Overturning a Florida Injunction on Appeal After Expiration



Petitions for protective injunctions are not reviewed lightly by judges because of the effects it can have on both parties involved. If someone is sexually abused or harassed by a family member, and a judge fails to provide necessary protection through a restraining order, the victim’s life can be put in extreme danger. While if someone is accused of sexually harassing someone, and a judge issues an injunction against them, the defendant can face serious repercussions that affect their day-to-day life.  

Whether you request a protective injunction or you receive an injunction against you in Florida, a judge will decide on what type of injunction is necessary after reviewing the facts. However, based on the order presented from the judge, you may have legal grounds to challenge the court’s ruling through an appeals process, even if the injunction has expired.  

Going through the appeals process may be vital if you’re a victim of domestic violence and rely on an injunction for safety; but, if you’re a defendant in a domestic violence case, an injunction on your record, whether it’s false, expired, or no longer relevant, can have substantial impacts on significant milestones in your life. Appealing an injunction can be complex and lengthy. You’re advised to discuss an appeal and your chance of success with an experienced injunction lawyer.

Why Might You Appeal an Expired Injunction? 

Whether you seek an injunction for protection or need to challenge one, there may be different reasons why appealing an expired injunction would benefit you. The following information will be broken down into two sections pertaining to why you might appeal an expired injunction based on what side of the injunction you’re on.  

Petitioner of Injunction

If you filed for an injunction for protection against someone, whether it be from stalking, assault, or kidnapping, the initial injunction issued is bound to expire, usually within one year. You may start to feel worried and anxious about the state of your well-being once the order has ended.  Appealing for an extension of the injunction you originally petitioned may help ensure continued protection from an abuser.

In this case, you must attend an extension hearing and show that there is high certainty of further abuse if they do not extend the order. The judge will reconsider the original terms of the restraining order and examine any instances that may have occurred during the time the initial injunction was submitted. A judge may issue an extension of your protective order for the following reasons:

  • Your abuser violated the initial order
  • You have other ongoing family court cases that may anger your abuser
  • You have a high chance of running into your abuser

If your appeal for an extension is denied, you may have to file an entirely new petition to highlight your need for protection.

Respondent of Injunction

Unfortunately, even if an injunction has expired against you, there are still severe legal ramifications that will follow you. You may have difficulties with the following:

  • Buying or owning a gun
  • Getting a job
  • Seeing your children

If the petitioner of the injunction wants to extend the order against you, you must be able to prove that the original terms of the injunction no longer exist to have the petition dismissed as moot, and that extending the mandate would be detrimental to you.  

What Does it Mean for a Case to be “Dismissed as Moot”?

For your case to be “dismissed as moot,” there must no longer be any actual controversy between you and the petitioner. Generally, an appeal is mooted when the petitioner’s substantive rights are not affected by the motion, meaning an extension of an injunction would be of no use. Some explanations for why cases may become moot include:

  • A change in the law
  • The status of the parties involved
  • An act by one of the parties that dissolves the issue

However, the court has some exceptions to the mootness doctrine, especially with injunctions that expire after a certain time period. These exceptions include:

  • Dismissing a moot appeal presents issues for the affected party
  • The controversy is likely to recur between the parties
  • Dismissing a moot appeal would leave important questions unanswered

Understanding injunctions and mootness are confusing— a skilled attorney can represent you and help clear up any uncertainties you have.

Contact an Orlando Injunctions Defense Lawyer

Whether you’re appealing an expired injunction for extension or dismissal, the process of litigation in these cases are serious and demanding. Whenever circumstances involving your case change, it’s in your best interest to talk with a trusted attorney about your situation and to start gathering information to present an appeal.

If you need help with your injunction, reach out to the Fighter Law Firm. Located just outside of downtown Orlando, our team of competent lawyers are dedicated to helping Central Florida victims acquire injunctions and assisting accused offenders in starting over. If you’re in need of support, put your case in the hands of an expert to ensure you get the best results. Call us today at (407) 449-1574 or fill out a contact formfor free consultation.

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