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What is a Protective Injunction, and When Should You File One?

A protective injunction, also called a “restraining order,” is an order that legally restricts someone from doing specific actions or compels them to perform others. Injunctions are created to help protect petitioners from physical harm or threat of violence against a respondent. An injunction is not a criminal charge, but a respondent could be arrested if they violate the order. Filing an injunction is a serious matter, so it is important to understand what injunctions are and when they should be used.

What Does an Injunction Do?

Injunctions compel a respondent to either refrain from certain activities or perform specific actions. For instance, an injunction could order someone to stop contacting another person, stop abusive acts, or remain a certain distance away from them. It could also order the respondent to complete tasks, like vacating a home or surrendering weapons to law enforcement. An injunction also gives the petitioner certain rights and entitlements, such as getting temporary custody of minor children or being paid child support.

Types of Injunctions

There are two types of protective injunctions: There is an injunction against domestic violence, meaning wrongful acts within a marriage, and a protective injunction to protect against similar acts outside of marriage. Injunctions can be filed for domestic violence, dating, stalking, or lascivious behavior. Here are the types of injunctions and their purposes:


Temporary injunctions are automatically issued after a petitioner files for one and a judge grants the request. Temporary injunctions are valid for 15 days after the respondent is served. Their primary purpose is to provide a petitioner immediate protection until a hearing can take place.


Once a temporary injunction is filed, a hearing will take place within two weeks to determine whether the temporary injunction should remain permanent. During the hearing, the petitioner will need to discuss why they believe they are in danger of future violence. They will also need to specify which actions will keep them safe in the future. Permanent injunctions remain in effect until there is a request for modification by either party. Permanent injunctions can be granted indefinitely or for a specific timeframe, typically between one to five years. A motion can be filed to extend a permanent injunction past the original expiration date if the petitioner believes it is necessary.

How to File an Injunction

Injunctions can be filed at the county courthouse with no filing fees. While having an attorney file an injunction on your behalf is not required, speaking with an experienced domestic violence attorney can be beneficial to ensure every step is followed. A request for an injunction must be signed and notarized before a judge sees it. After a review, the judge will grant a temporary injunction, which is valid for 15 days or until a hearing is held. The injunction’s terms do not go into effect until the respondent is served. A court hearing will be set within two weeks to determine whether the petition should be made permanent. If the petition is granted, the respondent is legally bound by its terms for the length of time specified. They could face criminal charges if they fail to follow the injunction terms.

Get Help with Filing Injunctions in Florida

Attorney Thomas R. Peppler is an experienced family law attorney who can assist with filing all types of injunctions. Our team will walk you through the entire process to ensure you protect yourself and your family from future violence. If you believe you need to file a protective injunction, do not wait to get help. Call our office at 407-316-2045 to discuss your options.

If you are the victim of domestic violence, You can receive additional help by calling Florida’s Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-500-1119.

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