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How do you file a restraining order in Florida?

If you are a resident of Florida and a victim of stalking, you may find it necessary to file a restraining order, or take out what is known as an “injunction” on a person you believe is attempting to cause you harm.  Injunctions are legally binding documents that can prevent stalkers or abusers from coming within a set distance from you, and many people who seek them are victims of domestic or sexual violence.

Per the University of Florida, to file an injunction, you will need to bring a valid photo identification to a court in an area where you live, where your abuser lives or where your domestic violence-related incident occurred. If a temporary injunction receives approval from a judge, the person you name in the document will then receive notice of it, at which point he or she must adhere to its stipulations or risk penalties for failing to do so.

The exact stipulations of an injunction may vary, but your abuser may be in violation of it if he or she continues to contact you after receiving the notice. Getting too close to you may be a violation, as may entering your home or car, approaching a family member of yours or destroying your property, among other examples. If your abuser violates any of the terms of your injunction, a judge may hold him or her in contempt of court, meaning he or she will likely face associated penalties.

This information about filing an injunction or restraining order seeks to educate you, but please do not consider it a replacement for legal guidance. 

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