Motion to Dismiss a Restraining Order in Florida

Injunctions for protection, or restraining orders, can negatively affect your life since they prevent you from going to certain places and exercising your right to own a gun, among other things. For this reason, many people wonder how they can get an injunction removed in Florida. 

To dissolve a restraining order in Florida, the respondent must prove that the circumstances that granted the injunction no longer exist. If the court considers that the petitioner is no longer in danger, the injunction could be removed. Dissolving a restraining order is up to the judge’s discretion. 

If you have a restraining order against you, you may have personal or professional reasons to have it dismissed. Below is more information about how a motion to dissolve a restraining order in Florida works. 

How to Remove a Restraining Order in Florida

In Florida, restraining orders or injunctions for protection are court orders that are meant to protect domestic violence victims or people who are believed to be in imminent danger of violence.  

If the restraining order is granted, the respondent (the person who received the injunction) will not be allowed to do certain things such as contacting or visiting the other party and owning a gun. 

Under Florida law, you can file a motion to modify the terms or remove the restraining order altogether. Since this will require you to attend a hearing and present your case to the court, you should enlist the help of a criminal lawyer

Injunctions for protection may be dissolved if the respondent can prove that the circumstances that justified the restraining order no longer exist. If those circumstances changed and the person who filed the injunction is no longer in danger, the restraining order does not serve a valid purpose. 

According to Ramirez v. Teutsch, 134 So. 3d 995 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2012), changes in circumstances include, but are not limited to: 

  • Parties live away from each other;
  • Parties have interacted without violence for several years; or
  • The parties’ sole reason for interacting has ended or will end soon. 

Keep in mind that the dissolution of a restraining order is up to the judge’s discretion. 

As proved in Hobbs v. Hobbs 290 So. 3d 1092 and Trice v Trice, 267 So. 3d 496, living away from each other or not having contact with the other party for a long period may not be enough to have your motion to dismiss approved. 

So, even if you consider that the circumstances have changed, if the petitioner proves that there still exists a fear of becoming a victim of domestic violence, the judge may deny your motion to dissolve the restraining order. 

How-Long Does an Injunction for Protection Last in Florida?

In Florida, a temporary restraining order is valid for 15 days. A permanent restraining order will be effective for as long as a judge orders it to be in place. In some cases, a judge may order the restraining order indefinitely, in other cases, it could be a number of years. Both the petitioner and the respondent can move to modify or dissolve an injunction for protection. 

In Florida, the law lays out the restrictions, so pretty much if an injunction is granted – in every case, there will be no contact with the petitioner either directly or indirectly (through a 3rd party) and under both state and federal law, it’s illegal to possess a firearm if there is an injunction in place against you. 

For example, in Hobbs v. Hobbs, Mr. Hobbs filed a motion to dissolve a twenty-year-old restraining order. In addition to not having contact with his former spouse, during that time Mr. Hobbs was prohibited from owning or using a firearm, which was his reason to have the injunction removed. 

Having a restraining order against you not only prevents you from going to certain places or contacting the other person, but it can also affect your professional life. In Trice v Trice, Mr. Kevin Trice could not find employment because the permanent injunction of protection prevented him from getting licensed and legally handling firearms.  

Contact a St. Petersburg Criminal Attorney

If you want to explore your options to file a motion to dismiss a restraining order, the St. Petersburg criminal attorneys at Goldman Wetzel might be able to help. Call us today at (727) 828-3900 to schedule a free consultation.