How do I get my Florida injunction for protection enforced in another state?
Federal law does not require you to take any special steps to get your injunction for protection enforced in another state.
Many states do have laws or regulations (rules) about registering or filing of out-of-state orders, which can make enforcement easier, but a valid injunction from abuse (order of protection) is enforceable regardless of whether it has been registered or filed in the new state.1 Rules differ from state to state, so it may be helpful to find out what the rules are in your new state. You can contact a local domestic violence organization for more information by visiting our Advocates and Shelters page and entering your new state in the drop-down menu.
1 18 U.S.C. § 2265(d)(2)
Do I need a special copy of my protection order to get it enforced?
In some states, you will need a certified copy of your injunction. A certified copy says that it is a “true and correct” copy; it is signed and initialed by the clerk of court that gave you the order, and usually has some kind of court stamp on it. A certified injunction from Florida has the word “Certified” stamped on the front page.
If the copy you originally received was not a certified copy, you can go to the courthouse where you were granted the injunction and request a certified copy from the clerk.
Note: It is generally a good idea to keep a copy of the injunction with you at all times. You will also want to bring several copies of the injunction with you when you move. Leave copies of the injunction at your work place, at your home, at the children’s school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on. Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work along with a photo of the abuser. Give a copy of the injunction to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.
Can I get someone to help me? Do I need a lawyer?
You do not need a lawyer to get your protection order enforced in another state.
However, you may want to get help from a local domestic violence advocate or attorney in the state that you move to. A domestic violence advocate can let you know what the advantages and disadvantages are for registering your protection order, and help you through the process if you decide to do so.
To find a domestic violence advocate or an attorney in the state you are moving to, select your state from the drop-down menu on the top left-hand corner of this page, and click on the “Advocates and Shelters” page.
Do I need to tell the court in Florida if I move?
Yes. The court needs to have an address they can reach you at if anything happens in your case. For example, if the abuser asks the court to dismiss the protective order, the court needs your address to let you know this is happening.
Your new address should be kept confidential by the court. You can fill out form 12.980h: Petitioner’s Request for Confidential Filing of Address. The clerk of court’s office should have this form available for you to fill out. It is also available on the Florida Courts website here.