How Can a Protective Order Be Entered Without Notice?
If a police officer shows up at your door and hands you a packet including a Florida temporary protective order for domestic violence, you’ll probably be pretty confused over what just happened. You may wonder how any legal proceeding affecting your rights could take place without you knowing about it. A Fort Lauderdale domestic violence attorney can address your specific concerns about these cases, but it may help to review the answers to common questions.
Why didn’t I get notice of the hearing? This first question is important because there are many misconceptions over how someone can get a restraining order without notice. Under the statute, a person can file a petition and obtain an injunction for protection from domestic violence. When the petitioner feels that he or she is in imminent danger of domestic violence, the petition can be granted on an emergency basis – without the typical legal requirement of providing notice to the respondent.
This order must be temporary in nature because you didn’t receive notice and weren’t able to defend yourself in court.
Who can get a protective order against me? The petitioner could be any family member or someone living in the same residence as you, as well as someone with whom you have a child in common. There’s no requirement that the person be a current or former spouse of the respondent.
What conduct does a temporary order address? The order is an injunction which directs you to refrain from certain acts of domestic violence. Typically, you’ll be required to stay away from the petitioner and cannot contact him or her. This may create a challenge if you currently share a residence with that person, because you cannot be present at home while the temporary order is in effect. You may need to find other accommodations. However, the temporary order doesn’t affect your ownership rights: If you are on the deed to the property, you are still considered an owner.
How long can the order last? When a protective order is issued on an emergency basis, without notice to you, it can only be in effect for 15 days. For this reason, it’s called a temporary injunction against domestic violence. There are some exceptions that allow the petitioner to extend this period, but they’re rare.
Can I attend the next hearing? You can – and must – attend the hearing that will occur upon the expiration of the temporary restraining order. When you receive the temporary injunction, it will include notice of the next hearing, which will take place 15 days later.
At this hearing, you’ll have the opportunity to defend yourself and present evidence in your favor. The purpose of this hearing is to determine whether a permanent injunction would be necessary and appropriate.
A Skilled Florida Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Can Answer Additional Questions
If you need additional information about temporary injunctions for domestic violence, please contact attorney Kevin J. Kulik to set up a consultation at our office in Fort Lauderdale, FL. We can tell you more about how these proceedings work, and will represent you at the upcoming hearing.