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Restraining Orders / Injunctions for Protection

Safe Place
The Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC) is the only state-certified center for domestic violence and sexual assault services for Sarasota and DeSoto Counties. All of SPARCC's services are free and confidential, such as assistance with filing for injunctions, a shelter operating 24 hours per day/365 days per year, court advocacy, children's services, and more. SPARCC also provides safety planning, crisis counseling and emergency shelter for victims, and their families. 

The SPARCC VICTIM HOTLINE  941-365-1976 OR toll free 877-365-1976 (DeSoto) is answered 24-hours per day to provide immediate response to the needs of callers. Go to SPARCC on the web at  www. SPARCC.net for more information about programs and services. SPARCC has multiple locations in Sarasota and DeSoto to serve victims of domestic violence or sexual assault:

  • Sarasota Outreach and Administration Center 2139 Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34237 HOTLINE 941-365-1976 Administrative line 941-365-0208
  • Venice Outreach Office (by appointment only) 1531 Tamiami trail South, Ste 702-A, Venice FL 34285 HOTLINE 941-365-1976  Administrative line 941-492-3752
  • North Port Outreach (by appointment only) 6919 Outreach Way, B103, North Port, FL 34287 HOTLINE 941-365-1976 Administrative line 941-429-3720
  • Arcadia Outreach office 107 West oak Street, Ste 202, Arcadia, FL 34266 Toll Free HOTLINE 877-365-1976 Administrative line 863-494-4948

Restraining Order Filing
Petitions for a Restraining Order are made through the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court at either the Sarasota Main or Venice Branch business offices.

Sarasota Main  Office
Historic Courthouse
2000 Main Street
Sarasota, FL 34237


Venice Branch  Office

R.L. Anderson Administration Center
4000 S. Tamiami Trail
Venice, FL 34293

Because of the complexities of the forms that are required to be filled out in order to seek a Restraining Order, it could take up to 45 minutes to complete all requirements. Since all paperwork must be submitted to the Court for review by 4:00 p.m., it is necessary for petitioners to submit completed paperwork to the Clerk's office no later than 3:40 p.m. to ensure same day review by the Court. Paperwork filed on business days after 4:00 p.m. will be provided to the Court for review the following day.

For current operating hours, please click here or choose Office Location / Hours from the CONTACT US menu choice on the www.SarasotaClerk.com homepage.

After Hours Filing
If you need to file an injunction for protection outside of normal business hours, on a holiday or weekend, contact the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office at (941) 861-5800 or go to the Sheriff's Office at 2071 Ringling Boulevard in Sarasota, FL 34237 for assistance.

Restraining Order Forms
For your convenience, forms are available online through links on these pages. Forms must be signed in front of a notary or a deputy clerk at the Clerk of the Court's office. If you need a deputy clerk to attest to your signature, do not sign said documents until you are in the presence of a deputy clerk at the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit and County Court.

There are five types of petitions for restraining orders, including Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Repeat Violence, Sexual Violence, and Stalking. Additional explanation regarding each type is available in the sections below; select a type that best corresponds to your relationship with the respondent, and fits your situation.

Please carefully review the instructions that precede each form, since selecting an incorrect form may result in additional processing time.

Restraining Order for Domestic Violence
If you are a victim of any act of domestic violence or have reasonable cause to believe that you are in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, you can ask the Court for a protective order prohibiting domestic violence. Domestic violence includes assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any other criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death to petitioner, by any of the petitioner's family or household members.

Because you are making a request to the Court, you are called the petitioner. The person whom you are asking the Court to protect you from is called the respondent

Domestic violence laws only apply to your situation if the respondent is your spouse, former spouse, related to you by blood or marriage, living with you now, or has lived with you in the past (if you are or were living as a family), or the parent of your child or children, whether or not you have ever been married or ever lived together. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing together or have resided together in the past, in the same single dwelling unit.

There is no filing fee.

Documents to be filed when applying for an injunction for protection against domestic violence are as follows:

Petitioners who have minor children with the Respondent may also have to complete the following additional forms. Refer to the instructions for Completing the Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence for additional information on these forms and when they must be completed.

Restraining Order for Dating Violence
If you or members of your immediate family are a victim of dating violence, you can use this form to ask the Court for a protective order prohibiting dating violence. Dating violence means violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The dating relationship must have existed within the past six months, the nature of the relationship must have been characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties, and the frequency and type of interaction must have included that the persons have been involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship. Dating violence does not include violence in a casual acquaintanceship or violence between individuals who only have engaged in ordinary fraternization in a business or social context. Dating violence includes: 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.

Because you are making a request to the Court, you are called the petitioner. The person whom you are asking the Court to protect you from is called the respondent. If you are under the age of eighteen and have never been married or had the disabilities of nonage removed by a Court, one of your parents or your legal guardian must sign this petition on your behalf.

The parent or legal guardian of any minor child who is living at home may seek an injunction for protection against dating violence on behalf of the minor child. With respect to a minor child who is living at home, the parent or legal guardian must have been an eye-witness to, or have direct physical evidence or affidavits from eye-witnesses of, the specific facts and circumstances that form the basis of the petition.

There is no filing fee.

Documents to be filed when applying for a restraining order for dating violence are as follows:

Restraining Order for Repeat Violence
If you or members of your immediate family are a victim of repeat violence, you can ask the Court for a protective order prohibiting repeat violence. Repeat violence means that two incidents of violence have been committed against you or a member of your immediate family by another person, one of which must have been within six months of filing this petition. Repeat violence includes 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.

