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The 2013 Florida Statutes

Title XLIII
DOMESTIC RELATIONS
Chapter 741
MARRIAGE; DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
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CHAPTER 741
TITLE XLIII
DOMESTIC RELATIONS
CHAPTER 741
MARRIAGE; DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
741.01 County court judge or clerk of the circuit court to issue marriage license; fee.
741.011 Installment payments.
741.02 Additional fee.
741.03 County court judge or clerk of the circuit court not to send out marriage license signed in blank.
741.0305 Marriage fee reduction for completion of premarital preparation course.
741.0306 Creation of a family law handbook.
741.04 Marriage license issued.
741.0405 When marriage license may be issued to persons under 18 years.
741.041 Marriage license application valid for 60 days.
741.05 Penalty for violation of ss. 741.03, 741.04(1).
741.07 Persons authorized to solemnize matrimony.
741.08 Marriage not to be solemnized without a license.
741.09 Record of license and certificate.
741.10 Proof of marriage where no certificate available.
741.21 Incestuous marriages prohibited.
741.211 Common-law marriages void.
741.212 Marriages between persons of the same sex.
741.23 Husband not liable for wife’s torts.
741.235 Doctrine of interspousal tort immunity abrogated.
741.24 Civil action against parents; willful destruction or theft of property by minor.
741.28 Domestic violence; definitions.
741.281 Court to order batterers’ intervention program attendance.
741.283 Minimum term of imprisonment for domestic violence.
741.29 Domestic violence; investigation of incidents; notice to victims of legal rights and remedies; reporting.
741.2901 Domestic violence cases; prosecutors; legislative intent; investigation; duty of circuits; first appearance.
741.2902 Domestic violence; legislative intent with respect to judiciary’s role.
741.30 Domestic violence; injunction; powers and duties of court and clerk; petition; notice and hearing; temporary injunction; issuance of injunction; statewide verification system; enforcement; public records exemption.
741.31 Violation of an injunction for protection against domestic violence.
741.313 Unlawful action against employees seeking protection.
741.315 Recognition of foreign protection orders.
741.316 Domestic violence fatality review teams; definition; membership; duties.
741.3165 Certain information exempt from disclosure.
741.32 Batterers’ intervention programs.
741.325 Requirements for batterers’ intervention programs.
741.401 Legislative findings; purpose.
741.402 Definitions; ss. 741.401-741.409.
741.403 Address confidentiality program; application; certification.
741.404 Certification cancellation.
741.405 Agency use of designated address.
741.406 Voting by program participant; use of designated address by supervisor of elections.
741.408 Assistance for program applicants.
741.409 Adoption of rules.
741.465 Public records exemption for the Address Confidentiality Program for Victims of Domestic Violence.
741.01 County court judge or clerk of the circuit court to issue marriage license; fee.
(1) Every marriage license shall be issued by a county court judge or clerk of the circuit court under his or her hand and seal. The county court judge or clerk of the circuit court shall issue such license, upon application for the license, if there appears to be no impediment to the marriage. An application for a marriage license must allow both parties to the marriage to state under oath in writing if they are the parents of a child born in this state and to identify any such child they have in common by name, date of birth, place of birth, and, if available, birth certificate number. The name of any child recorded by both parties must be transmitted to the Department of Health along with the original marriage license and endorsements. The county court judge or clerk of the circuit court shall collect and receive a fee of $2 for receiving the application for the issuance of a marriage license.
(2) The fee charged for each marriage license issued in the state shall be increased by the sum of $25. This fee shall be collected upon receipt of the application for the issuance of a marriage license and remitted by the clerk to the Department of Revenue for deposit in the Domestic Violence Trust Fund. The Executive Office of the Governor shall establish a Domestic Violence Trust Fund for the purpose of collecting and disbursing funds generated from the increase in the marriage license fee. Such funds which are generated shall be directed to the Department of Children and Family Services for the specific purpose of funding domestic violence centers, and the funds shall be appropriated in a “grants-in-aid” category to the Department of Children and Family Services for the purpose of funding domestic violence centers. From the proceeds of the surcharge deposited into the Domestic Violence Trust Fund as required under s. 938.08, the Executive Office of the Governor may spend up to $500,000 each year for the purpose of administering a statewide public-awareness campaign regarding domestic violence.
