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The following is a summary of the information and process when filing for an Injunction for Protection. For additional information, please speak with a Victim Services Advocate or staff in the Clerk of the Court.
Who is eligible?
Any victim of Domestic violence per FS 741.28. Any victim of Repeat Violence, Sexual Violence or Dating Violence per FS 784.06. Any victim of stalking per FS 784.0485.
Where can a person apply?
Any courthouse at the the Clerk of the Court Offices. Palm Beach County Victim Services will provide accompaniment, advocacy, and supportive counseling for victims during the filing process and extension hearings.
How much does it cost?
There is no filing fee per FS 741.30
Is this a civil or criminal action?
Civil. The victim is the petitioner and the abuser is the respondent.
How long does it take?
You may be at the courthouse for several hours. After you fill out the paperwork, it is forwarded to the Judge for review and approval.
How is the respondent served?
A Palm Beach County Sheriff's Officer serves a copy of the restraining order to the respondent. It is very important to plan for your safety since the respondent will possess a copy of everything stated in the restraining order and may become even more angry.
You will also be provided with a serviceable copy when you receive your injunction for protection. If you see the respondent and/or he comes to your home or place of work, call 911 and the responding officer can serve the respondent with your serviceable copy.
If approved and signed by the Judge, how long is it in effect?
The Temporary Injuction is good for a period up to 15 days. You will receive a certified copy that you must keep with you at all times. A hearing is held before the 15 days are over. The Judge will decide to extend or dismiss the injunction based on testimony and evidence presented by the petitioner and respondent at the extension hearing. An advocate can be with you during this hearing however the advocate can only be there to provide emotional support and can’t speak to the judge on your behalf. If the order is extended, the Judge may approve it for a few months, a year, or for an indefinite period of time.
What happens if the respondent violates the order?
Safety First! Call the police to protect yourself (and your children). File a police report to document the incident, then proceed to the Clerk's office to file a violation.
How can the order be terminated?
Either party can petition the court to have the order modified or dissolved. The order may also expire on its own so it is very important to review the injunction for its’ date of expiration.