Domestic Violence Injunctions
An injunction for protection is a request you can make to a judge asking that someone be court-ordered to stop acts of domestic violence against you.
A petition (application) for an injunction for protection is available through the Monroe County Clerk of the Court. The Clerk of the Court may have employees available to help you complete the petition. You can call the Florida Coalition Against Domestic at 800-500-1119 or the Monroe County Domestic Abuse Shelter at 305-743-5452 for more information on how to proceed.
Use of Petition
The petition allows you to:
- Ask the judge to order the abuser to stop all acts of violence against you
- To order the abuser to leave the home that you share
- To order the abuser to have no contact with you at all unless ordered by the judge
- To order the abuser to have no contact with you at all at your work, school or places where you spend time, such as a family member’s house
- To order you to get custody and child support for minor children
If you have other requests for the judge, you should state them clearly in writing in the petition. It is important for you to state clearly what your relationship is to the abuser. You should also be prepared to explain in detail the latest violent event, any other violent events toward you or another household member and why you think violence is likely to happen again.
What You Need to Apply
When applying for an injunction for protection, you must provide the Clerk of the Court with a photo ID of yourself, directions to where the abuser can be found, names and ages of children under 18 and payment for the injunction. By Florida law, you may not be charged more than $50 for an injunction. You have the right to ask that the fee be waived but you will need to complete a financial statement.
After You Apply
Upon completing the petition, the clerk will immediately give it to the judge. The judge will decide what parts of the petition will be temporarily ordered. This temporary order will be valid for no more than 15 days.
Sometime within the 15 days, the judge will hold a hearing for a permanent injunction. At this hearing, you will have the opportunity to tell the judge in your own words about the abuse and what kind of protection you are asking the court to give you. The abuser (respondent) may be present at the hearing. At this hearing, the judge may change the temporary court order or leave it as originally ordered. If you are afraid of seeing the abuser at the hearing, let the clerk our court security know that you would like protection. You may ask a security person to walk with you to your car.
If the judge fails to issue an injunction, you have the right to request an explanation in writing and receive a copy of it.
Once You Have an Injunction
Keep one copy of your injunction with you at all times and keep another in a safe place. Remember: An injunction does not guarantee your safety and does not take the place of a safety plan. It will permit the police to respond to violations.
Any violation of the conditions of the injunction for protection from domestic violence should be reported to law enforcement and you should ask for a copy of the report. If it is an emergency, call 911. In some cases, an arrest can be made and criminal charges can be filed. Violations should also be reported to the Clerk of the Court. The clerk can help you fill out the paperwork to report the violation to the judge and to the State Attorney’s Office.
Scope of Injunction
An injunction for protection issued anywhere in Florida is valid in all of Florida’s 67 counties. Injunctions for protection issued in other states or countries are also enforceable. However, any time you relocate to another state or country, it’s a good idea to file a copy of your injunction with the local sheriff’s office.
The information on this page came from the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association.