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Domestic Violence Prevention and Information
Domestic Violence Prevention and Information
"No one, not even someone in your family, has the right to hit you, slap you, punch you or hurt you in any way"
If this is happening to you, YOU CAN TAKE ACTION!
THERE IS A LAW TO PROTECT YOU...
...if you are being physically abused by someone in your household, or fear such abuse. The law protects you if you are being abused by your spouse, any other person related to you, any person not related to you that lives, or has lived in your residence.
Can this law help?
Yes...if this family member, or person, is now, or has previously lived with you, abused you physically, or if you have good reason to fear that this person is about to be violent toward you. This special law in Florida enables you to get a judge to ORDER the abuser to STOP hurting you.
The paper that starts the whole process is called a Petition for Injunction Against Domestic Violence. This explains your story to the judge and tells the judge who you need protection from and exactly what protection you need.
What can the Judge do for me?
After you file your petition, the judge can sign a TEMPORARY or PERMANENT Injunction, or both. Either type of injunction, or order, will tell the abuser that he/she can no longer be violent toward you. It may be possible to obtain a Temporary Injunction on the same day you file your petition, without a hearing and without the abuser knowing first. A Temporary Injunction lasts for a stated period of time, not to exceed 30 days, and is given to you by the judge when you are in immediate danger of being hurt.
A Permanent Injunction can go into effect after you Temporary Injunction can go into effect after your Temporary Injunction expires. This injunction is for a stated period of time not exceeding one (1) year, unless extended by the court. The judge may want to hold a hearing before signing the Permanent Injunction.
What does the injunction do?
Some things the judge MAY order in the injunction are:
that the abuser not commit any more acts of violence
that the abuser leave the home you share
that the abuser stay away from your home if you are not living together
that you have temporary custody of any children you and the abuser have together
The judge can order other relief also, depending upon the circumstances. This is why the contents of the Petition and your attendance at all hearings is so important- so that your can tell the judge what you need and why you need it.
How can I get an Injunction For Protection?
Go to the Office of the Clerk of Court, which is located at the Hardee County Court House (417 W. Main St., Wauchula, FL 33873). Bring identification and any papers related to your case. Tell the clerk that you need an Injunction For Protection Against Domestic Violence. Tell the clerk all of the facts of the case, and the different items you want the judge to order.
Pay the fees for filing the papers. If you cannot afford these fees, tell the clerk. You have the right to file this injunction even if you cannot afford to pay the fees.
What if the abuse or threats happen again?
If the abuser disobeys the Injunction and threatens or physically abuses you, call the police or sheriff's department and show them the certified copy of the Injunction For Protection. In some cases the officer or deputy will arrest the abuser. If the officer or deputy does not arrest the abuser, you can file a Petition for an Order to Show Cause at the county court house.
What is the exact wording of the Law?
If you are the victim of Domestic Violence, you may ask the state attorney to file a criminal complaint. You may also have the right to go to court and file a petition requesting an injunction for protection from domestic violence which may include, but not be limited to, provisions which restrain the abuser from entering your household; prevent the abuser from entering your residence, school, place of business, or place of employment; award you custody of your minor children; and direct the abuser to pay support to you and the minor children if the abuser has a legal obligation to do so.
741.30 Action for injunction for protection against domestic violence; powers and duties of court and clerk of court; filing and form of petition of injunction; notice and hearing; temporary injunction; issuance of injunction; enforcement
1. As used in this section, the term:
(a) "Domestic Violence" means any assault, battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another, who is or was residing in the same single dwelling unit.
(b) "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 have a child in common regardless or whether they have been married or have resided together at any time.
2. Any person described in paragraph (e), who is the victim of any act of domestic violence, has standing in the circuit court to file a sworn petition for an injunction of protection against domestic violence.
(b) This cause of action for an injunction may be sought by family or household members as defined in paragraph (b) of subsection (1). No person shall be precluded form seeking injunctive relief pursuant to this chapter solely on the basis that such person is not a spouse.
3. (a) In the event the victim does not have sufficient funds with which to pay filing fees to the clerk of court or service fees to the Sheriff and signs an affidavit stating so, the fees shall be waived by the clerk of the court of the Sheriff to the extent necessary to process the petition and serve the injunction, subject to a subsequent order of the court relative to the payment of such fees.
(b) No bond shall be required by the court for the entry of an injunction.
(c) (1) The clerk of the court shall assist petitioners against domestic violence.
(2) All clerks offices shall provide simplified petition form including instructions for completion.
(3) The clerk of court shall advise petitioners of the availability of affidavits of insolvency or indigence in lieu of payment for the cost of the filing fee.
(4) The clerk of the court shall ensure the petitioners privacy to the extent practical while completing the forms for injunction for protection.
(5) The clerk of hte court shall provide petitioners with a minimum of two certified copies of the order of injunction, one of which is serviceable and will inform the petitioner of the process for service and enforcement.
(6) Clerks of Court and appropriate staff in each county shall receive training in the effective assistance of petitioners as provided or approved by the State Association of Court Clerks.
(7) The clerk of court in each county shall make available informational brochures on domestic violence when such brochures are provided by local certified domestic centers.
(8) The clerk of court in each county shall distribute a statewide uniform informational brochure to petitioners at the time of filing for an in junction for protection against domestic or repeat violence when such brochures become available.
4. (a) The sworn petition shall allege the existence of such domestic violence and shall include the specific facts and circumstances upon the basis of which relief was sought.
(b) The sworn petition shall be substantially the following form: