Exploring Florida’s Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Orders
Domestic violence can literally be life-threatening. Oftentimes, the victim of domestic violence will seek a temporary restraining order (TRO) in an attempt to get some form of immediate protection from her abuser. The following article will provide some helpful information about Florida TROs.
What is a temporary restraining order?
A temporary restraining order (TRO) is a court order which is designed to provide you and your family members with immediate protection from the abuser. Immediately after filing your petition for protection, the clerk will give your petition to the judge, who will determine if there is an immediate and present danger of domestic violence. According to Fla. Stat. § 741.30(1)(a), you will be unable to obtain a TRO if there is no proof of an immediate and present danger of domestic violence. If a judge approves your petition, the TRO will take effect as soon as the abuser is formally served with a copy of the order.
The TRO will be valid for a few days and will typically not extend past 15 days at a time (unless the judge grants a continuance of the hearing for good cause shown by either party.) Before the fixed time period ends, there will be a full hearing to decide whether the judge should issue a final injunction, which may provide you with more protections than the TRO did. The final injunction may have a set period of time that it will be in effect (for example, one year) or it may not have an expiration date. If there is no expiration date, either you or the abuser can file in court to modify or terminate the injunction at any time and the judge will decide whether or not to grant the request. If you are issued a TRO, it will be valid until the full hearing takes place. Furthermore, even if the judge does not issue you a TRO, the judge is still supposed to set a hearing date for a final injunction where you will have another opportunity to present your case.
Factors used to determine “immediate and present danger of domestic violence”
As mentioned above, in order to issue a TRO, a judge must first determine whether the petitioner is in an “immediate and present danger of domestic violence.” According to Fla. Stat. § 741.30(6)(b), there are several facts that a judge may consider when determining if this type of danger exists, which includes:
- The history between you and the abuser (including threats, harassment, stalking, and physical abuse)
- Whether the abuser has attempted to harm you or family members or individuals closely associated with you
- Whether the abuser has threatened to conceal, kidnap, or harm your child
- Whether the abuser has intentionally injured or killed a family pet
- Whether the abuser has used, or has threatened to use, any weapons such as guns or knives against you
- Whether the abuser has physically restrained you from leaving the home or calling law enforcement
- Whether the abuser has a criminal history involving violence or the threat of violence
- Whether there was a prior order of protection issued against the abuser
- Whether the abuser has destroyed personal property of yours (e.g., telephone, clothing, or other items belonging to you)
- Whether the abuser has behaved in any other way that leads you to reasonably believe that you are in immediate danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence
Have You Been Subjected to Domestic Violence? Contact an Orlando Domestic Violence Attorney Today.
If you have been subjected to domestic violence, you do not have to deal with it alone. Whether you need help obtaining a protective order or filing for divorce, Arwani Law Firm is here to help. Contact our Orlando domestic violence lawyers today for a consultation.