Please review the answers below to frequently asked questions regarding injunctions, also referred to as Restraining Orders.
Do I need an attorney to file for an injunction?No. An attorney is not required. However, if you wish to obtain the services of an attorney, and you do not know one, you may want to call the Orange County Bar Lawyer Referral Service at
Am I eligible to request an injunction?An injunction for protection against domestic violence may be available to you if:
you have been the victim of physical abuse, or
you have been placed in fear, either with words or physical acts, that you would immediately be harmed by an unlawful act of violence.
You may petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence if the person who harmed you or threatened to harm you is:
someone you live with
someone you lived with in the past
a former spouse
a person related by blood or marriage
a person who is the parent of your child or children, even if you never lived with that person
Please refer to our Injunctions
page for information on types of injunctions and the requirements for filing.
What relief will the injunction provide for me?The "respondent" is the person who you allege engaged in an act or acts of domestic violence. If the court enters an injunction, it will prohibit the respondent from continuing any acts or threats of violence. The court may also order the respondent to vacate your residence, stay away from your residence, and stay away from your work place. If the injunction states that there is to be "no contact" between the parties, the respondent is prohibited from communicating with the petitioner either directly, indirectly, or through a third party. The respondent must abide by the court's order or face criminal charges.
How long will the injunction last?
Upon the filing of a petition for an injunction, a judge will review the petition to determine whether it has merit. If the petition has merit, the judge will issue a temporary injunction until a hearing can be held to determine whether a permanent injunction should be issued. The temporary injunction is in effect for 15 days. If a permanent injunction is issued, it is permanent unless otherwise stated in the final order by the judge.
What happens after the judge grants a temporary injunction?
The respondent must be personally served with a copy of the petition, the temporary injunction and the notice for a formal hearing. The hearing is held so that the judge can determine whether to issue a permanent injunction.
What happens at the hearing?
The judge will decide at the hearing whether to issue a permanent injunction. Sometimes the judge will order an extension of the temporary injunction if the respondent has not been served. The judge will specify what conditions or restrictions are to be placed upon the respondent. Some examples of conditions or restrictions that the judge may order include:
Requirement that the respondent undergo counseling
Recommendation that the petitioner and any children in the home receive counseling
Award of custody of the child or children, including terms of visitation
Requirement that child support be paid through the Clerk's office
Please Note: All provisions of the injunction expire when the injunction expires. For example, if the judge rules the injunction shall be in place for one year, all provisions associated with the injunction end after one year.
The injunction is not intended to provide you with a method to obtain custody of, or support for, a child. As a courtesy, the judge will address these issues at the hearing. However, if the respondent fails to comply with the visitation or child support portion of the order, you should contact the Clerk's Family Services Division at (407) 836-2054 or at 425 N. Orange Avenue, Room 320, Orlando, Florida 32801.
Am I required to attend the hearing?
Yes. If you cannot attend the hearing, you must contact the Domestic Violence Unit at (407) 836-2001. The judge may hold you in contempt of court for failing to appear at the hearing.
What if I decide that I don't want a permanent injunction to be issued?
You may ask the judge at the hearing to dismiss the injunction. The judge will decide whether or not to do so. If the hearing has already been held and you want to request a dismissal of the injunction, you may contact the Clerk's Family Services Division by calling (407) 836-2001 or by visiting Room 520 of the courthouse.
The judge ordered an extension of the temporary injunction. What does that mean?
If an injunction is extended, it means the terms of the temporary injunction will continue to apply for the period of time specified in the court's order. The judge may also order changes or additions to the original wording at the time the extension is ordered.
The injunction ordered the respondent to vacate my residence. Is he or she allowed to go back to the residence to retrieve personal belongings?
Yes. The respondent may retrieve personal belongings from the residence in the presence of a law enforcement officer.
The injunction specifies that there is to be "no contact." What does that mean?
If the injunction states that the parties are to have "no contact," that means there should be no communication - either directly, indirectly, or through a third party - between the petitioner and respondent.
Is the respondent in violation of the order if he or she contacts with me at my invitation?
The respondent is in violation if he or she makes contact with you in any way.
If the respondent has violated the injunction, what do I need to do to get the case back before the judge?
Call law enforcement and report the incident. Then come to the Clerk's Family Services Division in Room 315 of the courthouse to file an Affidavit of Violation