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Legal Information: Florida

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
December 21, 2018

What is a risk protection order?

A risk protection order is a civil court order prohibiting an individual (called the respondent) from:

  1. having a firearm or ammunition in his/her custody or control;
  2. purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm or ammunition; and
  3. attempting to purchase or receive a firearm or ammunition.1

1 Fla Stat. § 790.401(3)(g)

Who can file for a risk protection order?

Only a law enforcement officer or agency can file for a risk protection order.1

If you are a person who is concerned about the safety of someone else but cannot file to have his/her firearms removed, you may be able to speak to a law enforcement officer or agency to let them know of your concern and ask that they file for a risk protection order to have the firearms removed.

1 Fla Stat. § 790.401(2)(a)

What types of orders are there? How long do they last?

There are two types of risk protection orders: temporary ex parte orders and extended orders.

Temporary ex parte risk protection orders: The judge can issue a temporary ex parte risk protection order without the respondent having notice of the hearing or being present for the hearing. The judge must consider all of the factors included in the question How will a judge make a decision about whether or not to grant the order? when deciding whether to grant a temporary ex parte risk protection order.1 The judge must issue the order if the judge finds reasonable cause to believe:

  • that the respondent poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself/herself or others in the near future by:
    • having in his/her custody or control; or
    • purchasing, possessing, or receiving, a firearm or ammunition.

The respondent must be served with the order and have an opportunity to request that the judge vacate (dismiss) the order.2 The temporary ex parte risk protection order will last until the hearing on the risk protection order.3

Extended risk protection orders: The judge can extend a risk protection order if:

  • the petitioner files a motion (request) to have the order extended; and
  • the judge finds by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent continues to pose a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself/herself or others in the near future,
  • by having in his/her custody or control, or by purchasing, possessing, or receiving, a firearm or ammunition.

The judge can issue the extended order for a period of time that the judge thinks is needed but no longer than 12 months.4

1 Fla Stat. § 790.401(4)(a),(b)
2 Fla Stat. § 790.401(4)(c)
3 Fla Stat. § 790.401(4)(f)
4 Fla Stat. § 790.401(3)(b)