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Risk Protection Orders in Hillsborough County, FL

After the creating of Florida Statute Section 790.401, the court in Hillsborough County released Administrative Order S-2018-023 which explains the local procedures for Risk Protection Order hearings in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit.

The administrative order acknowledges that Florida Statute Section 790.401, the "Risk Protection Order Act" (Act), was passed less than a month after the mass shootings and killings at a south Florida high school on Valentine's Day 2018. The language in the act is nearly identical to a statute in the State of Washington (although in that state few of these actions were ever filed).

This administrative order became effective on the day it was signed by Ronald N. Ficarrotta, Chief Judge, on June 27, 2018.

Attorney for the Risk Protection Order in Hillsborough County, FL

Contact an attorney at the Sammis Law Firm if you were served with a petition for a risk protection order in Hillsborough County and the surrounding areas in the greater Tampa Bay area. We are experienced in representing clients in a wide range of protective orders, including injunctions to prevent domestic violence, dating violence, repeat violence, and stalking.

Our offices are conveniently located in downtown Tampa, just a few blocks from the courthouse. We have a second office in New Port Richey, right across from the West Pasco County Judicial Center courthouse.

Call us for a free consultation to discuss the newest type of protective order known as the risk protection order.

The provisions of this new statute are vague and overbroad. We can help you raise the proper challenges to the constitutionality of the statute both on its face and as applied to the particular facts of your case.

Our attorneys are familiar with the processes and procedures used in Hillsborough County in these types of cases. We can help you fight to keep your firearms and prevent a violation of your due process rights.

Call 813-250-0500.


What is a Risk Protection Order?

Section 790.401, Florida Statutes establishes a cause of action authorizing law enforcement officers to seek a risk protection order. The order temporarily prevents persons who are at high risk of harming themselves or others from accessing firearms when there is demonstrated evidence that a person poses a significant danger to himself or herself or others, including significant danger as a result of a mental health crisis or violent behavior.

Under some circumstances, the Risk Protection Order Act authorizes temporary ex parte orders requiring the surrender of all firearms and ammunition. The statute also sets up some procedural safeguards related to setting the hearing and notice requirements.


Procedures in Hillsborough County for the RPO

The administrative order is intended to set up the local rules for the assignment and processing of petitions seeking a risk protection order. Under the Hillsborough County administrative order, the Clerk of the Circuit Court will assign all petitions and other documents filed under the Risk Protection Order Act to Probate, Guardianship, Mental Health and Trust Division "M."

The assigned division judge will review all petitions and other documents filed between 8:00 a.m. and 4:59 p.m. on non-holiday weekdays. The duty judge will review temporary ex parte petitions filed at and after 5:00 p.m. on non-holiday weekdays and temporary ex parte petitions filed on weekends and holidays.

In accordance with section 790.401(5), Florida Statutes (2018), any sworn law enforcement officer in Hillsborough County may effect service of the petition, notice of hearing, and temporary ex parte risk protection order or risk protection order, as applicable. A law enforcement agency serving the order must use service and verification procedures consistent with those of the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office.


Hearings in RPO Cases in Hillsborough County, FL

All hearings will be scheduled in the assigned division except when a petition for a temporary ex parte risk protection order is reviewed by the duty judge.

In accordance with section 790.401(4)(d), Florida Statutes, a hearing on a petition for a temporary ex parte risk protection order will be conducted in person or by telephone on the day the temporary ex parte petition is filed or on the next business day immediately following the day the petition is filed.

In accordance with section 790.401(3)(a), Florida Statutes, upon the filing of a petition for (final) risk protection order, a hearing will be held no later than 14 days after the date the order setting a hearing is entered.

Copies of the administrative order setting up the local procedures for the risk protection order hearings were served to:

  • the Judges in Hillsborough County
  • the Hillsborough County Bar Association
  • Pat Frank, the Clerk of the Circuit Court
  • Brian Dugan, Chief of Police, City of Tampa
  • Chad Chronister, Sheriff of Hillsborough County
  • Edward Duncan, Chief of Police, City of Plant City
  • Kenneth R. Albano, Chief of Police, City of Temple Terrace
  • Charles Vasquez, Chief of Police, Tampa International Airport
  • Christopher L. Daniel, Chief of Police, University of South Florida

This article was last updated on Friday, July 20, 2018.

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