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When an alleged victim of any act of domestic violence or an individual with reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence files a petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence, Florida Statute § 741.30(5)(a) establishes that the court can grant a temporary injunction ex parte, pending a full hearing.
One of the types of relief that may be provided in the ex parte order includes providing the alleged victim (formally referred to as the petitioner) a temporary parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule, which may award the petitioner up to 100 percent of the time-sharing.
If a petitioner and the alleged offender (formally referred to as the respondent) have minor children in common, the petitioner also needs to complete a Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Affidavit (UCCJEA). The safety of children in domestic violence cases is an issue of extreme importance to Florida courts, and any respondent will want to be sure that he or she has legal representation for hearings relating to possible injunctions for domestic violence.
Are you a respondent in an injunction for protection against domestic violence with children in the Tampa Bay area? Contact Morris Law Firm, P.A. as soon as possible.
St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer Melinda Morris defends clients accused of crimes of domestic violence in communities all over Hillsborough County, Manatee County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, and Sarasota County. Our attorney will provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (727) 388-4736 to take advantage of a free initial consultation.
Florida’s domestic violence benchbook, developed by the Office of the State Courts Administrator (OSCA), Office of Court Improvement (OCI), states that a court should the following as part of protocol for domestic violence injunction hearings:
After a petitioner completes and files a petition for an injunction with the clerk or a designee, the petition and all supporting documents will be reviewed by the judge. In many cases, judges will issue temporary (or ex parte) orders that take effect once they have been served to the respondents.
Under Florida Statute § 741.30(5)(c), an ex parte temporary injunction is effective for a fixed period of not more than 15 days. A full hearing must be set for a date no later than the date when the temporary injunction ceases to be effective.
Children are one factor that the court takes into consideration when considering petitions for injunctions against domestic violence. Because courts have the power to award temporary custody of minor children in such injunctions, it is critical for any respondent to retain legal counsel in order to have the best chance at securing the most favorable child custody award.
Under Chapter 8.18 of the Florida Standard Jury Instructions, a prosecutor must prove both of the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict a person of violating an injunction for protection against domestic violence:
The jury instructions define willfully as "knowingly, intentionally, and purposely." A violation of an injunction for protection against domestic violence is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, but a violation becomes a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 when the alleged offender has two or more prior convictions for violation of an injunction.
Florida Statute § 741.31(4)(a) establishes that a person willfully violates an injunction for protection against domestic violence by:
Administrative Order Number 2016-030 PA/PI-CIR — View the full text of the Sixth Judicial Circuit administrative order regarding the adoption of Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.545(d). Under this order, all civil domestic violence actions require the filing of a Supplemental Information Regarding Parties form. The Supplemental Information Regarding Parties form requires such information as the names and ages of any minor children a petitioner has in common with a respondent as well as minor children each party has that are not in common with the other party.
Steering Committee on Families and Children in the Court — The Supreme Court of Florida established the Family Court Steering Committee in 1994 to assist in furtherance of the family court initiative. The family court initiative's goal is "to establish a fully integrated, comprehensive approach to handling all cases involving children and families." Use this website to view a membership list for the Steering Committee on Families and Children in the Court, access a family court tool kit, and learn more about other projects.
If you have been served notice about a hearing for an injunction against domestic violence or were arrested for allegedly violating an injunction in the Tampa Bay area, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Morris Law Firm, P.A. represents clients in communities throughout Pinellas County, such as Largo, Clearwater, Dunedin, and many others.
Melinda Morris is an experienced criminal defense attorney in St. Petersburg who is a former Domestic Violence Division Prosecutor for the State Attorney’s Office in Pinellas County.
Call (727) 388-4736 or fill out an online contact form to have our lawyer review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free, confidential consultation.
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