INJUCTION FOR PROTECTION ORDERS
The Clerk of Courts provides clerical processing assistance to individuals seeking to file an injunction for protection. A Petition can be filed by anyone who is a victim of violence or has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of any act of violence. You must provide identification and be at least 18 years of age to file a petition for injunction. If you are under the age of eighteen and have never been married or had the disability of nonage removed by a court, one of your parents or your legal guardian must sign the petition on your behalf. There is no fee required to file a Petition for Injunction in the State of Florida.
IF YOU FEEL YOU ARE IN IMMINENT DANGER OF VIOLENCE you should contact your local law enforcement agency.
IMMEDIATE EMERGENCIES: 911
Highlands County Sheriff’s Office (863) 402-7200
ABUSE OUTREACH & ADVOCACY SHELTERS
Domestic Violence Shelter
Highlands County Safe House
(863) 386 -1167 (24 hours)
Highlands County Sheriff’s Office
Victim Advocate Services
Florida Department of Children & Families
Florida Abuse Hotline
A petition may be filed in the county where you currently or temporarily reside, where the person whom you are filing against resides or where the violence occurred.
You must provide the first and last name of the person you are filing against.
If you are filing against a minor (under 18 years of age) you must provide the first and last name of the minor child against whom you are filing as well as the first and last name of that minor’s parent or legal guardian.
You must provide a specific summary of any recent violence of stalking that the person whom you are filing against has committed against you. If you use general terms such as “violence” and “threats” you should include a description of the acts committed and/or words, used.
Copies of supporting documentation, such as police reports, other court orders may be submitted.
You must provide the location of the person you are filing against and as much information about the person as you can so the Sheriff’s Office can serve (hand deliver) certified copies of your petition, the judge’s order and court hearing date, if scheduled.
If the person you are filing against lives out of the State of Florida, you will need to provide the county sheriff’s info of where that person resides. You must provide all information and any “fees” that sheriff’s office requires to have the person you are filing against served (hand deliver) certified copies of your petition, the judge’s order and court hearing date, if scheduled.
Florida law separates injunctions for protection into five types. You must determine the type of injunction you will need to file. It is very important that you read over all the requirements for each type before selecting one. A judge can deny your petition for selecting the incorrect petition.
741.28 (2) (3) Domestic Violence; definition
(2) “Domestic violence” means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.
(3) “Family or household member” means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.
Domestic Violence Injunction Packet
784.046 (1) (a) (b) Repeat Violence; definition
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Violence” means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, or false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death, by a person against any other person.
(b) “Repeat violence” means 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.
Repeat Violence Injunction Packet
784.046 (1) (c) Sexual Violence means any one incident of:
1. Sexual battery, as defined in chapter 794;
2. A lewd or lascivious act, as defined in chapter 800, committed upon or in the presence of a person younger than 16 years of age;
3. Luring or enticing a child, as described in chapter 787;
4. Sexual performance by a child, as described in chapter 827; or
5. Any other forcible felony wherein a sexual act is committed or attempted, regardless of whether criminal charges based on the incident were filed, reduced, or dismissed by the state attorney.
Sexual Violence Injunction Packet
784.046 (1) (d) Dating Violence means violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the consideration of the following factors:
1. A dating relationship must have existed within the past 6 months;
2. The nature of the relationship must have been characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties; and
3. The frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship must have included that the persons have been involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship.
The term does not include violence in a casual acquaintanceship or violence between individuals who only have engaged in ordinary fraternization in a business or social context.
Dating Violence Injunction Packet
784.048 (1) (a) (b) (c) (d) Stalking; definitions;
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) "Harass” means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.
(b) “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, which evidences a continuity of purpose. The term does not include constitutionally protected activity such as picketing or other organized protests.
(c) “Credible threat” means a verbal or nonverbal threat, or a combination of the two, including threats delivered by electronic communication or implied by a pattern of conduct, which places the person who is the target of the threat in reasonable fear for his or her safety or the safety of his or her family members or individuals closely associated with the person, and which is made with the apparent ability to carry out the threat to cause such harm. It is not necessary to prove that the person making the threat had the intent to actually carry out the threat. The present incarceration of the person making the threat is not a bar to prosecution under this section.
(d) “Cyberstalk” means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.
Stalking Injunction Packet