What can I do if the abuser violates the injunction?
You can call the police right away. Tell the police that you have an injunction for protection against domestic violence. Make sure you have a copy of the injunction to show the police when they arrive. When the police arrive, you can tell them what happened and that you want the abuser to be arrested. Violation of an injunction can be a misdemeanor in the first degree or a felony of the third degree if it is violated three or more times against the same victim.1
If the injunction is violated but the abuser is not arrested, you can report the violation to the clerk’s office in the circuit court in the county where the violation occurred, which may be a different courthouse than the one that gave you the injunction. The clerk will help you take the appropriate steps to file a violation petition to enforce your injunction. Your affidavit (sworn statement) will then be sent to law enforcement and the state attorney for further action.2
The civil court judge can also hold the abuser in contempt of court. Even if there is ultimately no criminal prosecution for the violation, the civil court judge can order that the abuser go to batterers’ treatment program and you can be awarded money damages for an injury or loss that you suffer as a result of the violation (including your attorney’s fees and court costs).2 For a list of courthouses, go to FL Courthouse Locations.
1 Fla. Stat. § 741.31(4)(a),(c)
2 Fla. Stat. §§ 741.31(5),(6); 741.30(9)(a)