (813) 250-0500.
What is a Temporary Ex Parte Risk Protection Order?
Section 790.401, Florida Statutes establishes a cause of action authorizing law enforcement officers to seek a risk protection order.
In Hillsborough County, the law enforcement agencies most likely to file a petition for a Risk Protection Order include the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the Tampa Police Department, the Temple Terrace Police Department, the Plant City Police Department, the University of South Florida (USF) Police Department, or the Tampa International Airport (TIA) Police Department.
The order temporarily prevents persons who are at high risk of harming themselves or others from accessing firearms when there is demonstrated evidence that a person poses a significant danger to himself or herself or others, including significant danger as a result of a mental health crisis or violent behavior.
Under some circumstances, the Risk Protection Order Act authorizes temporary ex parte orders requiring the surrender of all firearms and ammunition. The statute also sets up some procedural safeguards related to setting the hearing and notice requirements.
Read more about protective orders issued in the surrounding counties including:
- Risk Protection Orders in Polk County;
- Risk Protection Orders in Pinellas County; and
- Risk Protection Orders in Manatee County.
Administrative Order in Effect Prior to January 1, 2021
After the creating of Florida Statute Section 790.401, the court in Hillsborough County released Administrative Order S-2018-023 which explained the local procedures for Risk Protection Order hearings in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit prior to January 1, 2021.
The administrative order acknowledges that Florida Statute Section 790.401, the “Risk Protection Order Act” (Act), was passed less than a month after the mass shootings and killings at a south Florida high school on Valentine’s Day 2018.
This administrative order effective on June 27, 2018, the same day it was signed by The Honorable Ronald N. Ficarrotta, Chief Judge, in Hillsborough County, FL.
In Hillsborough County, FL, the Mental Health Criminal Division “M,” is colloquially known as “Mental Health Court.” This division handles the temporary and final hearings on Risk Protection Order (RPO).
On December 31, 2020, all risk protection order cases in Probate, Guardianship, Mental Health and Trust Division “M” – both open and closed cases – will be reassigned to Probate, Guardianship, Mental Health and Trust Division “N.”
This article was last updated on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.