WHAT IS A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INJUNCTION?
Feb. 24, 2022
If you are considering filing a Petition for Protection against Domestic Violence or you have been served with a temporary injunction for protection against domestic violence it is important to understand the injunction process and court process.
A domestic violence injunction may be filed by family or household members who is either the victim of domestic violence or has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of any act or domestic violence, has standing in circuit court to file a sworn petition for injunction for protection against domestic violence.
Domestic violence means any assault, aggrevated assault, battery, aggrevated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggrevated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family member or household member by another family or household member.
The petition may be filed in the circuit court where the petitioner currently or temporarily resides, where the respondent resides, or where the domestic violence occurred.
Once the petition is filed the petition will be reviewed by the court. If the court determines that there appears to be an immediate and present danger of domestic violence exists, the court may grant a temporary injunction, pending a hearing, and may grant any relief as the court deems proper such as:
Restraining the respondent from committing any acts of domestic violence.
Awarding to the petitioner the exclusive use and possession of the dwelling that the parties share or excluding the respondent from the residence of the petitioner.
On the same basis as provided in chapter 61, providing the petitioner with 100 percent of the time-sharing in a temporary parenting plan that remains in effect until the order expires or an order is entered by a court of competent jurisdiction in a pending or subsequent civil action or proceeding affecting the placement of, access to, parental time with, adoption of, or parental rights and responsibilities for the minor child.
On the same basis as provided in chapter 61, establishing temporary support for a minor child or children or the petitioner. An order of temporary support remains in effect until the order expires or an order is entered by a court of competent jurisdiction in a pending or subsequent civil action or proceeding affecting child support.
Ordering the respondent to participate in treatment, intervention, or counseling services to be paid for by the respondent. When the court orders the respondent to participate in a batterers’ intervention program, the court, or any entity designated by the court, must provide the respondent with a list of batterers’ intervention programs from which the respondent must choose a program in which to participate.
Referring a petitioner to a certified domestic violence center. The court must provide the petitioner with a list of certified domestic violence centers in the circuit which the petitioner may contact.
Awarding to the petitioner the exclusive care, possession, or control of an animal that is owned, possessed, harbored, kept, or held by the petitioner, the respondent, or a minor child residing in the residence or household of the petitioner or respondent. The court may order the respondent to have no contact with the animal and prohibit the respondent from taking, transferring, encumbering, concealing, harming, or otherwise disposing of the animal. This subparagraph does not apply to an animal owned primarily for a bona fide agricultural purpose, as defined under s. 193.461 or to a service animal, as defined under s. 413.08, if the respondent is the service animal’s handler.
Ordering such other relief as the court deems necessary for the protection of a victim of domestic violence, including injunctions or directives to law enforcement agencies,
If the temporary injunction is ordered a full hearing will be scheduled no later than 15 days.
If the court does not enter the temporary injunction and the denial has no appearance of an immediate present danger of domestic violence the court will set a full hearing on the injunction.
What Happens at the Hearing?
The respondent may agree with the petition and the entry of a final judgment for permanent injunction for protection against domestic violence in favor of the petitioner. The period of time that the injunction shall remain in place will be determined by the court.
What if I Am the Respondent and Do Not Agree with the Injunction?
The respondent may not agree. The court will then conduct a full evidentiary hearing considering factors such as but not limited to the following:
The history between the petitioner and the respondent, including threats, harassment, stalking, and physical abuse.
Whether the respondent has attempted to harm the petitioner or family members or individuals closely associated with the petitioner.
Whether the respondent has threatened to conceal, kidnap, or harm the petitioner’s child or children.
Whether the respondent has intentionally injured or killed a family pet.
Whether the respondent has used, or has threatened to use, against the petitioner any weapons such as guns or knives.
Whether the respondent has physically restrained the petitioner from leaving the home or calling law enforcement.
Whether the respondent has a criminal history involving violence or the threat of violence.
The existence of a verifiable order of protection issued previously or from another jurisdiction.
Whether the respondent has destroyed personal property, including, but not limited to, telephones or other communications equipment, clothing, or other items belonging to the petitioner.
Whether the respondent engaged in any other behavior or conduct that leads the petitioner to have reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.
Do I Need to Have Representation at the Hearing?
The petitioner or respondent are not required to have attorney representation at the hearing however it is prudent to consult with an attorney if you have either filed an injunction or have been served with an injunction to understand your legal rights or implications of an entry of a final judgment for protection against domestic violence.
This blog is intended for information purposes only and shall not be considered as legal advice.