Pinellas Clerk of Court Domestic Violence Victim’s Pamphlet
The following article is a reproduction of the pamphlet provided by the Pinellas County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office to alleged victims of domestic violence:
Clerk of the Circuit Court
Pinellas County, Florida
VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE
Q. WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
A. “Domestic Violence“ means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another who is or was residing in the same single dwelling unit.
“Family of household member“ means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family, or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have resided together at any time.
Q. WHAT IS REPEAT VIOLENCE?
A. “Repeat Violence“ means two incidents of violence or stalking committed by the respondent, one of which must have been within 6 months of the filing of the petition, which are directed against the petitioner or the petitioner’s immediate family member.
“Violence“ means any assault, battery, or sexual battery, or stalking by a person against any other person.
Q. WHAT IS AN INJUNCTION FOR PROTECTION?
A. An Injunction for Protection, also referred to as a Restraining Order, is a court order which places restrictions on a person who has committed acts of violence against another person as defined in “WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE” and “WHAT IS REPEAT VIOLENCE.” The Injunction for Protection may include, but is not limited to, provisions which restrain the abuser from further acts of domestic violence; order the abuser to leave the dwelling or residence; prevent the abuser from coming to your home, school, business or place of employment; award temporary custody of minor children and establish temporary support of a minor child or children.
If you, your child or someone you care about is a victim of abuse, you may apply for a Temporary Injunction for Protection from the court.
Q. WHO CAN FILE FOR AN INJUNCTION FOR PROTECTION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
A. Any person, family or household member, who is the victim of any act of domestic violence, or has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of any act of domestic violence, can file a sworn petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence.
Q. HOW DO I FILE FOR AN INJUNCTION FOR PROTECTION?
A. You must appear in person at one of the Clerk’s Office locations shown on the reverse side to file for an Injunction for Protection. The staff in the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s Office will assist you in completing the necessary paperwork to petition the court for an Injunction for Protection.
The court will review your paperwork the same day you file your petition. If the court agrees you need protection, a Temporary Restraining Order will be entered that will be valid for up to fifteen (15) days.
A court date will be scheduled at the time the Temporary Restraining Order is issued. The purpose of this court date is to allow the court to address your situation and determine if a Permanent Injunction is necessary.
NOTE: Providing the Court with false information on the Petition for an Injunction for Protection is a criminal offense which could subject the violator to a term of imprisonment or to a fine or both.
Q. WHAT IS A PERMANENT INJUNCTION?
A. A Permanent Injunction is an order entered by the court granting the relief as determined to be necessary for the Protection of the Victim(s) of Domestic Violence.
The Permanent Injunction is ordered following the court’s review of the situation. The Permanent Injunction for Protection remains in effect until modified or dissolved by the court at the request of either party.
Q. CAN I FILE FOR AN INJUNCTION FOR PROTECTION BEFORE I HAVE BEEN ABUSED?
A. Yes, if you have reasonable cause to believe you are about to become a victim of any act of abuse, you may file a Petition for an Injunction for Protection against domestic violence.
Q. WHAT DO I DO IF THE INJUNCTION FOR PROTECTION IS VIOLATED?
A. In the event of a violation of the Injunction for Protection when there has been no arrest, the petitioner may contact the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s Office in the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred. A Deputy Clerk will assist the petitioner in the preparation of an affidavit in support of the violation.
Q. WHO DO I CALL FOR MORE INFORMATION?
A. The Clerk’s ABUSE HOTLINE is a recorded message available twenty-four (24) hourse a day to provide you with general information on how you can file for protection and what other assistance is available to you.
Q. IS THERE EMERGENCY HELP AVAILABLE TO ME?
A. If you need immediate assistance to protect you from an abuser, contact your local law enforcement agency.
There are Domestic Violence Centers in St. Petersburg and in Clearwater providing emergency housing, counseling, children’s programs, transportation and other services. Locations are confidential. Call the shelter nearest you…
CASA (Center Against Spouse Abuse)
The Haven of RCS Domestic Violence
THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE – IF YOU SUSPECT ABUSE IS
OCCURRING, CALL 911
Statistics show that 25 to 50 percent of the children of violent relationships are also the victims of physical or sexual abuse.
You are not responsible for your abuser’s violent actions. You cannot stop the abuse, but you CAN protect yourself and your loved ones from further abuse. Protect yourself and your family. Help is available for you twenty-four (24) hours a day.
A Domestic/Repeat Violence action may be filed, or additional information obtained, at one of the locations shown.
CIVIL COURT RECORDS
315 Court Street
Clearwater, FL 33756
Phone: (727) 464-7000
CRIMINAL JUSTICE CENTER
14250 49th Street North
Clearwater, FL 33762
Phone: (727) 464-7000
545 First Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: (727) 464-7000
*Domestic and Repeat Violence cases may be filed in this office, but must be transferred to Civil Court Records in downtown Clearwater for court action as there is no Circuit Judge available at this location. The transfer of the paperwork may cause a delay in any action being taken.
8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY
THE CLERK’S OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED IN
OBSERVANCE OF THE FOLLOWING HOLIDAYS:
NEW YEAR’S DAY
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.’S BIRTHDAY
DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING
Persons with disabilities requiring reasonable accommodations to use the services provided should call (727) 464-4062 (TDD or Voice). Call 24 hours prior to coming to the courthouse.