Domestic Violence Injunction

In order to file a petition for an domestic violence injunction, the petitioner must be a victim of domestic violence OR in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence. Domestic violence can include, but is not limited to:

  • Assault
  • Aggravated assault
  • Battery
  • Aggravated Battery
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Battery
  • Stalking
  • Kidnapping
  • False Imprisonment
  • Or any other criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death to one family or household member by another family or household member
In determining whether a Petitioner has “reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence,” a Court must consider all relevant factors alleged in the petition for injunction for protection against domestic violence, including, but not limited to:

  • History between the petitioner and the respondent, including threats, harassment, stalking and physical abuse;
  • Whether the respondent has attempted to harm the petitioner or family members or individuals closely associated with the petitioner;
  • Whether the respondent has threatened to conceal, kidnap, or harm the petitioner’s child or children;
  • Whether the respondent has used or has threatened to use, against the petitioner any weapons such as guns or knives;
  • Whether the respondent has intentionally injured or killed a family pet;
  • Whether the respondent has physically restrained the petitioner from leaving the home or calling law enforcement;
  • Whether the respondent has a criminal history involving violence or the threat of violence;
  • The existence of a verifiable order of protection issued previously or from another jurisdiction;
  • Whether the respondent has destroyed person property, including, but not limited to, telephones or other communication equipment belonging to the petitioner.

In addition, in order for the Court to issue a domestic violence injunction, the petitioner and respondent must be family or household members. Family or household members include spouses, former spouses, person related by blood or marriage, person who are presently living together as a family or who have lived together in the past as a family and persons who are parents of a child together regardless of whether or not they have been married or lived together.

Steps for Filing Domestic Violence Injunction

The flow chart provides a very basic outline of the process for getting a domestic violence injunction. Generally the steps are as follows:
  • Petition for Protection from Domestic Violence is filed
  • The Court will review the Petition and any additional evidence presented on its own, without either party being present.
  • The Court will either issue a Temporary Injunction or deny the petition for injunction based upon its review of all the information provided.
  • If the Temporary Injunction is granted, a final hearing will be scheduled by the Court within 15 days. If the Temporary Injunction is denied, the Petitioner can still request a hearing before the Court.
  • At the Final Hearing, both sides present any and all witnesses and evidence that they have that either support the issuance or the denial of a permanent injunction.

Injunction for Protection Against Repeat Violence

In those instances where an individual is seeking protection from the Court, but the individual whom they are filing the injunction against is not a “family or household member,” and they have not had a romantic relationship with them, there remains the possibility of obtaining an injunction. Injunctions for protection against repeat violence require:

  • Two Incidents of violence or stalking committed by the respondent, which are against the petitioner or the petitioner’s immediate family member; and
  • One of the two incidents of violence or stalking must have been within 6 months of the filing of the petition

Injunction for Protection Against Dating Violence

Violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature may result in the issuance of an Injunction for Protection Against Dating Violence. Much like a domestic violence injunction, the petitioner must demonstrate that they have been a victim of dating violence or that there is reasonable cause to believe that they are in imminent danger of becoming the victim of an act of dating violence. The existence of a dating relationship shall be determined on the consideration of the following factors:

  • A dating relationship must have existed in the past 6 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 between the persons involved in the relationship must have included that the persons have been involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship

Consequences of Having a Final Injunction Issued Against You

While a final injunction may appear to simply be a piece of paper telling you to stay away from someone else, the consequences of having a final injunction issued against you can be severe. Some of the consequences include:

  • Limiting visitation with your children or requiring visitation with your children to be supervised
  • Prohibited under both Federal and State law from owning or possessing a firearm
  • Current employment status or employment applications may be affected
  • Professional licenses may be affected
  • Entry to the military may be affected
  • Admission to schools, colleges and universities may be affected
  • A future violation of a final injunction may affect a resident alien’s application for citizenship and could result in deportation
  • A future violation of a final injunction could subject you to arrest and criminal sanctions.