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Violence Injunctions for Protection in Pasco County, FL

If you were served with a petition for a protective order or a temporary injunction for protection against domestic violence or stalking (often called a "restraining order")? If your injunction case will be heard in Pasco County at either the New Port Richey or Dade City courthouse, then you have come to the right place.

The attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm are experienced in aggressively defending people at these hearings against false or exaggerated claims in Pasco County, FL. Just because the temporary injunction was granted, does not mean that the judge will find that the allegations are founded after a contested hearing. In some cases, a contested hearing can be avoided entirely if the petitioner decides not to go forward with the hearing. 

Never violate the injunction. Hire an attorney who can investigate the allegations and talk with everyone to involved. Call 813-250-0500 to speak with Leslie Sammis or Jason Sammis about the specific facts of your case. We provide confidential and free consultations to discuss your case.

Attorneys Fighting Protection Injunctions in Pasco County, FL

We represent clients in injunction hearings throughout the Sixth Judicial Circuit in Pasco County including:

  • the West Pasco Judicial Center at 7530 Little Road in New Port Richey, FL
  • the Robert D. Sumner Courthouse at 38053 Live Oak Avenue, Dade City, FL

Call an attorney that is familiar with the procedures that are most effective to fight against false or exaggerated allegations leading to a petition for a protective injunction order. Because these cases involve allegations of violence, protective hearings are quasi-criminal proceedings that come with a lifetime of consequences.

Under Florida law, a “Petition for Protection from Domestic Violence” can be filed by anyone who is the victim of any act of domestic violence or has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of any act of domestic violence. Other types of petitioners for protection involve repeat violence, sexual violence, stalking and cyber stalking.

Domestic Violence Petition and Hearing Process in Pasco County

The petitioner is the person filing the petition. The respondent is the person responding to the petition.

The petitioner is not charged a fee for filing a domestic, stalking, repeat, dating or sexual violence petition. After the petition is filed, the Sheriff of the county where the respondent is located will serve the Respondent with a copy of the petition.

When the petitioner arrives at the courthouse, the clerk will provide assistant to the petitioner. The Clerk will help the petitioner file a petition for a Domestic Violence Injunction (sometimes called a restraining order). In Pasco County, the Clerk's Office also helps the petitioner decide on the right forms to use depending on whether the allegations involve domestic violence, stalking, repeat violence, dating violence or sexual violence.

Why was the Temporary Injunction for Protection Granted?

The Petitioner begins the process of seeking a protective order by appearing at one of the courthouses in Pasco County, FL, and filling out a form. These forms can be submitted at the courthouse in either New Port Richey or Dade City, FL.

The process of determining whether the petitioner be granted a temporary injunction or protective restraining order is made on an "ex-parte basis." That means the judge only gets to hear one side of the story and must assume the allegations to be true.

The Respondent does not have an opportunity to be heard until the return hearing which is usually scheduled just a few weeks later. The hearings can involve allegations of domestic violence, dating violence, repeat violence, or stalking violence.

The sheriff's office or another local law enforcement agency will serve the temporary injunction or protective order on the Respondent. The paperwork notifies the Respondent that he must appear in court to contest the issuance of the protective order. If the Respondent fails to appear, then the protective order will most likely be granted on a long-term or permanent basis.

Read the injunction carefully and follow it exactly. Do not do anything to contact the Petitioner or have anyone else contact the Petitioner. Follow the injunction by letter and spirit in all ways at all times. If you violate the injunction you can be charged with violation of the injunction or aggravated stalking.

Defending Against False or Exaggerated Accusations of Violence?

In many of these cases, the Petitioner is motivated to make false or exaggerated accusations. If you did not commit prior acts of violence or do not pose any threat of future violence, then you should contest the injunction.

If the injunction is granted, then you may lose certain important civil rights including the right to possess a firearm or ammunition. More importantly, you can never seal or expunge the record alleging violence even if the judge ultimately finds that the accusations are unfounded. Allegations made in protective injunction petitions typically show up during even routine background checks for employment.

The Violence Injunction Hearing is in a Few Days, What Can I Do?

