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Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure
 

Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure

12.610 Injunctions for Domestic and Repeat Violence

(a) Application. This rule shall apply only to temporary and permanent injunctions for protection against domestic violence and temporary and permanent injunctions for protection against repeat violence, dating violence, or sexual violence. All other injunctive relief sought in cases to which the Family Law Rules apply shall be governed by Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.610.

(b) Petitions.

(1) Requirements for Use.

(A) Domestic Violence. Any person may file a petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence as provided by law.

(B) Repeat Violence. Any person may file a petition for an injunction for protection against repeat violence as provided by law.

(C) Dating Violence. Any person may file a petition for an injunction for protection against dating violence as provided by law.

(D) Sexual Violence. Any person may file a petition for an injunction for protection against sexual violence as provided by law.

(2) Service of Petitions.

(A) Domestic Violence. Personal service by a law enforcement agency is required. The clerk of the court shall furnish a copy of the petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence, financial affidavit (if support is sought), Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act affidavit (if custody is sought), temporary injunction (if one has been entered), and notice of hearing to the appropriate sheriff or law enforcement agency of the county where the respondent resides or can be found for expeditious service of process.

(B) Repeat Violence, Dating Violence, and Sexual Violence. Personal service by a law enforcement agency is required. The clerk of the court shall furnish a copy of the petition for an injunction for protection against repeat violence, dating violence, or sexual violence temporary injunction (if one has been entered), and notice of hearing to the appropriate sheriff or law enforcement agency of the county where the respondent resides or can be found for expeditious service of process.

(C) Additional Documents. Service of pleadings in cases of domestic, repeat, dating, or sexual violence other than petitions, supplemental petitions, and orders granting injunctions shall be governed by rule 12.080, except that service of a motion to modify or vacate an injunction should be by notice that is reasonably calculated to apprise the nonmoving party of the pendency of the proceedings.

(3) Consideration by Court. Upon the filing of a petition, the court shall set a hearing to be held at the earliest possible time. A denial of a petition for an ex parte injunction shall be by written order noting the legal grounds for denial. When the only ground for denial is no appearance of an immediate and present danger of domestic, repeat, dating, or sexual violence, the court shall set a full hearing on the petition for injunction with notice at the earliest possible time. Nothing herein affects a petitioner's right to promptly amend any petition, or otherwise be heard in person on any petition consistent with these rules.

(4) Forms.

(A) Provision of Forms. The clerk of the court or family or domestic/repeat/dating/sexual violence intake personnel shall provide simplified forms, including instructions for completion, for any person whose circumstances meet the requirements of this rule and shall assist the petitioner in obtaining an injunction for protection against domestic, repeat, dating, or sexual violence as provided by law.

(B) Confidential Filing of Address. A petitioner's address may be furnished to the court in a confidential filing separate from a petition or other form if, for safety reasons, a petitioner believes that the address should be concealed. The ultimate determination of a need for confidentiality must be made by the court as provided in Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.051.

(c) Orders of Injunction.

(1) Consideration by Court.

(A) Temporary Injunction. For the injunction for protection to be issued ex parte, it must appear to the court that an immediate and present danger of domestic, repeat, dating, or sexual violence exists. In an ex parte hearing for the purpose of obtaining an ex parte temporary injunction, the court may limit the evidence to the verified pleadings or affidavits for a determination of whether there is an imminent danger that the petitioner will become a victim of domestic, repeat, dating, or sexual violence. If the respondent appears at the hearing or has received reasonable notice of the hearing, the court may hold a hearing on the petition. If a verified petition and affidavit are amended, the court shall consider the amendments as if originally filed.

(B) Final Judgment of Injunction for Protection Against Repeat, Dating, or Sexual Violence. A hearing shall be conducted.

