Step 5: The hearing
When you are requesting an injunction for protection, you must prove that the abuser has committed an act of domestic violence (as defined by the law) against you and/or your children or that you are in immediate danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.1
You are required to go to the court hearing. If you find out you absolutely cannot attend, you must contact the court clerk immediately and ask how you can get a “continuance” for a later court date. However, continuances are normally not granted. If the petitioner does not show up, generally the temporary injunction will be dismissed.
At the hearing, you will be asked to testify in court about the abuse and harassment you have experienced. The abuser will also be allowed to be present evidence and testify in the hearing. See the At the Hearing section under the Preparing for Court tab at the top of this page for ways you can show the judge that you were abused. You can learn more about the court system in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section.
If the abuser does not show up, the court may issue a “default judgment” and you may receive a final injunction against the respondent without him/her being there. If not, a date for another court hearing may be set. If another hearing date is set and the judge does not extend the temporary injunction order, you should request that s/he do so before leaving the courtroom.
1 Fla. Stat. § 741.30(6)(a)