- Court Services
- Injunctions for Protection
Injunctions for Protection
Sometimes called a "restraining order", an injunction is a court order that directs a particular person not to have any contact with you. You have the right to file a petition to ask the court to issue an injunction against a person who has been physically violent with you, has placed you in fear of physical violence, or is stalking you. The purpose of an injunction is to legally prevent that person from having contact with you by ordering them to stay away from your home, your car, your place of employment, and other places the court finds necessary. That person is forbidden to contact you by phone, email, or in person. Injunctions can also include other relief that the court feels is appropriate. If you are under the age of 18, ask the Clerk about an adult filing on your behalf.
To pursue an Injunction for Protection, the first step is to identify the type of injunction needed. The next step is to complete the appropriate packet and file it with the Clerk's office. The following resource may be needed for the process.
If you need assistance during non-operating hours, contact 911.
Types of Injunctions
There are five kinds of civil injunctions: domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence, repeat violence, and stalking. There are different requirements for each type of injunction. The type of petition you file depends on your relationship with the other person and what has occurred. The requirements for each type of injunction are listed in the following:
Do you now or have you ever lived with the other person as a "family"? Family includes but is not limited to people who you are related to by blood or marriage, parties intimately involved and living together but never married, adopted children, step-parents, and step-children.
Or Do you and the other person have a child together?
If you answered yes to either of these questions you may wish to file a petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence.
You may wish to file a petition for an injunction for protection against sexual violence if:
You answered "no" to the domestic violence questions
And The other person committed one of the following acts: sexual battery defined by Chapter 794 of Florida Statutes; lewd and lascivious act defined in Chapter 800 of Florida Statutes upon or in the presence of a child younger than 16; lured or enticed a child as described in Chapter 787 of Florida Statutes; required a child to sexually perform as in Chapter 827 of Florida Statutes; or committed any forcible felony wherein a sexual act was committed or attempted. Ask the deputy clerk for definitions of these acts if you do not know what they are so you can determine if they apply to your situation.
And If you have reported the sexual violence to law enforcement and are cooperating with any criminal proceeding, then you may file for this type of injunction
Or You can file a sexual violence injunction if the other person has been in prison for sexual violence against you, and the term of imprisonment has expired or will expire within 90 days from the date the petition is filed.
Have you and the other person dated each other in the last six months?
And Did you have an expectation of affection or sexual involvement with the other person?
And Did you interact with the other person on a frequent and continuous basis during the relationship?
If you answered "Yes" to all of these questions about dating, and whether or not the other person has been violent towards you in the past, and you fear you are in imminent danger of violence, then you may wish to file a petition for an injunction for protection against dating violence.
If your answers to the questions about other kinds of injunctions are "no", you may wish to file a petition for an injunction against repeat violence. This petition could be used for neighbors, coworkers, students, relatives who have never lived together, etc. But, for this type of injunction, there must have been two incidents of physical violence, threats of violence, or stalking, and one of these must have occurred in the last six months.
If you are the victim of two incidents of stalking, you may wish to file a petition for an injunction against stalking. "Stalking" is defined as willful, malicious, and repeated actions to follow, harass, or cyberstalk another person.
Do-It-Yourself Court Filings
Utilize our interactive TurboCourt service to prepare your own forms. This tool will guide you through the process of selecting the type of injunction you need and through completing the paperwork. It is free for those seeking an injunction. If you are experiencing an emergency after business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), contact law enforcement or call 911. Electronic filings are only processed during business hours.
DIY Center at the Bartow Courthouse
We a DIY Center with fulltime staff at the Bartow Courthouse to help you with your injunction paperwork.
Forms and Resources
The Florida Court's Self-Help Center provides a variety of forms that may be needed in injunction cases. There is no cost to access these forms.
Packets of forms and instructions are available for free at any of our three offices.