(C) Final Judgment of Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence. The court shall conduct a hearing and make a finding of whether domestic violence occurred or whether imminent danger of domestic violence exists. If the court determines that an injunction will be issued, the court shall also rule on the following:

(i) whether the respondent may have any contact with the petitioner, and if so, under what conditions;

(ii) exclusive use of the parties' shared residence;

(iii) temporary custody of minor children;

(iv) whether temporary visitation will occur and whether it will be supervised;

(v) whether temporary child support will be ordered;

(vi) whether temporary spousal support will be ordered; and

(vii) such other relief as the court deems necessary for the protection of the petitioner.

The court, with the consent of the parties, may refer the parties to mediation by a certified family mediator to attempt to resolve the details as to the above rulings. This mediation shall be the only alternative dispute resolution process offered by the court. Any agreement reached by the parties through mediation shall be reviewed by the court and, if approved, incorporated into the final judgment. If no agreement is reached the matters referred shall be returned to the court for appropriate rulings. Regardless of whether all issues are resolved in mediation, an injunction for protection against domestic violence shall be entered or extended the same day as the hearing on the petition commences.

(2) Issuing of Injunction.

(A) Standardized Forms. The temporary and permanent injunction forms approved by the Florida Supreme Court for domestic, repeat, dating, and sexual violence injunctions shall be the forms used in the issuance of injunctions under chapters 741 and 784, Florida Statutes. Additional standard provisions, not inconsistent with the standardized portions of those forms, may be added to the special provisions section of the temporary and permanent injunction forms, or at the end of each section to which they apply, on the written approval of the chief judge of the circuit, and upon final review and written approval by the chief justice. Copies of such additional standard provisions, once approved by the chief justice, shall be sent to the chair of the Family Law Rules Committee of The Florida Bar, the chair of the Steering Committee on Families and Children in the Court, and the chair of The Governor's Task Force on Domestic and Sexual Violence.

(B) Bond. No bond shall be required by the court for the entry of an injunction for protection against domestic, repeat, dating, or sexual violence. The clerk of the court shall provide the parties with sufficient certified copies of the order of injunction for service.

(3) Service of Injunctions.

(A) Temporary Injunction. A temporary injunction for protection against domestic, repeat, dating, or sexual violence must be personally served. When the respondent has been served previously with the temporary injunction and has failed to appear at the initial hearing on the temporary injunction, any subsequent pleadings seeking an extension of time may be served on the respondent by the clerk of the court by certified mail in lieu of personal service by a law enforcement officer. If the temporary injunction was issued after a hearing because the respondent was present at the hearing or had reasonable notice of the hearing, the injunction may be served in the manner provided for a permanent injunction.

(B) Permanent Injunction.

(i) Party Present at Hearing. The parties may acknowledge receipt of the permanent injunction for protection against domestic, repeat, dating, or sexual violence in writing on the face of the original order. If a party is present at the hearing and that party fails or refuses to acknowledge the receipt of a certified copy of the injunction, the clerk shall cause the order to be served by mailing certified copies of the injunction to the parties who were present at hearing at the last known address of each party. Service by mail is complete upon mailing. When an order is served pursuant to this subdivision, the clerk shall prepare a written certification to be placed in the court file specifying the time, date, and method of service and within 24 hours shall forward a copy of the injunction and the clerk's affidavit of service to the sheriff with jurisdiction over the residence of the petitioner. This procedure applies to service of orders to modify or vacate injunctions for protection against domestic, repeat, dating, or sexual violence.

(ii) Party not Present at Hearing. Within 24 hours after the court issues, continues, modifies, or vacates an injunction for protection against domestic, repeat, dating, or sexual violence, the clerk shall forward a copy of the injunction to the sheriff with jurisdiction over the residence of the petitioner for service.

(4) Duration.

(A) Temporary Injunction. Any temporary injunction shall be effective for a fixed period not to exceed 15 days. A full hearing shall be set for a date no later than the date when the temporary injunction ceases to be effective. The court may grant a continuance of the temporary injunction and of the full hearing for good cause shown by any party, or upon its own motion for good cause, including failure to obtain service.