(3) Further, the fee charged for each marriage license issued in the state shall be increased by an additional sum of $7.50 to be collected upon receipt of the application for the issuance of a marriage license. The clerk shall transfer such funds monthly to the Department of Revenue for deposit in the Displaced Homemaker Trust Fund created in s. 446.50.
(4) An additional fee of $25 shall be paid to the clerk upon receipt of the application for issuance of a marriage license. The moneys collected shall be remitted by the clerk to the Department of Revenue, monthly, for deposit in the General Revenue Fund.
(5) The fee charged for each marriage license issued in the state shall be reduced by a sum of $32.50 for all couples who present valid certificates of completion of a premarital preparation course from a qualified course provider registered under s. 741.0305(5) for a course taken no more than 1 year prior to the date of application for a marriage license. For each license issued that is subject to the fee reduction of this subsection, the clerk is not required to transfer the sum of $7.50 to the Department of Revenue for deposit in the Displaced Homemaker Trust Fund pursuant to subsection (3) or to transfer the sum of $25 to the Department of Revenue for deposit in the General Revenue Fund.
History.s. 2, Nov. 2, 1829; s. 2, ch. 3720, 1887; s. 1, ch. 3890, 1889; RS 2055; GS 2574; RGS 3933; CGL 5848; s. 28, ch. 73-334; s. 1, ch. 74-3; s. 1, ch. 74-372; s. 8, ch. 78-281; s. 143, ch. 79-190; s. 7, ch. 79-402; s. 3, ch. 82-135; s. 3, ch. 82-192; s. 9, ch. 84-343; s. 50, ch. 86-220; s. 3, ch. 86-264; s. 3, ch. 88-181; s. 1, ch. 91-240; s. 2, ch. 94-222; s. 53, ch. 96-418; s. 1779, ch. 97-102; s. 4, ch. 98-403; s. 80, ch. 99-3; s. 278, ch. 99-8; s. 7, ch. 99-243; s. 7, ch. 2001-50; s. 17, ch. 2001-122; s. 4, ch. 2004-251; s. 75, ch. 2004-265; s. 15, ch. 2010-187.
741.011 Installment payments.An applicant for a marriage license who is unable to pay the fees required under s. 741.01 in a lump sum may make payment in not more than three installments over a period of 90 days. The clerk shall accept installment payments upon receipt of an affidavit that the applicant is unable to pay the fees in a lump-sum payment. Upon receipt of the third or final installment payment, the marriage license application shall be deemed filed, and the clerk shall issue the marriage license to the applicant and distribute the fees as provided in s. 741.01. In the event that the marriage license fee is paid in installments, the clerk shall retain $1 from the additional fee imposed pursuant to s. 741.01(4), as a processing fee.
History.s. 3, ch. 94-222.
741.02 Additional fee.Upon the receipt of each application for the issuance of a marriage license, the county court judge or clerk of the circuit court shall, in addition to the fee allowed by s. 741.01, collect and receive an additional fee of $4, to be distributed as provided by s. 382.022.
History.s. 1, ch. 11869, 1927; CGL 5851; s. 7, ch. 22000, 1943; s. 1, ch. 67-520; s. 28, ch. 73-334; s. 1, ch. 74-372; s. 31, ch. 87-387; s. 6, ch. 88-98.
741.03 County court judge or clerk of the circuit court not to send out marriage license signed in blank.It is unlawful for any county court judge or clerk of the circuit court in the state to send out of his or her office any marriage license signed in blank to be issued upon application to persons not in the office of the county court judge or clerk of the circuit court.
