Victims of Abuse can file injunctions for protection against their alleged abusers at no cost. A restraining order may be obtained through the Domestic Violence Unit, located at 1700 Monroe Street, Fort Myers FL 33901 on the 3rd floor.
The five types of injunctions issued include domestic violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, dating violence, and stalking.
When a judge determines there is sufficient evidence to issue a restraining order, the alleged offender is provided with a court order prohibiting contact with the complainant. A subsequent judicial hearing is held to determine if the injunction will be extended for up to one year.
A restraining order may be obtained through the Domestic Violence Unit.
When filing a complaint, bring the following with you:
- Driver license or identification which includes your picture and signature. You may request at the time of filing to keep your address confidential if filing an injunction for domestic or sexual violence
- Specific dates of abuse or threats of abuse
- Specific locations where abuse or threats occurred
- Any previous or pending attempts to obtain an injunction for protection or any other cause of action in Lee County or other County/state and the results
You should be able to provide the following about the respondent (alleged abuser):
- Name of respondent
- Physical description of respondent, including height, weight, scars, date of birth, etc.
- Current residence address of respondent, including telephone number
- Respondent's employer and employer's address and phone number, if possible
- Respondent's vehicle information including make, model, color, year and tag number
If the respondent is outside of Florida, you must provide the Clerk with the following information:
- Name, address and phone number of sheriff's office having jurisdiction over where respondent may be found
- Service fee for that jurisdiction to serve a temporary injunction, and if that jurisdiction will accept a personal check from the petitioner for payment of service
- Petitioner will be responsible for payment of any sheriff service fees outside of Florida
After completing the petition, you must sign all documents under oath, and are subject to the penalty of perjury.
The Clerk's Office will immediately forward your file to the assigned judge. The court will determine whether your petition meets the necessary criteria for issuance of a temporary injunction, and a hearing will be scheduled requiring both parties to appear.
Once the judge has rendered a decision, all documents will be returned to the Clerk's Office for processing. A certified copy of the order and notice of hearing will be provided to you by mail. You should keep these documents with you at all times. A copy of the petition, financial affidavit, uniform child custody jurisdiction affidavit, notice of hearing and temporary injunction will be forwarded to the Sheriff of the county where the respondent resides. The Sheriff will serve the respondent as soon as possible.
You and the respondent are required to appear at the hearing to testify under oath regarding the exact circumstances of the alleged incident(s). Answer all questions completely. The hearing will determine whether a cause of action exists for the court to enter a permanent injunction.
You will be provided a copy of the appropriate order promptly after the hearing. This should be kept on you at all times.
The Domestic Violence Unit will provide the appropriate forms should there be a need for you to modify, extend or enforce the provisions contained in the injunction.