(B) Permanent Injunction. Any relief granted by an injunction for protection against domestic, repeat, dating, or sexual violence shall be granted for a fixed period or until further order of court. Such relief may be granted in addition to other civil and criminal remedies. Upon petition of the victim, the court may extend the injunction for successive periods or until further order of court. Broad discretion resides with the court to grant an extension after considering the circumstances. No specific allegations are required.

(5) Enforcement. The court may enforce violations of an injunction for protection against domestic, repeat, dating, or sexual violence in civil contempt proceedings, which are governed by rule 12.570, or in criminal contempt proceedings, which are governed by Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.840, or, if the violation meets the statutory criteria, it may be prosecuted as a crime under Florida Statutes.

(6) Motion to Modify or Vacate Injunction. The petitioner or respondent may move the court to modify or vacate an injunction at any time. Service of a motion to modify or vacate injunctions shall be governed by subdivision (b)(2) of this rule. However, for service of a motion to modify to be sufficient if a party is not represented by an attorney, service must be in accord with rule 12.070, or in the alternative, there must be filed in the record proof of receipt of this motion by the nonmoving party personally.

(7) Forms. The clerk of the court or family or domestic/repeat/dating/sexual violence intake personnel shall provide simplified forms including instructions for completion, for the persons whose circumstances meet the requirements of this rule and shall assist in the preparation of the affidavit in support of the violation of an order of injunction for protection against domestic, repeat,dating, or sexual violence.

CREDIT(S)

Amended Feb. 26, 1998, eff. March 16, 1998 (713 So.2d 1); Oct. 29, 1998, effective Feb. 1, 1999 (723 So.2d 208); Jan. 28, 1999, effective Feb. 1, 1999 (746 So.2d 1073); Sept. 21, 2000 (810 So.2d 1); Oct. 19, 2000 (783 So.2d 937); May 1, 2003 (845 So.2d 174); July 10, 2003 (853 So.2d 303); June 2, 2005 (905 So.2d 865).

COMMENTARY

2003 Amendment. This rule was amended to emphasize the importance of judicial involvement in resolving injunction for protection against domestic violence cases and to establish protections if mediation is used. In performing case management, court staff may interview the parties separately to identify and clarify their positions. Court staff may present this information to the court along with a proposed order for the court's consideration in the hearing required by subdivision (b). The first sentence of (c)(1)(C) contemplates that an injunction will not be entered unless there is a finding that domestic violence occurred or that there is imminent danger of domestic violence. Subdivision (c)(1)(C) also enumerates certain rulings that a judge must make after deciding to issue an injunction and before referring parties to mediation. This is intended to ensure that issues involving safety are decided by the judge and not left to the parties to resolve. The list is not meant to be exhaustive, as indicated by subdivision (c)(1)(C)(vii), which provides for “other relief,” such as retrieval of personal property and referrals to batterers' intervention programs. The prohibition against use of any “alternative dispute resolution” other than mediation is intended to preclude any court-based process that encourages or facilitates, through mediation or negotiation, agreement as to one or more issues, but does not preclude the parties through their attorneys from presenting agreements to the court. All agreements must be consistent with this rule regarding findings. Prior to ordering the parties to mediate, the court should consider risk factors in the case and the suitability of the case for mediation. The court should not refer the case to mediation if there has been a high degree of past violence, a potential for future lethality exists, or there are other factors which would compromise the mediation process.

1995 Adoption. A cause of action for an injunction for protection against domestic violence and repeat violence has been created by section 741.30, Florida Statutes (Supp.1994) (modified by chapter 95-195, Laws of Florida), and section 784.046, Florida Statutes (Supp. 1994), respectively. This rule implements those provisions and is intended to be consistent with the procedures set out in those provisions except as indicated in this commentary. To the extent a domestic or repeat violence matter becomes criminal or is to be enforced by direct or indirect criminal contempt, the appropriate Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure will apply.