History.s. 1, ch. 7828, 1919; CGL 5849; s. 28, ch. 73-334; s. 1, ch. 74-372; s. 1056, ch. 97-102.
741.0305 Marriage fee reduction for completion of premarital preparation course.
(1) A man and a woman who intend to apply for a marriage license under s. 741.04 may, together or separately, complete a premarital preparation course of not less than 4 hours. Each individual shall verify completion of the course by filing with the application a valid certificate of completion from the course provider, which certificate shall specify whether the course was completed by personal instruction, videotape instruction, instruction via other electronic medium, or a combination of those methods. All individuals who complete a premarital preparation course pursuant to this section must be issued a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the course by their course provider. Upon furnishing such certificate when applying for a marriage license, the individuals shall have their marriage license fee reduced by $32.50.
(2) The premarital preparation course may include instruction regarding:
(a) Conflict management.
(b) Communication skills.
(c) Financial responsibilities.
(d) Children and parenting responsibilities.
(e) Data compiled from available information relating to problems reported by married couples who seek marital or individual counseling.
(3)(a) All individuals electing to participate in a premarital preparation course shall choose from the following list of qualified instructors:
1. A psychologist licensed under chapter 490.
2. A clinical social worker licensed under chapter 491.
3. A marriage and family therapist licensed under chapter 491.
4. A mental health counselor licensed under chapter 491.
5. An official representative of a religious institution which is recognized under s. 496.404(19), if the representative has relevant training.
6. Any other provider designated by a judicial circuit, including, but not limited to, school counselors who are certified to offer such courses. Each judicial circuit may establish a roster of area course providers, including those who offer the course on a sliding fee scale or for free.
(b) The costs of such premarital preparation course shall be paid by the applicant.
(4) Each premarital preparation course provider shall furnish each participant who completes the course with a certificate of completion specifying the name of the participant and the date of completion and whether the course was conducted by personal instruction, videotape instruction, or instruction via other electronic medium, or by a combination of these methods.
(5) All area course providers shall register with the clerk of the circuit court by filing an affidavit in writing attesting to the provider’s compliance with the premarital preparation course requirements as set forth in this section and including the course instructor’s name and qualifications, including the license number, if any, or, if an official representative of a religious institution, a statement as to relevant training. The affidavit shall also include the addresses where the provider may be contacted.
History.s. 5, ch. 98-403; s. 16, ch. 99-307.
741.0306 Creation of a family law handbook.
(1) Based upon their willingness to undertake this project, there shall be created by the Family Law Section of The Florida Bar a handbook explaining those sections of Florida law pertaining to the rights and responsibilities under Florida law of marital partners to each other and to their children, both during a marriage and upon dissolution. The material in the handbook or other suitable electronic media shall be reviewed for accuracy by the Family Court Steering Committee of the Florida Supreme Court prior to publication and distribution.
(2) Such handbooks shall be available from the clerk of the circuit court upon application for a marriage license. The clerks may also make the information in the handbook available on videotape or other electronic media and are encouraged to provide a list of course providers and sites at which marriage and relationship skill-building classes are available.
(3) The information contained in the handbook or other electronic media presentation may be reviewed and updated annually, and may include, but need not be limited to:
(a) Prenuptial agreements; as a contract and as an opportunity to structure financial arrangements and other aspects of the marital relationship.
(b) Shared parental responsibility for children and the determination of a parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule.
(c) Permanent relocation restrictions.
(d) Child support for minor children; both parents are obligated for support in accordance with the applicable child support guidelines schedule.
(e) Property rights, including equitable distribution, premarital property, and nonmarital property.
(f) Alimony, including temporary, permanent rehabilitative, and lump sum.
(g) Domestic violence and child abuse and neglect, including penalties and other ramifications of false reporting.
(h) Court process for dissolution with or without legal assistance, including who may attend, the recording of proceedings, how to access those records, and the cost of such access.
(i) Parent education course requirements for divorcing parents with children.
(j) Community resources that are available for separating or divorcing persons and their children.
