Florida Courts hold injunction hearings before issuing permanent injunctions, also called restraining orders or “no-contact” orders. The court will notify both involved parties of the hearing date, time, and location. Attendance and preparation are critical to a positive outcome of the hearing.
If you have an upcoming restraining order hearing in Sarasota, take the issue seriously because the outcome can significantly impact your future. Contact our injunction hearing lawyers in Sarasota, FL at Goldman Wetzel for a free legal consult. Our team can provide the information, guidance, and representation you need during your legal ordeal whether you are petitioning for a restraining order or defending yourself against one.
Call 941-405-5193 for more information.
Purpose of Injunction Hearings
Florida courts generally hold injunction hearings for two basic purposes:
- To decide whether to issue a final injunction or to deny the petition for a restraining order; or
- To determine whether and how to modify an existing injunction, such as to dismiss or extend it.
Parties that Attend the Injunction Hearing
Parties that typically attend injunction hearings include:
- The petitioner (the person who asked the court for protection against the other party);
- The respondent (the person the petitioner filed the petition for an injunction against);
- The petitioner’s and respondent’s attorneys, if they have opted for counsel;
- Witnesses that either party may have brought to testify; and
- The presiding judge, bailiffs, and other court employees.
Failing to attend your injunction hearing could thwart your case. If you are the petitioner and you do not show up, the judge will likely dismiss the case. If you are the respondent and do not attend, the court will move forward with the case, likely side with the petitioner, and issue a final injunction against you.
What Happens During an Injunction Hearing
At the hearing, the judge usually begins by asking the respondent whether s/he agrees to the restraining order that the petitioner has requested. If the respondent disagrees, the judge will start by requesting more information from each party. If the respondent consents to the injunction, the judge will usually enter the final injunction.
CAUTION: If you are the respondent, do not consent to the injunction without fully understanding the consequences. Even if you are indifferent to having contact with the petitioner, agreeing to the order could have very detrimental effects for you. The judge may order you to take domestic violence classes, leave your shared home, or give up your firearms, among other restrictions. Speak to a criminal attorney for help determining the best way to handle your case.
If the respondent attends the hearing and contests the injunction, the judge will:
- Listen to both parties (or their lawyers) present their side of the story;
- Consider any evidence and witness testimonies; and
- Make a final determination, concluding the hearing by either issuing an injunction or denying the petition.
Evidence to Bring to the Hearing
The petitioner will need to bring evidence to prove to the judge that she needs protection from the respondent. The respondent will also have an opportunity at the hearing to share evidence that refutes the petitioner’s case and/or supports his own argument.
Evidence can include:
- Emails and paper mail
- Phone records
- Screenshots of social media comments and posts
- Text messages
- Voicemail recordings
- Pictures, e.g., showing damage to property or injuries
- Correspondence from petitioner to respondent that warned him to stop stalking, harassing, etc.
- Police records
- Testimonies given by witnesses under oath
Types of Injunctions the Judge May Order
Florida law recognizes five types of restraining orders, each pertaining to a different kind of petitioner-respondent relationship. If a judge determines a restraining order is necessary, s/he will opt for one of the following:
Used when the petitioner alleges that she has been stalked, harassed, cyberstalked, threatened, or abused by the respondent. [Florida Statute § 784.0485]
Domestic Violence Injunction
Used when the petitioner and respondent either live or have lived together or have a child in common, and the petitioner has been a victim of domestic violence or thinks she might be in danger of domestic violence. [Florida Statute § 741.30]
Dating Violence Injunction
Used in cases where the petitioner and respondent had an intimate relationship, but never lived together and had no children in common, and the petitioner has been a victim of violence or thinks she may be in danger of violence. [Florida Statute § 784.046(1)(d)]
Sexual Violence Injunctions
Used when the petitioner (or a minor) alleges that s/he has been the victim of sexual violence, e.g., sexual battery, a lewd or lascivious act, forcible felonies involving sexual acts, etc. [Florida Statute § 784.046(1)(c)]
Repeat Violence Injunction
Used when the respondent committed violence or stalked the petitioner on more than one occasion. [Florida Statute § 784.046(1)(b)]
Ways Our Injunction Hearing Lawyers in Sarasota Can Help
Attorneys Summer Goldman and Maribeth Wetzel have over three decades of combined experience in both prosecution and defense. We understand how each side operates and can effectively help both petitioners and respondents through the injunction process.
We have handled numerous restraining order cases in Sarasota and can tell you exactly what you can expect and how to prepare for a hearing at the Sarasota Historic Courthouse.
When you enlist our help, we will:
- Get your side of the story and share legal insight about your case;
- Read over your file to get a clear picture on your case;
- Explain your legal rights and help you navigate the next steps;
- Help you collect and organize evidence to support your case;
- Stand by your side at the hearing and present your case clearly and convincingly to the judge; and
- Help you with any future legal issues related to the injunction, e.g., modification of injunctions, custody issues, violation of orders, etc.
Free Consult with an Injunction Hearing Lawyer in Sarasota, FL
Let Goldman Wetzel help you with your injunction hearing and advocate for your best interests. Call 941-405-5193 and request a free meeting with our team today.