The facts and circumstances to be alleged under subdivision 12.610(b)(1)(A) include those set forth in Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.980(b). An injunction for protection against domestic or repeat violence may be sought whether or not any other cause of action is currently pending between the parties. However, the pendency of any such cause of action must be alleged in the petition. The relief the court may grant in a temporary or permanent injunction against domestic violence is set forth in sections 741.30(5)-(6).

The facts and circumstances to be alleged under subdivision (b)(1)(B) include those set forth in Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12. 980(g). The relief the court may grant in a temporary or permanent injunction against repeat violence is set forth in section 784.046(7), Florida Statutes.

Subdivision (b)(4) expands sections 741.30(2)(c)1 and (2)(c)2, Florida Statutes, to provide that the responsibility to assist the petitioner may be assigned not only to the clerk of court but also to the appropriate intake unit of the court. Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.980(b) provides the form for a petition for injunction against domestic violence. If the custody of a child is at issue, a Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act affidavit must be provided and completed in conformity with Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.902(d). If alimony or child support is sought a Financial Affidavit must be provided and completed in conformity with Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.902(b) or 12.902(c).

Subdivision (c)(1)(A) expands chapter 95-195, Laws of Florida, and section 784.046(6)(b), Florida Statutes, to make the limitation of evidence presented at an ex parte hearing permissive rather than mandatory given the due process concerns raised by the statutory restrictions on the taking of evidence.

Unlike traditional injunctions, under subdivision (c)(2), no bond will be required for the issuance of injunctions for protection against domestic or repeat violence. This provision is consistent with the statutes except that, unlike the statutes, it does not set a precise number of copies to be provided for service.

Subdivision (c)(3)(A) makes the procedure for service of a temporary order of injunction for protection against domestic violence and repeat violence consistent. This is intended to replace the differing requirements contained in sections 741.30(8)(a)1 and (8)(c)1 and 784.046(8)(a) 1, Florida Statutes.

Subdivision (c)(3)(B) makes the procedure for service of a permanent order of injunction for protection against domestic violence and repeat violence consistent. This is intended to replace the differing requirements contained in sections 741.30(8)(a)3 and (8)(c)1 and 784.046(8)(c) 1, Florida Statutes, and to specifically clarify that service of the permanent injunction by mail is only effective upon a party who is present at the hearing which resulted in the issuance of the injunction.

Subdivision (c)(4)(A) restates sections 741.30(5)(c) and 784.046(6)(c), Florida Statutes, with some expansion. This subdivision allows the court upon its own motion to extend the protection of the temporary injunction for protection against domestic or repeat violence for good cause shown, which shall include, but not be limited to, failure to obtain service. This subdivision also makes the procedures in cases of domestic and repeat violence identical, resolving the inconsistencies in the statutes.

Subdivision (c)(4)(B) makes the procedures in cases of domestic and repeat violence identical, resolving inconsistencies in the statutes. As stated in section 741.30(1)(c), Florida Statutes, in the event a subsequent cause of action is filed under chapter 61, Florida Statutes, any orders entered therein shall take precedence over any inconsistent provisions of an injunction for protection against domestic violence which addresses matters governed by chapter 61, Florida Statutes.

Subdivision (c)(5) implements a number of statutes governing enforcement of injunctions against domestic or repeat violence. It is intended by these rules that procedures in cases of domestic and repeat violence be identical to resolve inconsistencies in the statutes. As such, the procedures set out in section 741.31(1), Florida Statutes, are to be followed for violations of injunctions for protection of both domestic and repeat violence. Pursuant to that statute, the petitioner may contact the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred to obtain information regarding enforcement.

Subdivision (c)(7) expands sections 741.30(2)(c)1 and (2)(c)2, Florida Statutes, to provide that the responsibility to assist a petitioner may not only be assigned to the clerk of court but also to the appropriate intake unit of the court. This subdivision makes the procedures in cases of domestic and cases of repeat violence identical to resolve inconsistencies in the statutes.

