How to File an Injunction in Florida?
- January 12th, 2022
- Bruce Denson
- Comments Off on How to File an Injunction in Florida?
Being harassed by a neighbor can be very annoying, sometimes scary, and negatively affect your daily life. You have the right to feel safe and protected in your home and community and free from harassment. If you’re dealing with harassment from a neighbor, it’s essential to understand your legal rights and how to file an injunction in Florida so you can go back to feeling safe and protected.
What Is An Injunction Against A Neighbor?
More commonly known as restraining orders, an injunction is a legally binding court order signed by a judge that orders the specified party named in the petition not to contact the petitioner (you) or harm them physically or mentally. The courts put a civil order put in place to protect you and keep you safe from harassment and abuse. If that restraining order is violated by the specified party (the neighbor), then it becomes a criminal matter. The neighbor may then be arrested – and prosecuted – for violating the injunction.
While restraining orders are often considered for domestic violence cases, they can also be ordered in certain circumstances against a neighbor. If you’ve been subject to repeat violence or stalking, a lawyer can help you petition the court to get a restraining order against a neighbor.
The Injunction Process In Florida
A civil injunction attorney is experienced and knowledgeable about the injunction process. When facing neighbor harassment, it’s highly recommended to work with one to ensure your petition is detailed.
Once you file your petition, you will be assigned a formal hearing date by the courts within a few weeks. The judge will decide whether your petition against your neighbor will be approved or denied at this hearing date.
The court has specific requirements to approve legal protection. An injunction can be denied for insufficient evidence or circumstances, which may include:
- excessive arguments or noise,
- unwanted emails,
- text messages,
- letters, or other communications (even after you made it clear you wanted no further contact), and
- receiving threats over the telephone alone
There are two types of injunctions that are typically utilized to protect an individual from neighbor harassment or harm: stalking and repeat violence.
What Is Considered Harassment?
The definition for “harass” is “to engage in the course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.”
According to Florida Statute § 784.048, stalking is when a person “willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person and makes a credible threat to that person.” Harassment may be verbal threats of violence, such as a neighbor coming into your yard, confronting you and screaming at you, threatening to hit or harm you physically in other ways. An isolated incident will not be enough. There must be at least two incidents that indicate a repeated pattern of behavior.
If neighbor harassment increases to the level of repeat violence, you can also file an injunction as long as there have been at least two incidents, the violence was from the same person, and at least one of the incidents occurred within the last six months.
How To File An Injunction In Florida
An injunction in Florida is filed at the County Clerk’s office. Once submitted, the court will initially review to determine if a temporary injunction needs to be put in place, which could go either way, depending on the evidence and detailed circumstances included in the petition. It’s important to know how to document neighbor harassment for your safety and protection.
It’s crucial to write down dates, times, locations, and what happened if you have been the victim of neighbor harassment. If you have any tangible evidence, such as letters or notes from the neighbor, that can be submitted as well. Security footage from security cameras, Ring doorbells, or mobile phone recordings (audio or video) can also be significant evidence to prove your need for an injunction.
After deciding whether or not the temporary injunction is granted, a hearing will be set for both parties to appear in court. If the judge rules that there are sufficient circumstances and/or evidence, the injunction will be approved. Your attorney leads as your advocate in the hearing to protect your rights, safety, and need for protection against harassment and violence.
The Benefits of Hiring an Attorney
Personal physical safety, emotional health, and protection from violence are serious matters. Individuals have the right to feel safe and not live in fear of harassment or violence from a neighbor.
Completing the petition for an injunction and proving stalking and repeated violence in a court of law can be complex and challenging. When you are preparing to file an injunction in Florida, it is beneficial to hire an attorney to make sure it is done correctly, and you are meeting the basic requirements a judge will be looking for in the petition. An attorney has comprehensive knowledge of the law to file a petition for an injunction.
After the judge grants the temporary injunction, it is good to have an attorney assist you in presenting the need for a permanent injunction in court. Any attorney can help you prepare your testimony and line up your witnesses for the hearing. Your attorney will know how to present evidence that will be persuasive to the court. Your attorney will also be able to cross-examine your neighbor and challenge your neighbor’s position.
If you are dealing with neighbor harassment and believe the situation and evidence amount to stalking or repeated violence, The Denson Firm is here to help. We work diligently for your rights to safety and protection.
The Benefits of Hiring an Attorney to RESPOND to An Injunction
At The Denson Firm, we assist people who have Petitions for Injunction filed AGAINST them. If you have a neighbor who has filed an injunction against you, it is a good idea to obtain representation to defend against the petition. Petitions with No Contact Orders can result in people not living in their homes or having to leave the area. We can challenge the allegations made against you, cross-examine the witnesses, and assist you in preparing your defense.
Contact us today for a free consultation.