CLERK OF COURT & COMPTROLLER

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FLORIDA

Domestic Violence/ Injunctions for Protection

The Injunction for Protection Against Violence area of the Social Services Related Processing Center handles the filing of restraining orders (also known as  injunctions for protection)  against domestic violence, repeat violence, dating violence, sexual violence, and stalking. An injunction or restraining order is a court order signed by a judge that can be served and enforced by law enforcement. Please read our information brochure (provided in English and Spanish) before filling out a petition. The brochure explains the process for obtaining an injunction and what to expect.

Violations of injunctions may result in a criminal offense.   The Misdemeanor / County Criminal Department handles the court case files involved with the resulting criminal charges.

Every year, the Clerk’s Office processes about 6,600 applications for restraining orders. Our clerks, along with employees of The Spring who have been deputized, process restraining order applications seven days a week, 365 days a year.

To ease the burden of this process, the Clerk’s Office now offers applicants the ability to register to view their court records online so they do not have to call our office or return to the courthouse to keep up with the progress of their applications.

Domestic Violence FAQs

How do I file an injunction for protection?

You (as the petitioner) may file a petition at the George Edgecomb Courthouse in Downtown Tampa (800 E Twiggs St, Room 205, Tampa), the Plant City Courthouse (301 N Michigan St, Room 1071, Plant City) or The Spring (813-247-7233).  Bring your state issued photo identification along with the name, date of birth, description and location of the person you are filing against (the respondent).
The necessary forms will be provided to you at the courthouse or are available to download online.

  • The George Edgecomb Courthouse hours are from 8 AM until 5 PM, Monday through Friday. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, the hours are from 7 AM until 10 AM.
  • The Plant City Courthouse hours are from 8 AM until 5 PM, Monday through Friday.
  • Contact the Spring at (813) 247-7233 if the Clerk’s Office is closed to arrange to file a petition.

There is no fee required to file a Petition for Injunction for Protection for Domestic Violence, Repeat Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Violence or Stalking.

What types of injunctions for protection are available?

Domestic Violence

Injunctions for Protection Against Domestic Violence may be issued against a spouse, former spouse, a person related by blood or marriage, a person with whom you are presently living or have formerly lived, as if a family, or against someone with whom you have a child in common, regardless of whether you were ever married to that person or lived with them.

If a person falling within one of these categories has committed an offense against you resulting in your physical injury, or that person has placed you in fear (with words or physical acts), and made you believe you would be immediately harmed by an unlawful act of violence, you may have grounds to ask the court for an Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence.

Domestic Violence with Children

Injunctions for Protection Against Domestic Violence may be issued against a spouse, former spouse, a person related by blood or marriage, a person with whom you are presently living or have formerly lived, as a family, or against someone with whom you have a child in common, regardless of whether you were ever married to that person or lived with them.

If a person falling within one of these categories has committed an offense against you resulting in your physical injury, or that person has placed you in fear (with words or physical acts), and made you believe you would be immediately harmed by an unlawful act of violence, you may have grounds to ask the court for an Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence.

Repeat Violence

An Injunction for Protection Against Repeat Violence may be issued if someone has committed two separate acts of violence or stalking, one being within the last six months, against you. The Injunction for Protection Against Repeat Violence is available for those individuals not covered by the domestic violence injunctions. These can be filed against neighbors, friends, or co-workers.

Sexual Violence

Injunctions for Protection Against Sexual Violence may be issued if any one incident of the following occur regardless of whether criminal charges based on the incident were filed, reduced or dismissed by the state attorney:

It is a requirement that the sexual violence be reported to a law enforcement agency and that the person filing the petition cooperate in the investigation. A petition may be filed against a respondent who was sentenced to imprisonment for the sexual violence and who has been or will be released from incarceration. A person who is the victim of sexual violence or the parent or legal guardian of a minor child who is living at home who is the victim of sexual violence has standing in the circuit court to file a sworn petition for an injunction for protection against sexual violence on his or her own behalf or on behalf of the minor child if the person has reported the sexual violence to a law enforcement agency and is cooperating in any criminal proceedings against the respondent, regardless of whether criminal charges based on the sexual violence have been filed, reduced or dismissed by the state attorney, or the respondent who committed the sexual violence against the victim or minor child was sentenced to a term of imprisonment in state prison for the sexual violence and the respondent's term of imprisonment has expired or is due to expire within 90 calendar days following the date the petition is filed. You must provide proof of law enforcement involvement in cases related to sexual violence and attach an incident report created by a law enforcement agency or a notice of inmate release.

Dating Violence

Injunctions for Protection Against Dating Violence may be issued against an individual with whom you have or had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. It is determined by consideration of the following: the dating relationship existed within the past six months, the nature of the relationship included an expectation of affection or sexual involvement, and the frequency and type of interaction between you and the individual included involvement over time and on a continued basis.