In many of these cases, the Respondent is served with the temporary protective injunction just a few days before the return hearing is scheduled. Finding the right attorney within that time period is difficult enough. Being prepared for the hearing within that time period is nearly impossible.

For that reason, the Court will consider a motion to continue the hearing with good cause. If you have retained an attorney to defend you the attorney may ask for a continuance to do any of the following:

  • Take the Petitioner's deposition so that he or she can be questioned under oath about the allegations contained in the petition;
  • Issue a subpoena so that relevant witnesses can be compelled to attend the hearing and questioned under oath including neighbors or law enforcement officers.

Where are Injunctions for Protection Cases Heard in Pasco County, FL?

A hearing on the petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, stalking or cyberstalking will be held at once of the following addresses:

Injunction Hearings at the New Port Richey Courthouse
West Pasco Judicial Center
7530 Little Road
New Port Richey, FL 34654-5598
727-847-2411, ext 2211
Injunction Hearings at the Dade City Courthouse
Robert D. Sumner Judicial Center
38053 Live Oak Avenue
Dade City, FL 33523-3805
352-523-2411, ext 2211

Definitions for Violence Protection Injunction in Pasco County

Florida Law provides that domestic violence can include any type of criminal offense resulting in physical injury. In addition, the following types of criminal offenses are included within the definition of domestic violence as defined in Florida Statutes Chapter 741:

  • assault;
  • aggravated assault;
  • battery;
  • aggravated battery;
  • sexual assault;
  • sexual battery;
  • stalking;
  • aggravated stalking;
  • kidnapping or
  • false imprisonment.

For a petition for domestic violence, the petitioner and respondent must be domestically related. This means that the act must occur between two people who are:

  • spouses (husband and wife)
  • former spouses (ex-husband and ex-wife)
  • persons related by blood or marriage (siblings and parents and children)
  • persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family (live-in boyfriend or girlfriend, gay or lesbian couple)
  • persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have resided together at any time.

Repeat Violence Injunctions for Protection in Pasco County

For the purposes of an injunction for protection against repeat violence in Pasco County, Florida, Florida Statutes Chapter 784 defines repeat violence to mean: "two incidents of violence or stalking committed by the respondent, one of which must have been within 6 months of the filing of the petition, which are directed against the petitioner or the petitioner's immediate family member."

Stalking Injunction for Protection in Pasco County

For purposes of an injunction for stalking in Pasco County, FL, Florida Statutes Chapter 784 defines stalking as: "someone is purposefully following or harassing you repeatedly over a period of time for no legitimate purpose, causing you emotional stress. If in doing so, he/she threatens your life or threatens to harm you, with the intent to cause you to reasonable fear for your safety, then the act becomes aggravated."

If you wee served with a temporary injunction for protection against stalking under Florida Statute Section 784.0485, then contact an attorney at the Sammis Law Firm today. 

Dating Violence for Protection in Pasco County

For purposes of an injunction for protection in Pasco County, FL, Florida Statutes Chapter 784 defines dating violence as violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. Dating violence does not include violence in a casual acquaintanceship or violence between individuals who only have engaged in ordinary fraternization in a business or social context. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the consideration of the following factors:

  1. A dating relationship must have existed within the past 6 months;
  2. the nature of the relationship must have been characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties; and
  3. the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship must have included that the persons have been involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship.

Additional Resourses

Florida Coalation Agasint Domestic Violence - For information on finding a Domestic Violence Shelter in Pasco County, including in New Port Richey or Dade City, then visit the website for the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Pasco County Courts Protective Injunctions - Visit the Clerk of Court website for information on the processes and procedures used to obtain an injunction for protection (sometimes called a "restraining order") against domestic violence, dating violence, stalking violence or repeat violence.

Finding an Attorney for a Protective Restraining Order Hearing

If you were served with a petition for injunction against violence, including domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or repeat violence, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm. We represent clients throughout Pasco County, including at the courthouse at the Dade City courthouse and the New Port Richey courthouse.

Call 813-250-0500 for a free consultation.

This article was last updated by  on Friday, September 1, 2017.