Modifications, Extensions and Dismissals of Florida Protective Orders

If you have an injunction against you, or you have taken out an injunction against a person who harmed or threatened to harm you, you may wonder whether the injunction can be vacated, dismissed, modified or removed. The attorneys at The Law Place can assist you in determining whether a modification, extension or dismissal of your injunction is possible or probable, no matter which side of the injunction you are on. We understand the situation you may find yourself in, whether you are worried that a valid injunction may cease to exist and you would like to file for an extension, or you feel the injunction was wrongly applied in your case and would like to apply to modify or dismiss.

Vacating, Dismissing or Modifying an Injunction

Injunctions are also known as protective orders or restraining orders, and once an injunction is in place, the only way it can be removed is through a court order. In some instances, the person who filed for the injunction may be willing to have it vacated, dismissed or modified if the circumstances have significantly changed. Perhaps the petitioner has moved, the respondent has moved, the petitioner and respondent want to renew their relationship, or the two parties have interacted without any violence therefore would like to change the terms of the injunction.

In cases where the only reason for interaction between the parties has ended or will end in the near future the injunction may be dismissed. This could happen in situations in which the parents engage in timesharing exchanges of children and the children have reached the age of majority or can drive themselves to the other parent’s home. In short, if it can be shown that there is no valid reason to keep the injunction in place, the court may dissolve the existing injunction. There are no rules regarding how soon a person under an injunction or the person who filed the injunction will be allowed to apply for modification or dismissal.

Once a petition to dismiss, vacate or modify an injunction is filed, which clearly shows a change in circumstances, a hearing will be set to determine whether sufficient cause exists to do so. In any case, the two parties involved in the injunction may not, on their own, simply choose to ignore the existing injunction, even if both are in agreement. Injunctions must be changed through the legal process or the changes are not valid.

Extension of Your Injunction

If you are the petitioner—the person who filed for the original injunction—and there was an expiration date on the injunction, you may want to file for an extension of the order prior to that expiration. In this scenario you are required to file a motion for an extension through the court which is similar to the petition you filed for the original injunction. Every time an extension is requested, if granted, the extension will be for up to one year. Florida judges have broad discretion regarding granting an extension of an injunction.

While you do not have to allege any new incidents of violence, you do have to fully explain why you feel you still require the protection of an injunction. Just as with the original petition, the respondent will be served with a hearing date as well as with a copy of your petition requesting an extension and may make argument against the extension during that hearing. Your Motion for Extension of the injunction must be filed at least two weeks prior to the expiration date, so if you are planning to file for an extension, don’t let this date pass you by.

Our attorneys have a broad background in the ins and outs of Florida protective orders. The Law Place attorneys believe you deserve an attorney who will fully explain your position, then assist you in filing what needs to be filed in order to obtain your desired result.