Although they fall under several different names – Ex Parte Orders, Injunctions for Protection Against Dating, Sexual, or Domestic Violence, Restraining Orders, Orders of Protection Against Repeat Violence – the causes of action under Florida Statutes 741.30 and 784.046 are very similar. The terms “injunction” or “restraining order” are used interchangeably here locally and function to restrict the actions of one party in relation to the other party. The person seeking a “no- contact” order is referred to as the Petitioner. The person against whom the action is brought is called the Respondent.
Valerie Prevatte has represented hundreds of Petitioners and Respondents. She recognizes that sometimes Petitioners lie or abuse the system to get an unfair advantage in divorce proceedings, hoping to financially break the Respondent. She also recognizes that sometimes Petitioners have been victimized and are left feeling alone, afraid, and vulnerable. An experienced attorney like Valerie Prevatte can ease your apprehensions by evaluating the nuances of the case, advising as to the strength of the case, and effectively presenting the relevant evidence to the court.
The Petitioner makes a written request for an injunction at the Office of the Clerk of Court at the courthouse. Courthouse personnel are available to assist the Petitioner in completing a pre-printed form that asks questions such as details of prior acts of violence, whether there are related cases pending (for example, a divorce or criminal prosecution), and where the Respondent might be located. The written request is then presented to a judge who determines whether a temporary ex parte injunction will be granted. If the judge orders the issuance of a temporary restraining order, the matter is set for a hearing, usually within 10 days, to determine if the order should be made permanent. At that hearing, the Respondent has the opportunity to appear before the judge and present evidence, too.
As the Respondent, you may not want to have contact with the Petitioner anyway. While it might be tempting to agree to the entry of a “no-contact” order, you should carefully consider the implications of such an order. Any contact with the Petitioner, even if at the invitation of the Petitioner or through a third party such as a mutual friend, can result in your arrest and prosecution. Additionally, your Second Amendment right to possess firearms is affected, as well as your ability to travel unhindered. Even your livelihood can be affected if you are in the armed services or work on base. If you have children with the Petitioner, an injunction may prevent you from attending school functions, birthday celebrations, and athletic competitions.