WHAT IS AN INJUNCTION?
Injunctions are commonly referred to as restraining orders, but the legal term in Florida is injunctions. Injunctions, in layman’s terms, are no contact orders signed by a Judge. The person seeking the no contact order is referred to in court as the Petitioner and the person against whom the no contact order is against is referred to as the Respondent. The Judge issues an order preventing the Respondent from having contact with the Petitioner. Depending on the circumstances, the Judge can include additional conditions in the order preventing the Respondent from going to the Petitioner’s home, job, school, etc.
HOW CAN I GET AN INJUNCTION?
The process of obtaining an injunction is relatively quick and can take as little as two weeks in some cases. When a person believes that they need protection from another person, they first file a petition for the injunction. A petition is a sworn statement that describes why they need the protection that an Injunction affords. The petition is then immediately reviewed by a Judge. The Judge only reads the documents from the person claiming they need protection (Petitioner). The Judge then decides whether a temporary restraining order (TRO) is needed and sets the case for a final hearing. The final hearing is set approximately within two weeks. The Judge’s order is then served to the person against whom the injunction is sought. If the TRO is granted, the person (Respondent) against whom the injunction is sought is not permitted to have any contact with the person seeking the injunction (Petitioner).
WHAT IS THE FINAL HEARING FOR AN INJUNCTION?
A Final Hearing for an Injunction is where the Judge determines whether to grant or deny the Injunction. At the final hearing, the person seeking the injunction may testify and present their evidence to the Judge why the injunction should be granted. Then the person against whom the injunction is against, is permitted to testify and present their evidence to the Judge why the injunction should not be granted. It is important to know that at the final hearing live witness testimony is required and written witness statements are not admissible. This means that both the Petitioner and the Respondent must have their necessary witnesses present. Even police reports are not admissible. The police officer must be present at the final hearing to testify what they wrote in their reports.
DOES SOMEONE NEED A LAWYER FOR AN INJUNCTION?
Injunctions can be very dangerous to have granted against you. If there is a violation of an injunction, it is criminal charge. A violation of the injunction can be any contact by the person against whom the injunction was granted (Respondent) to the person who sought the injunction (Petitioner). It can be a violation of the injunction even with indirect third-party contact. For example, if the Respondent tells a friend to tell a message to Petitioner this would be a violation of the injunction. This charge is taken extremely seriously because Judges and prosecutors see the court order in place is not being abided by the Respondent. The only way that a Judge and prosecutor can know for certain that the court order will be followed is if that person is in jail.
IS THERE DISCOVERY IN AN INJUNCTION?
Injunction proceedings occur within a relatively quick time frame in the legal justice system. Since the time frame is very short, it is difficult to engage in thorough discovery. Discovery can include interrogatories (written questions), request for admissions, request for production of documents, and depositions (oral questions under oath). An experienced attorney can make sure that the necessary discovery is conducted prior to the final hearing.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO OBTAIN AND INJUNCTION?
There are few different types of injunctions that may be granted. These include injunctions for protection against domestic violence, dating violence, repeat violence, stalking or cyber-stalking, and sexual violence. Each one has different requirements for a Judge to grant an injunction. Contact an injunction lawyer to see if your circumstances meet the requirements where an injunction could be obtained.
CAN SOMEONE OBTAIN AN INJUNCTION FOR ULTERIOR MOTIVES?
Unfortunately, there are people who seek to obtain injunctions for invalid and immoral reasons. Injunctions are meant to be a legal shield for people who need legal protection. However, some people attempt to use injunctions as an offensive weapon. Some people attempt to obtain injunctions to gain sole custody of minor children that they share with the Respondent. Other times, a person will try to obtain an injunction to gain exclusive possession of a home or to set a person up for a future criminal charge. This is common in divorce cases.
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF AN INJUNCTION?
If an injunction is granted, the Respondent is not allowed to have any contact with the Petitioner. Additionally, the Respondent cannot go to the residence, school, or work of the Petitioner. The Respondent will a surrender any firearms to local law enforcement. This is enforced, even if the Respondent has a carrying concealed firearms license and the firearms are not related to the allegations.
If you or someone you know has an injunction, an experienced lawyer is the best way to arm yourself for the final injunction hearing and get your life back on track. Contact us today by clicking the button below