Step 2: Fill out the forms.
Carefully fill out the petition. If you need help filling out the forms, ask a domestic violence advocate to help you. You can reach an advocate in the county where you are filing by dialing the Florida Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-500-1119 ext 2. You can also go to our FL Advocates and Shelters page. The forms you fill out will be used by the judge to determine why you need protection and what kind of protection you need.
If the paperwork asks for your address and you are afraid that giving your address will put you in danger, tell the clerk. S/he will help you fill out a form to ask the court to allow you to keep your address a secret.
You will likely have to give the following information when you apply for an injunction:
- The abuser’s current address and last known place of employment
- The abuser’s date of birth and a physical description of him
- Any aliases (other names) that he uses
- If you are or were married to the abuser, when and where you were married, divorced, or separated
- A list of any other current court cases involving you and the abuser and
- A list of any other times you applied for an injunction against the abuser and what happened in those cases.1
The form will ask you to give a detailed description of the facts and circumstances about the family violence and your reasons for seeking protection.
Read the petition carefully and ask questions if you don’t understand something. Describe in detail how your abuser injured or threatened you. Explain when and where the abuse or threats occurred. Write about the most recent incident of violence, using descriptive language (slapping, hitting, grabbing, choking, threatening, etc.) that fits your situation. Be specific. Include details and dates, if possible.
Do not sign the form until you have shown it to a clerk. The form may have to be signed in front of a notary public, clerk or a judge at the courthouse.
1 Fla. Stat. § 741.30(3)(b)