Stalking

Injunctions for Protection Against Stalking may be issued against an individual who has committed stalking; previously threatened, harassed, stalked, cyber stalked, physically abused, threatened to harm you, family members or individuals closely associated to you; intentionally injured or killed a family pet; used or threatened to use against you any weapons such as guns or knives; has a  criminal history involving violence or threat of violence; has another order of protection issued against him or her previously from another jurisdiction; or has destroyed personal property, including, but not limited to, telephones or other communication equipment, clothing, or other items.

What do I need in order to file an injunction for protection?

In order to file for an injunction for protection, you will need to provide the following: 

  • Specific facts and circumstances, including dates, which convince the Court that an immediate and present danger of violence exists.
  • Respondent’s physical description, date of birth, and an address where they can be located.
  • Any previous or pending attempts you have made to obtain an Injunction for Protection, or any other cause of action currently pending between you and the respondent.
  • You will be required to sign under oath all of the paperwork you fill out.

An injunction for protection is a civil matter; all information and documents filed in the case are a matter of public record and are open for public inspection.

A copy of all the paperwork you file in your case will be served upon the respondent. Do not put any addresses or phone numbers within the paperwork that you do not want the other party to have.

If you are filing a domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking case, a Notice of Confidential Address form can be completed to keep your address confidential. Forms are available to download online.

What happens after I file a petition for protection?

The Clerk's Office will forward your petition along with all the attachments to the judge for review and to render a decision. You will be asked to contact the Clerk's Office to find out the judge’s ruling.  If either a Temporary Injunction or an Order Setting Hearing is entered, the court will schedule the hearing within 15 calendar days from the date the petition was filed.

Can I speak with the judge?

The court (the judge) may only communicate with the parties involved in a case during court hearings or through written documents filed in the court file.

Will an injunction for protection cover my children?

The type of petition filed and the judge’s ruling will determine if the children are covered by the injunction for protection.

After a judge has rendered a decision on the petition for protection, what happens next?

Temporary Injunction: You must return to Clerk’s Office and pick up copies of the court order to keep with you at all times. If the respondent comes near you at any time prior to being served, you may contact law enforcement and they can serve the respondent with a copy.

Order Setting Hearing: You may return to the Clerk’s Office to pick up a copy of the order or go to hover.hillsclerk.com to view the hearing date.

Order Denying: You may return to the Clerk’s Office to pick up a copy or go to hover.hillsclerk.com to view your case. A supplemental petition with additional information may be filed within 7 calendar days for further review by the court.

Copies are available at any of the Clerk’s locations.

When will the respondent be served?

If the respondent resides in the state of Florida: The Clerk will furnish the necessary documents to the Sheriff of the county in Florida where the respondent resides or can be located. The Sheriff will serve the respondent during their regular working hours. Please allow adequate time for service as it may take several business days to complete service. You may visit hover.hillsclerk.com to review your case.

If the respondent resides outside of the State of Florida: The Clerk will provide the petitioner with the necessary copies to be sent to the appropriate law enforcement agency in the state the respondent resides.

Do I have to appear before the judge?

You must attend the court hearing. If you do not appear, your case could be dismissed.

What do I need to bring to the court hearing?

You should bring any witnesses and evidence in support of your petition for protection.

Where do I go to obtain information about a criminal domestic violence case?

Visit hover.hillsclerk.com to search for the case online or visit one of our locations.

How can I drop/dismiss an injunction for protection?

You must file a motion to voluntarily dismiss or dissolve the injunction for protection. The motion will be reviewed by the Judge and a decision made.  Forms are available to download online.

What should I do if the respondent violates the temporary or permanent injunction for protection?

If the respondent violates any conditions of the Temporary or Permanent Injunction for Protection, you should first consider requesting the immediate assistance of local law enforcement. If the respondent is not arrested, you may return to the Domestic Violence Section of the Clerk's Office for assistance in the preparation of an Affidavit of Violation of Injunction for Protection. This may be the only way a judge will be notified of the respondent's noncompliance.

Examples of violating a temporary or permanent injunction for protection may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Intentional touch or strike
  • Contact in person, by phone or electronically
  • Nonpayment of child support

Forms are available for download online.

How do I view an injunction for protection court file?

Electronic viewing of many court records, including injunctions for protection, is currently available on our Hillsborough Online Viewing of Electronic Records (HOVER) site. If you are unable to view it online or you need a copy, you may view or pick up a copy of the file at any of our office locations. To allow adequate time for redaction processing, it may take four business days for the file to be available for on-site viewing and/or pick-up. The file may be viewed and ordered through our HOVER website.

Can I find out if there is an injunction for protection against me?

Please search our HOVER website for any cases that may be pending against you in Hillsborough County.

I’ve just been served with an injunction for protection. What should I do?

If you have been served with an injunction for protection, you should attend the court hearing and bring any witnesses and evidence regarding your case.