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Legal Information: Florida

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of October 6, 2023

Who can apply for an injunction for protection against stalking?

The following people can apply for an injunction for protection against stalking:

  1. a stalking victim can file for an injunction for himself/herself; and/or
  2. the parent/legal guardian of a minor child who is living at home can file fo an injunction for protection against stalking on behalf of the minor child.1

You can file against anyone who is stalking you, regardless of your relationship to that person2 as long as you meet the definition of someone who is being stalked, according to the law.  See What is the legal definition of stalking in Florida? for more information.

The injunction petition is filed in the circuit court.  See Where can I file for an injunction for protection against stalking? for more information about where to file.

1 Fla. Stat. § 784.0485(1)(a)
2 Fla. Stat. § 784.0485(1)(c)

Is there a minimum amount of time that I must live in Florida before I can file for an injunction?

No, there is no minimum requirement of residency for you to meet before you file a petition for an injunction for protection against stalking in Florida. You also have the option of filing the petition in the county where the respondent lives, or where the stalking occurred instead of in the county where you currently live.1 This might be the best option for you if you have moved to a new county and the stalker does not know what county you are living in.

1 Fla. Stat. § 784.0485(1)(f)

How much does it cost? Do I need a lawyer?

There is no fee to file a petition for protection against stalking.1  You do not need a lawyer to file for one or to defend yourself if someone files against you2 but it may be helpful to have one, especially if the other party has one or if the case goes to trial.  For free and paid legal referrals, go to our FL Finding a Lawyer page.  If you are going to be representing yourself, you can find tips for what to expect in court and how to prepare yourself on our At the Hearing page.

1 Fla. Stat. § 784.0485(2)(a)
2 Fla. Stat. § 784.0485(1)(d)

If you are going to be in court without a lawyer, our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section may be useful to you.

Can I bring an advocate with me to court for support?

Yes. The law allows you to bring an advocate from a state attorney’s office, a law enforcement agency, a certified rape crisis center, or a certified stalking center with you during any court proceedings related to the injunction for protection against stalking.1

1 Fla. Stat. § 784.0485(7)