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Legal Information: Florida

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of October 6, 2023

Step 4: Service of process

If you receive a temporary ex-parte injunction, it will not take effect until the papers have been served on the abuser. The clerk of court will give all of the necessary paperwork to the sheriff or another law enforcement officer who will deliver (“serve”) the papers to the abuser as soon as possible.1 If the abuser lives with you, you may ask the court to have a law enforcement officer go home with you to help enforce the temporary injunction. This means that if the temporary injunction requires the abuser to move out of the house, the law enforcement officer will make him/her leave.2  Tell the clerk that you want help to enforce the injunction and ask for help in your petition.  To find contact information for your local sheriff, go to our FL Sheriff Departments page.

The abuser will also receive papers telling him/her when the hearing for the final injunction will take place.  A judge cannot give you a final injunction at the hearing unless the abuser has been served.  It does not matter if the abuser actually shows up at the hearing or not; it only matters that s/he received notice of the hearing date.

You can find more information about service of process in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section, in the question called What is service of process and how do I accomplish it?

1 Fla. Stat. § 741.30(8)(a)(1)
2 Fla. Stat. § 741.30(8)(a)(2)