A domestic violence injunction is available when there has been domestic violence, or if you have "reasonable cause" to believe you are in imminent danger of suffering domestic violence. Domestic violence includes physical violence and can also include threats of violence, and stalking.
The court process starts by going in person to the Domestic Violence unit at the courthouse and completing the paperwork to request a temporary restraining order. If you get there early enough in the day, the request will be heard by the Judge that day and the Judge can enter an temporary restraining order; and a hearing day and time will be scheduled to determine whether to issue a permanent injunction.
A person is not required to have an attorney to file for a restraining order, and the office at the courthouse will help you prepare the paperwork you need.
The hearing to determine whether a permanent injunction will be issued is basically a trial, which is scheduled on rush basis, usually very quickly after the temporary restraining order is issued, e.g. in two to three weeks. Bringing your witnesses, evidence and preparing your questions to ask for direct and cross-examination are all important.
There are victim advocates and domestic violence programs in each county - Broward, Dade, Palm Beach counties. Information for the courthouse domestic violence units for each county can be found at - Broward, Dade, Palm Beach. At the permanent injunction hearing, both sides are given an opportunity to present their case, and the Judge will decide whether or not to enter an order based on what he or she hears at the hearing.
Something else to remember is that in addition to entering a restraining order at a domestic violence hearing, the court can also enter orders regarding exclusive use and occupancy of the home and regarding Time-sharing and Parental Responsibility (i.e. custody of children), at both the temporary and permanent injunction hearings; and at the hearing regarding a permanent injunction the judge can enter orders providing for payment of Spousal Support (Temporary Alimony) and payment of Child Support, health insurance, and medical and other expenses.
Call me at (954) 636-7498 or use the contact form on the website, and we can discuss you case.
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