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Violence Protection Division

Your Abuser May Monitor Your Internet Use and May Be Able To View your Computer Activity. If you have reason to believe that your computer is not secure, you may wish to use a computer in another location to which your abuser does not have access.

If You are in Danger Call 911

The Violence Protection Division helps victims obtain injunctions for protection, commonly referred to as "restraining orders". Violence Protection staff assists victims in completing the necessary forms, explains the procedures involved in obtaining an injunction and assists with enforcement of the injunction.

Types of Injunctions

Generally, Florida law states that a court can enter an injunction to protect the victim of violence under any of the following types of violent relationships:

Domestic Violence: Requires that the parties have lived together "as if a family" or have a child together. Petitioner must be a victim of domestic violence, or have reasonable cause to believe that violence is imminent.

Repeat Violence: Requires that the respondent have committed two incidents of violence against the petitioner or the petitioner's immediate family member, one of the incidents must have been within the past six months.

Dating Violence: Requires that the parties have had a continuing dating relationship within the past six months that involved the expectation of affection or sexual involvement. Petitioner must be a victim of violence or have reasonable cause to believe violence is imminent.

Sexual Violence: The Petitioner must be a victim of sexual violence, have reported that crime and be cooperating with law enforcement agencies; or the respondent who committed the sexual violence was sentenced and the term of imprisonment is expired or is due to expire within 90 days.

Stalking: The Petitioner must be a victim of stalking or cyberstalking committed by the respondent. A person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits stalking.

Procedure to File an Injunction

The Clerk of Court's Violence Protection Division provides the forms and instructions for completion. The completed petition and any other necessary forms are filed with the clerk, who will have a judge review the file as soon as possible, usually the same day. At that time the judge will determine whether to issue a Temporary Injunction with a hearing set within 15 days, set a hearing on the petition without issuing a temporary injunction, or deny the petition.

There is no fee to file an injunction or to have one served in the State of Florida.

For a victim who is a minor (less than 18 years of age,) a parent or guardian must file on behalf of (OBO) the minor child.

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Contact Information

Phone Number: 941-741-4024
Fax Number: 941-741-4093
E-mail: Melanie McKeever, Supervisor
View Frequently Asked Questions

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12th Judicial Circuit