Reportedly 90% of initial civil petitions for domestic violence restraining orders are typically granted. Restraining orders are meant to keep dangerous people away from the ones who feel threatened by their presence, but some people use restraining orders as weapons against innocent people. In this blog post, a Volusia criminal defense attorney will examine the process of obtaining a Florida restraining order to show you how easy it is to manipulate the system.
Obtaining a Florida Restraining Order
In Florida, a Stalking Violence restraining order is arguably the easiest order to obtain. A Stalking Violence restraining order can be obtained by a Petitioner (the person filing for the restraining order) under the following circumstances.
Someone can file for a Stalking Violence restraining order if they suffer harassment, cyberstalking, or aggravated stalking by another individual that:
- Causes emotional stress;
- Threatens or causes reasonable fear for safety;
- Occurs repeatedly over some time.
Someone who obtains a Stalking Violence restraining order will need to file several or all of the following eight documents depending on the circumstances of the case:
- Party Information Sheet- A form that identifies the Petitioner and the Respondent (the person who is supposed to follow the restraining order.)
- Cover Sheet for Family Court Cases- A form that identifies the type of action and the type of case the Petitioner is filing.
- Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Stalking-Where the Petitioner will talk about the scenarios that lead him or her to create a Stalking Violence restraining order.
- Notice of Related Cases- Information concerning other civil, criminal, guardianship, domestic violence, juvenile delinquency, juvenile dependency, or other domestic relations cases that pertain to the Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Stalking form.
- Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Affidavit (UCCJEA)- A form used to handle scenarios involving the custody of, visitation with, or time-sharing with any minor children.
- Notice of Social Security Number- This firm must be completed if the case involves child support, paternity, and dissolution of marriage cases.
- County Sheriff Process Information Sheet- A form provided by your local county sheriff’s office. This form ensures proper entry of the Injunction into the computer system.
- Request for Confidential Address- The filer can use this form to keep their address hidden from public records in case they are in danger of being harmed.
Questions About the Respondent’s Actions
Arguably the most important form of the forms mentioned above is the Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Stalking because this is where the Petitioner will talk about the Respondent’s actions.
Questions about the Respondent’s Actions include the following:
1. Petitioner is a victim of stalking because Respondent has:
- Committed stalking;
- Previously threatened, harassed, stalked, cyberstalked, or physically abused the Petitioner;
- Threatened to harm Petitioner or family members or individuals closely associated with Petitioner;
- Intentionally injured or killed a family pet
- Used, or threatened to use, against Petitioner any weapons such as guns or knives;
- A criminal history involving violence or the threat of violence, if known;
- Another order of protection issued against him or her previously from another jurisdiction, if known;
- Destroyed personal property, including, but not limited to, telephones or other communication equipment, clothing, or other items belonging to Petitioner.
As you can see, some of these acts are subjective or inconclusive in nature. For example, just because someone has a criminal history of violence, that doesn’t mean they are stalking someone else. Additionally, the definition of stalking is clearly subjective in nature, yet these questions are considered foundational for the creation of a Stalking Violence restraining order.
As long as the forms are submitted correctly, and the judge believes the Petitioner’s answers to these questions warrant further consideration, a temporary restraining order will go into effect against the respondent until the case is heard in court.
Representation for a Restraining Order Hearing
If someone created a restraining order against you, it’s crucial you hire an experienced restraining order attorney to fight on your behalf. While you’ll have to follow the stipulations of a temporary restraining order, you can fight against the final order that lasts more months at a time.
Need representation for your restraining order? Call (386) 693-1637 now for a free consultation for your case!