What is Domestic Violence?

 Domestic Violence is a crime. Florida Statute 741.28 defines domestic violence as any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault/battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another who is or was residing in the same single dwelling unit. Domestic violence includes physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse.

 If you have been the victim or are afraid you will become a victim of domestic violence you may ask the State Attorney’s Office to file a criminal complaint. You also have the right to request an Injunction for Protection.

 What is an Injunction?

An injunction is a court order signed by a Judge that orders the abuser to have no further contact with you. This includes your place of employment, residence, and telephone contact. An injunction may also give you temporary custody of your children, temporary child support and court ordered counseling for the abuser.

 To obtain an injunction for protection, go to the Clerk of Circuit Court in the Levy County Courthouse. Once you have completed the forms, a judge will review and either grant or deny your petition. If granted, you will be given a Temporary Injunction and a court date to appear before the Judge. You Must Attend This Hearing Otherwise The Judge Will Dismiss Your Injunction. The Levy County Sheriffs Department will serve the abuser with the injunction. In order to verify service please call 486-5111.

 You do not have to have visible injuries or be married to apply for an injunction. If you are unable to pay the filing fee you can complete a form to have the fee waived. Make sure you bring a picture identification card with you when you go to the courthouse. Keep a copy of the injunction with you at all times.

 What happens if the abuser violates the order?

In the event that the abuser violates the order, you should contact the police for assistance. If an arrest cannot be made right away you may file an Order to Show Cause Affidavit with the Clerk of the Circuit Court, 2nd floor, Levy County Courthouse. The affidavit will be forwarded to the appropriate authority. Please contact the Levy County Victim Advocacy Unit if you have any further questions about obtaining an injunction.

 Exemption from public inspection

Under the provisions of s. 119.07(3)(s) F.S., any information which reveals the home or employment telephone number, home employment address, or personal assets of a person who has been the victim of sexual battery, aggravated battery, or domestic violence is exempt from public inspection and examination. You must take a written request and provide official verification, such as a police report, that an applicable crime has occurred. Such information shall remain exempt for 5 years, after which it will become available to the public.