Shelter House can provide victims of domestic violence and their children a variety of services. Their 24-hour hot line is 863-4777 or 1-800-44ABUSE.
Requirements for Filing a Restraining Order for Domestic Violence
If a person is the victim of any acts of domestic violence, or has reason to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of domestic violence (by a spouse, former spouse, person related by blood or marriage, person who is presently residing together as if a family or who has resided in the past as if a family member, or a person who has a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have resided together at any time), that person meets the requirements for filing a restraining order for domestic violence. There is no filing fee for this request.
Requirements for Filing a Restraining Order for Repeat Violence
If a person has encountered two incidents of violence or stalking committed by the respondent, one of which must have been within 6 months of the filing of the petition, that person meets the requirements for filing a restraining order for repeat violence. The respondent is considered to be anyone other than a spouse, former spouse, person related by blood or marriage, person who is presently residing together as a family or who has resided in the past as a family, or a person who has a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have resided together at any time. (i.e., neighbors, friends, business associates, girlfriend/boyfriend who have never lived together would be considered appropriate parties for a repeat violence case.)
A restraining order cannot be used for settling property disputes. If you are involved in a property or boundary dispute, you should contact a lawyer, or research the Florida Statutes and Florida Rules of Court.
Obtaining an Injunction for Protection
If you are the victim of domestic or repeat violence and meet the requirements listed above, you may file for an Injunction for Protection against Domestic or Repeat Violence.
Forms are available at the office of the Clerk of Court in two locations:
Walton County Courthouse
Walton County Courthouse Annex
You will be provided a reasonably private place to complete your petition for restraining order. Once you have completed the required paperwork, your case will be submitted to the judge.
Please be advised that your paperwork must be completed and filed with the Clerk no later than 4 p.m. for the Court to consider your request the same day. If you file your request for injunction after 4 p.m., the Court will consider it the next business day.
If the judge grants your request, you will have a temporary restraining order. This will only be in effect until a full hearing can be held. You will receive a copy of the temporary order which will have the hearing date and time on it. You must be present at the hearing if you wish to continue the restraining order. Failure to appear may result in the restraining order being dismissed and you may be ordered to pay the costs involved. You should keep at least one certified copy of the restraining order with you at all times.
The person(s) you filed the restraining order against will be served a copy of the restraining order by the sheriff’s department. He/she also has the right to be present at the hearing.
At the hearing, the judge will hear testimony from both parties, and may decide to continue the restraining order, or dismiss it.
Length of Validity
A restraining order shall remain in full force and effect until further order of the court.
Violation of the Restraining Order
If you have a temporary or permanent restraining order, and the restraining order is violated by the respondent, you should report the violation to the sheriff’s department. You will also need to come to the Clerk’s office and complete an Affidavit of Violation of Restraining Order. The case will be set for hearing, you will receive a copy of the order setting the hearing date and time, and a copy will be served on the respondent. You are both required to be present at this hearing.
Dismissal of the Restraining Order
If you desire to have your restraining order dismissed, you should come to the Clerk’s office and complete a Civil Drop Charge statement. This will be presented to the judge, who may dismiss your restraining order, or may set the case for hearing. You will be notified of whatever decision is made.