(k) Women’s rights specified in the Battered Women’s Bill of Rights.
(4) The material contained in such a handbook may also be provided through videotape or other suitable electronic media. The information contained in the handbook or other electronic media presentation shall be reviewed and updated annually.
(5) The existing family law handbook shall be reviewed and a report provided to the Legislature by October 1, 2008, or as soon thereafter as practicable, with recommendations for updating the handbook.
History.s. 7, ch. 98-403; s. 2, ch. 2008-46; s. 34, ch. 2008-61.
741.04 Marriage license issued.
(1) No county court judge or clerk of the circuit court in this state shall issue a license for the marriage of any person unless there shall be first presented and filed with him or her an affidavit in writing, signed by both parties to the marriage, providing the social security numbers or any other available identification numbers of each party, made and subscribed before some person authorized by law to administer an oath, reciting the true and correct ages of such parties; unless both such parties shall be over the age of 18 years, except as provided in s. 741.0405; and unless one party is a male and the other party is a female. Pursuant to the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, each party is required to provide his or her social security number in accordance with this section. The state has a compelling interest in promoting not only marriage but also responsible parenting, which may include the payment of child support. Any person who has been issued a social security number shall provide that number. Disclosure of social security numbers or other identification numbers obtained through this requirement shall be limited to the purpose of administration of the Title IV-D program for child support enforcement. Any person who is not a citizen of the United States may provide either a social security number or an alien registration number if one has been issued by the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Any person who is not a citizen of the United States and who has not been issued a social security number or an alien registration number is encouraged to provide another form of identification. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to mean that a county court judge or clerk of the circuit court in this state shall not issue a marriage license to individuals who are not citizens of the United States if one or both of the parties are unable to provide a social security number, alien registration number, or other identification number.
(2) No county court judge or clerk of the circuit court in this state shall issue a license for the marriage of any person unless there shall be first presented and filed with him or her:
(a) A statement in writing, signed by both parties, which specifies whether the parties, separately or together, have completed a premarital preparation course.
(b) A statement that verifies that both parties have obtained and read or otherwise accessed the information contained in the handbook or other electronic media presentation of the rights and responsibilities of parties to a marriage specified in s. 741.0306.
(3) If a couple has not submitted to the clerk valid certificates of completion of a premarital preparation course, the effective date of the marriage license shall be delayed 3 days from the date of application. The effective date shall be printed on the marriage license in bold print. If a couple has submitted valid certificates of completion of a premarital preparation course, the effective date of the marriage license shall not be delayed. Exceptions to the delayed effective date must be granted to non-Florida residents seeking a marriage license from the state and for individuals asserting hardship. Marriage license fee waivers shall continue to be available to all eligible individuals. For state residents, a county court judge issuing a marriage license may waive the delayed effective date for good cause.
History.s. 2, Nov. 2, 1829; s. 2, ch. 3720, 1887; s. 1, ch. 3890, 1889; RS 2055; GS 2574; s. 2, ch. 7828, 1919; RGS 3933; CGL 5850; s. 1, ch. 22643, 1945; s. 1, ch. 28103, 1953; s. 28, ch. 73-334; s. 1, ch. 74-372; s. 1, ch. 77-19; s. 64, ch. 77-121; s. 1, ch. 77-139; s. 1, ch. 78-266; s. 8, ch. 83-230; s. 1057, ch. 97-102; s. 67, ch. 97-170; s. 38, ch. 98-397; s. 8, ch. 98-403; s. 18, ch. 99-375; s. 152, ch. 2004-5.
741.0405 When marriage license may be issued to persons under 18 years.
(1) If either of the parties shall be under the age of 18 years but at least 16 years of age, the county court judge or clerk of the circuit court shall issue a license for the marriage of such party only if there is first presented and filed with him or her the written consent of the parents or guardian of such minor to such marriage, acknowledged before some officer authorized by law to take acknowledgments and administer oaths. However, the license shall be issued without parental consent when both parents of such minor are deceased at the time of making application or when such minor has been married previously.