Because you are making a request to the Court, you are called the petitioner. The person whom you are asking the Court to protect you from is called the respondent. If you are under the age of eighteen and have never been married or had the disabilities of nonage removed by a court, one of your parents or your legal guardian must sign this petition on your behalf. The parent or legal guardian of any minor child who is living at home may seek an injunction for protection against repeat violence on behalf of the minor child. With respect to a minor child who is living at home, the parent or legal guardian must have been an eye-witness to, or have direct physical evidence or affidavits from eye-witnesses of, the specific facts and circumstances that form the basis of the petition.

There is no filing fee.

Documents to be filed when applying for a restraining order for repeat violence are as follows:

Restraining Order for Sexual Violence
If you are a victim of sexual violence or the parent or legal guardian of a minor child who is living at home and is the victim of sexual violence, you can ask the Court for a protective order prohibiting sexual violence. Sexual violence means any one incident of:

  • Sexual battery, as defined in chapter 794, Florida Statutes;
  • Lewd or lascivious act, as defined in chapter 800, Florida Statutes, committed upon or in the presence of a person younger than 16 years of age;
  • Luring or enticing a child, as described in chapter 787, Florida Statutes;
  • Sexual performance by a child, as described in chapter 827, Florida Statutes; or
  • Any other forcible felony wherein a sexual act is committed or attempted.

In order to get an injunction you must have reported the sexual violence to a law enforcement agency and be cooperating in the criminal proceeding, if there is one. It does not matter whether criminal charges based on the sexual violence have been filed, reduced, or dismissed by the State Attorney's office. You may also seek an injunction for protection against sexual violence crimes listed above against you or a minor child living at home and respondent is out of prison or is getting out of prison within 90 days of your petition. Attach the Notice of Inmate Release to your petition.

Because you are making a request to the Court, you are called the petitioner. The person whom you are asking the Court to protect your from is called the respondent. If you are seeking an injunction for protection against sexual violence on behalf of a minor child who is living at home, the parent or legal guardian must have been an eye-witness to, or have direct physical evidence or affidavits from eye-witnesses of, the specific facts and circumstances that form the basis of the petition. If you are under the age of eighteen and have never been married or had the disabilities of nonage removed by a Court, one of your parents or your legal guardian must sign this petition on your behalf.

There is no filing fee.

Documents to be filed when applying for a restraining order for repeat violence are as follows:

Restraining Order for Stalking
If you are a victim of stalking, you can ask the Court for a protective order prohibiting stalking.  Stalking means the repeated following, harassment, or cyberstalking of one person by another.  Cyberstalk means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.

Because you are making a request to the Court, you are called the petitioner.  The person whom you are asking the Court to protect you from is called the respondent.  If the respondent is your spouse, former spouse, related to you by blood or marriage, living with you now or has lived with you in the past (if you are or were living as a family), or the other parent of your child(ren), whether or not you have ever been married or ever lived together, you may, instead, choose to use the Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence, rather than this form. 

There is no filing file.

Documents to be filed when applying for an injunction for protection against stalking are as follows:

 

Additional Restraining Order Information

Length of Validity
A restraining order shall remain in full force and effect until further order by the Court.

Motion to Modify, Dissolve, or Dismiss a Restraining Order
A Motion to Modify, Dissolve, or Dismiss the restraining order would need to be completed and filed with the Clerk of the Court. The Motion form may be used if you are a party to a previously entered injunction for protection against domestic violence, repeat violence, dating violence, or sexual violence and you want the court to modify the terms of the injunction. This Motion must be signed in front of a Notary or Deputy Clerk at the Clerk of Court's office. If you need deputy clerk to attest your signature, do not sign said document until you are in the presence of a deputy clerk at the office of the Clerk of the Court.

Once the petitioner or respondent has completed the Motion form document, the deputy clerk will forward the Motion to the family law Judge for review. The Court may set a hearing or grant the motion. If the Court grants the Motion, the Court will prepare an Order to reflect the modifications. The original order is filed with the Clerk's office and both parties will be provided with a copy of the new Order.

There is no filing fee.

Documents to be filed when filing a Motion to Modify, Dissolve, or Dismiss a Restraining Order are as follows:

Motion for Extension of Restraining Order
The petitioner on a previously entered injunction for protection against domestic violence, repeat violence, dating violence, or sexual violence can request that the Court extend the injunction. A Motion for Extension must be filed BEFORE the previously entered Order expires.

There is no filing fee

Documents to be filed when filing a Motion for Extension are as follows:

Violation of the Restraining Order
The petitioner would need to complete and file an affidavit for violation, violation of injunction case information, and State Attorney intake determination report for violation of injunction with the Clerk of Court. The deputy clerk will forward the necessary paperwork to the State Attorney's office who will review the paperwork to determine if criminal charges will be filed. If no criminal charges are to be filed, the violation paperwork will be forwarded to the family law Judge for review. Both parties will be provided a copy in the event that any additional Orders are entered by the Court.

Appearance Required at Injunction Hearing
You are required to appear for the hearing. If you fail to attend, you could be held in contempt of court and the Judge could dismiss the injunction.


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Locations: 2000 Main Street, Sarasota / 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice / Phone: (941) 861-7400
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