I Have An Out-of-State Restraining Order. Can I Get It Enforced In Florida?

As long as your restraining order meets certain requirements under federal law, it can be enforced in Florida. Normally, in order to meet federal requirements, it must have been issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, the court that issued it must have had proper jurisdiction, and the abuser must have received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court.

However, if you are trying to enforce a provision in a restraining order involving child custody, child support, or visitation, it must be formally recorded in Florida. This is called domesticating the order. When it’s domesticated, the abuser will be notified about the restraining order and that it has been filed, and the abuser has 30 days to contest Florida’s jurisdiction in the case. You can ask that your address be kept confidential, but the abuser will still receive the name and address of the courthouse and will know what county you are in in Florida.

Even if your restraining order or order of protection is not registered, the injunction can be enforced once you move from out of state to Florida by a Florida police officer. However, although neither federal nor state law requires that you register your protection order to get it enforced, it could be more difficult for a Florida law enforcement official to determine whether it is real if it is not registered.


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