On September 6, the Miami New Times reported that a woman, her fiancé, and their 1-month-old son were all kicked out of their home after their roommate accused the fiancé of threatening him. According to the New Times, Broward County court records showed that the roommate filed a temporary restraining order against the fiancé and claimed in his petition that the fiancé had threatened and pushed him—allegations the couple denied.
The couple was kicked out of their home just as Hurricane Irma was preparing to make landfall. The New Times reported that the couple and their child walked and took the bus from shelter to shelter in Broward County, showing up at a homeless encampment near Stranahan Park before finding a house in Fort Lauderdale. The woman told the New Times that “they were turned away at homeless shelters, told there was no space or they were evacuating for the hurricane.”
The New Times noted that it was unclear why the woman and the child were also removed from the house in Fort Lauderdale when the restraining order was against only the fiancé—especially considering Hurricane Irma. Neither the roommate nor the Broward Sheriff’s Office provided comment on the story for the New Times.
Attorney for Restraining Orders in Broward County
The story above is an unfortunate reminder of the consequences of injunctions for protection (also known as restraining orders or no-contact orders) in Florida. People who have had protective orders issued against them can often lose many basic rights, such as access to their own housing.
The Broward County Clerk of Court issues the following types of injunctions for protection:
- Domestic Violence restraining order against a spouse, ex-spouse, or blood relative residing in the same household or any other person the alleged victim is, or was, residing with as if family;
- Repeat Violence restraining order against individuals who are not family or household members;
- Dating Violence restraining order against individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature;
- Stalking restraining order against any individual, who maliciously and repeatedly follows, harasses and engages in a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time;
- Sexual Violence restraining order for any one incident of sexual battery, lewd or lascivious act committed upon or in presence of a person younger than 16 years of age, luring or enticing a child, sexual performance by a child or any other forcible felony wherein a sexual act is committed or attempted.
Courts will issue temporary injunctions for protection that are valid for up to 15 days, but the person named in the order will not be able to attend a hearing until a date is set for permanent restraining order hearing. It is extremely important for any person who has been served notice of such a hearing to immediately seek legal representation.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who can fight to possibly get the petition against you dismissed. The Hoffman Firm aggressively defends individuals at restraining order hearings and clients who have been accused of violating injunctions for protection.