Who Can File a Domestic Violence Injunction in Florida?
In Florida, only certain individuals can ask the court for a domestic violence injunction, so if someone has filed a request for a restraining order against you in violation of these rules, you should speak with an experienced Seminole domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible about defending your rights.
Filing a Domestic Violence Injunction
Under state law, a person can only file a petition against someone else, alleging that that individual committed an act of domestic violence, if both parties involved are family or household members, which includes:
- Former spouses;
- Individuals related by blood or marriage;
- Those who live together as a family;
- Individuals who have resided together in the past; and
- Couples who share children, regardless of whether the parties ever actually lived in the same home.
Furthermore, even if a petitioner satisfies the definition of a household member for domestic violence purposes, he or she cannot request a domestic violence restraining order against another person unless the two individuals live or used to live together. The only exceptions to this rule apply in cases where a person files a claim on behalf of a child and in situations where the parties involved share a child. Finally, the petitioner in question must have been the victim of domestic violence or believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming so.
Who Cannot Request a Domestic Violence Injunction?
These laws were put in place to help protect those who are alleging domestic violence, as well as those who may be unfairly accused. Many Florida residents are unaware of these restrictions or may even try to get around them on technicalities. Fortunately, a number of state courts have issued a variety of rulings on the types of individuals who do not qualify for a domestic violence injunction. In one such case, for example, the court ruled that just because a couple has a romantic relationship that involved overnight visits, does not mean that one of the parties could file a domestic violence action if they both reside in separate homes.
Similarly, another Florida court determined that a maternal grandfather who had custody of his grandchild could not request a domestic violence injunction against the child’s father, as the two parties didn’t share a child in common and had never lived together. A state court applied the same reasoning in another case, in which it held that neither a father nor his adult son had standing to file a request for a domestic violence injunction because in that particular situation, the father and and son hadn’t met until the child was an adult and had never lived in the same home.
Set Up an Interview with an Experienced Seminole Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you were recently accused of domestic violence by a non-household member or someone else who doesn’t have a valid claim, you need the assistance of a domestic violence attorney who can help protect your interests. Please call Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff at 727-330-6502 today to speak with a member of our legal team about building your defense.