COMMITTEE NOTE

1997 Amendment. This change mandates use of the injunction forms provided with these rules to give law enforcement a standardized form to assist in enforcement of injunctions. In order to address local concerns, circuits may add special provisions not inconsistent with the mandatory portions.

 

Links

Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure
12.000 Preface
12.005 Transition Rule
12.010 Scope, Purpose, and Title
12.015 Family Law Forms
12.020 Applicability of Florida Rules of Civil Procedure
12.030 Nonverification of Pleadings
12.040 Attorneys
12.050 When Action Commenced
12.060 Transfers of Actions
12.070 Process
12.080 Service of Pleadings and Papers
12.090 Time
12.100 Pleadings and Motions
12.105 Simplified Dissolution Procedure
12.110 General Rules of Pleading
12.120 Pleading Special Matters
12.130 Documents Supporting Action or Defense
12.140 Defenses
12.150 Sham Pleadings
12.160 Motions
12.170 Crossclaims
12.180 Third-Party Practice
12.190 Amended and Supplemental Pleadings
12.200 Case Management and Pretrial Conferences
12.210 Parties
12.230 Interventions
12.240 Interpleader
12.250 Misjoinder and Nonjoinder of Parties
12.260 Survivor; Substitution of Parties
12.270 Consolidation; Separate Trials
12.280 General Provisions Governing Discovery
12.285 Mandatory Disclosure
12.287 Financial Affidavits in Enforcement and Contempt Proceedings
12.290 Depositions Before Action or Pending Appeal
12.300 Persons Before Whom Depositions May Be Taken
12.310 Depositions Upon Oral Examination
12.320 Depositions Upon Written Questions
12.330 Use of Depositions in Court Proceedings
12.340 Interrogatories to Parties
12.350 Production of Documents and Things and Entry Upon Land for Inspection and Other Purposes
12.351 Production of Documents and Things Without Deposition
12.360 Examination of Persons
12.363 Evaluation of Minor Child
12.365 Expert Witnesses
12.370 Requests for Admission
12.380 Failure to Make Discovery; Sanctions
12.390 Depositions of Expert Witnesses
12.400 Confidentiality of Records and Proceedings
12.407 Testimony and Attendance of Minor Child
12.410 Subpoena
12.420 Dismissal of Action
12.430 Demand for Jury Trial; Waiver
12.431 Trial Jury
12.440 Setting Action for Trial
12.450 Evidence
12.460 Continuances
12.470 Exceptions Unnecessary
12.480 Motion for a Directed Verdict
12.481 Verdicts
12.490 General Magistrates
12.491 Child Support Enforcement
12.492 Special Magistrates
12.500 Defaults and Final Judgments Thereon
12.510 Summary Judgment
12.520 View
12.530 Motions for New Trial and Rehearing; Amendments of Judgments
12.540 Relief from Judgment, Decrees, or Orders
12.550 Executions and Final Process
12.560 Discovery in Aid of Execution
12.570 Enforcement of Judgments
12.580 Writ of Possession
12.590 Process on Behalf of and Against Persons Not Parties
12.600 Deposits in Court
12.610 Injunctions for Domestic and Repeat Violence
12.611 Central Governmental Depository
12.615 Civil Contempt in Support Matters
12.620 Receivers
12.625 Proceedings Against Surety on Judicial Bonds
12.630 Extraordinary Remedies
12.650 Override of Family Violence Indicator
12.740 Family Mediation
12.741 Mediation Rules
12.750 Family Self-Help Programs
 
Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure
Florida Rules of Civil Procedure
Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure
Florida Rules of Evidence - Evidence Code
Florida Rules of Evidence - Witnesses, Records and Documents
Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure
Florida Rules of Judicial Administration
Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure
Florida Traffic Court Rules
 
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