Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center
175 NW 1st Avenue
Miami FL 33128
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

What is domestic violence?

What if I do not qualify for a domestic violence injunction?

Where do I go for help with filing an injunction (restraining order)?

How does the injunction process  work?

How much does it cost to file  for an injunction?

How can I get an injunction dismissed  or dropped?

What if I have a problem with  my hearing date?

How can I get the custody, visitation  and/or child support provisions of the injunction changed?

What do I do if the person I filed the injunction against (the respondent) violates the injunction?

Where can I get information about  my domestic violence-related criminal case?

Where can I get information about  my divorce case?

Who do I call if I am a person with a disability who needs assistance?





What is domestic violence?
1) Legal Definition: Florida Statute §741.30 - Domestic Violence: Domestic Violence means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another who is or was residing in the same single dwelling unit.
  • Your relationship with the person whom the injunction is being filed against must be that of:
    (a) a spouse
    (b) an ex-spouse,
    (c) a relative by blood or marriage who currently lives with you or who lived with you in the past,
    (d) anyone who lives or has lived with you in the same dwelling as a family unit, or
    (e) anyone with whom you have had a child, with or without having lived together.
2) Social Definition: Domestic violence occurs when one intimate partner uses physical violence, coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation, and/or emotional, sexual, and economic abuse to maintain power and control over the other intimate partner. It is both a crime and a serious family matter.


What if I do not qualify for a domestic violence injunction?
There are three other types of injunctions that you may qualify for under Florida Statute 784.046. You may file an injunction for protection against repeat violence, dating violence or sexual violence. The intake counselor will provide you with information to determine what criteria matches your particular circumstances.


Where do I go for help with filing an injunction (restraining order)?
There are several court intake locations in the community (listed below) where Intake Unit staff are available to assist persons with filing for an injunction. They will also help with referrals to social service agencies in the community, safety planning, and procedural information about the court process. There are procedures in place which make it possible to obtain an injunction in Miami-Dade County 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For any questions, call the 24-Hour MIAMI-DADE COUNTY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE at (800) 500-1119.


The following are the INTAKE LOCATIONS and their hours of operation:
(For maps, directions, and parking information, click on the  underlined court location.)

Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center
175 N.W. 1st Avenue
Mezzanine Floor
Miami, FL 33128
(305) 349-5813

REGULAR INTAKE HOURS:
9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Friday

Emergency Hours for Obtaining an Injunction: (305)758-2546
7:00 p.m. – 8:00 a.m, Monday through Friday, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays



Hialeah Courthouse
111 East 6th Street
Hialeah, FL 33010
(305) 520-4002

REGULAR INTAKE HOURS:
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday


North  Dade Justice Center
15555 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL 33160
(305) 354-8736

REGULAR INTAKE HOURS:
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday


South  Dade Government Center
10710 S.W. 211 Street
Miami, FL 33189
(305) 252-5807

REGULAR INTAKE HOURS:
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday


How does the injunction process work?
The injunction process begins when you file for an injunction at one of the INTAKE LOCATIONS listed above. The Intake Unit staff will help you complete all the necessary paperwork, which is taken to a judge to review. If the judge decides the sworn allegations contained in the paperwork meet the requirements of Florida law for the issuance of an injunction, the judge will enter a Temporary Injunction, which will be valid for 15 days . A hearing will be set within 15 days, and the Sheriff's Office will attempt to personally serve the person who the injunction is filed against (the respondent) with the injunction paperwork. The Temporary Injunction can require the respondent to have no contact with the person filing the injunction (the petitioner), stay away from the petitioner's home and workplace, vacate a shared residence, award temporary custody of minor children and require the surrender of firearms.

At the court hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant a Permanent Injunction after taking testimony from the parties and witnesses, and considering any evidence which is presented. If a Permanent Injunction is granted, it will be effective until it is changed or ended by the judge at either party's request, after notice and hearing, or until a specific date set by the judge (i.e., 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, etc.). The Permanent Injunction can require the respondent to have no contact with the petitioner, stay away from the petitioner's home and workplace, award custody, visitation, child and spousal support, and require the surrender of firearms. The Permanent Injunction can also order the respondent to attend a batterers' intervention program and victims and children can be referred to support groups and counseling programs, free of charge.


How much does it cost to file for an injunction?
No filing fees are required to file for a petition for protection against domestic, repeat, dating or sexual violence.


How can I get an injunction dismissed or dropped?
If you would like to get your Temporary Injunction dismissed, you must tell the judge at the time of your hearing. The judge will not consider dismissing the injunction before the hearing date. You should appear in court on your hearing date and explain why you no longer need this protection from the court. If you have a Permanent Injunction and you would like to request that it be dismissed, you need to file a motion or write a letter to the judge and mail it or bring it in person to the INTAKE LOCATION where you filed for the injunction, or fax it to (305) 349-5559. Include your case number, judge's name, and phone number where you can be contacted (unless it is confidential) on your motion or letter.


What if I have a problem with my hearing date?
If you know you have a scheduling conflict and will not be able to attend your court hearing on the date it is set for, file a motion or write a letter to the judge asking for a new hearing date and mail it (if it will get there before the hearing date) or bring it in person to the INTAKE LOCATION where you filed for the injunction, or fax it to (305) 349-5559. If you realize that you have missed your court date, immediately write a letter to the judge asking for a new hearing date and fax it to (305) 349-5559, or bring it in person to the INTAKE LOCATION where you filed for the injunction. Include your case number, judge's name, and phone number where you can be contacted (unless it is confidential) on your motion or letter. If you have any questions, call the Domestic Violence Court Unit to speak to the judge's Case Manager at (305) 349-5556.


How can I get the custody, visitation, and/or child support provisions of the injunction changed?
If circumstances have changed since you got your injunction and you would like the judge to consider changing any of the conditions of the injunction, such as custody, visitation, and/or child support, you need to file a motion or write a letter to the judge requesting that a hearing be scheduled for this purpose. You should mail it or bring it in person to the INTAKE LOCATION where you filed for the injunction, or fax it to (305) 349-5559.  Include your case number, judge's name, and phone number where you can be contacted (unless it is confidential) on your motion or letter.  For more information on changing the terms of your injunction, call the Domestic Violence Case Management Unit to speak to the judge's Case Manager at (305) 349-5556.


What do I do if the person I filed the injunction against (the respondent) violates the injunction?
If the respondent violates the injunction by coming into personal contact with you, call 911 (the police) to report the violation and ask for their immediate assistance. If the respondent leaves or commits some other type of violation, such as telephone or mail contact, go to the
INTAKE LOCATION where you filed for the injunction, prior to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, to start the process to file for an injunction violation.


Where can I get information about my domestic violence-related criminal case?
You can get information about your domestic violence-related criminal case 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by calling a specialized multilingual computerized information service of the State Attorney's Office called VAN (Victim Access Network) at (305) 273-HELP or toll free at 1-800-398-2808, or you can call their main number at (305) 547-0100.


Where can I get information about my divorce case?
You can get information about your divorce case by calling the Family Division Case Management Unit at (305) 349-5561, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.


Who do I call if I am a person with a disability who needs assistance?
Please contact ADA Coordinator, at: Voice Mail: (305) 349-7175 TDD: (305) 349-7174 Fax No:. (305) 349-7355 Email:. ADA@jud11.flcourts.org
 
 

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