(2) The county court judge of any county in the state may, in the exercise of his or her discretion, issue a license to marry to any male or female under the age of 18 years, upon application of both parties sworn under oath that they are the parents of a child.
(3) When the fact of pregnancy is verified by the written statement of a licensed physician, the county court judge of any county in the state may, in his or her discretion, issue a license to marry:
(a) To any male or female under the age of 18 years upon application of both parties sworn under oath that they are the expectant parents of a child; or
(b) To any female under the age of 18 years and male over the age of 18 years upon the female’s application sworn under oath that she is an expectant parent.
(4) No license to marry shall be granted to any person under the age of 16 years, with or without the consent of the parents, except as provided in subsections (2) and (3).
History.s. 2, ch. 78-266; s. 1058, ch. 97-102.
741.041 Marriage license application valid for 60 days.Marriage licenses shall be valid only for a period of 60 days after issuance, and no person shall perform any ceremony of marriage after the expiration date of such license. The county court judge or clerk of the circuit court shall recite on each marriage license the final date that the license is valid.
History.s. 2, ch. 77-139; s. 279, ch. 79-400; s. 113, ch. 97-237.
741.05 Penalty for violation of ss. 741.03, 741.04(1).Any county court judge, clerk of the circuit court, or other person who shall violate any provision of ss. 741.03 and 741.04(1) shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 3, ch. 7828, 1919; CGL 7517; s. 692, ch. 71-136; s. 28, ch. 73-334; s. 1, ch. 74-372; s. 10, ch. 98-403.
741.07 Persons authorized to solemnize matrimony.
(1) All regularly ordained ministers of the gospel or elders in communion with some church, or other ordained clergy, and all judicial officers, including retired judicial officers, clerks of the circuit courts, and notaries public of this state may solemnize the rights of matrimonial contract, under the regulations prescribed by law. Nothing in this section shall make invalid a marriage which was solemnized by any member of the clergy, or as otherwise provided by law prior to July 1, 1978.
(2) Any marriage which may be had and solemnized among the people called “Quakers,” or “Friends,” in the manner and form used or practiced in their societies, according to their rites and ceremonies, shall be good and valid in law; and wherever the words “minister” and “elder” are used in this chapter, they shall be held to include all of the persons connected with the Society of Friends, or Quakers, who perform or have charge of the marriage ceremony according to their rites and ceremonies.
History.s. 1, Nov. 2, 1829; s. 2, ch. 1127, 1861; RS 2056; GS 2575; RGS 3934; CGL 5853; s. 1, ch. 28104, 1953; s. 1, ch. 74-372; s. 1, ch. 78-15; s. 34, ch. 95-401.
741.08 Marriage not to be solemnized without a license.Before any of the persons named in s. 741.07 shall solemnize any marriage, he or she shall require of the parties a marriage license issued according to the requirements of s. 741.01, and within 10 days after solemnizing the marriage he or she shall make a certificate thereof on the license, and shall transmit the same to the office of the county court judge or clerk of the circuit court from which it issued.
History.ss. 2, 3, Nov. 2, 1829; s. 1, ch. 3890, 1889; RS 2057; GS 2576; RGS 3935; CGL 5854; s. 28, ch. 73-334; s. 1, ch. 74-372; s. 1059, ch. 97-102.
741.09 Record of license and certificate.The county court judge and clerk of the circuit court shall keep a correct record of all marriage licenses issued, with the names of the parties and the date of issuing, and upon the return of the license and certificate shall enter therein the name of the person solemnizing the marriage and the date of marriage.
History.s. 3, Nov. 2, 1829; s. 1, ch. 3890, 1889; RS 2058; GS 2577; RGS 3936; CGL 5855; s. 28, ch. 73-334; s. 1, ch. 74-372; s. 10, ch. 99-259.
741.10 Proof of marriage where no certificate available.When any marriage is or has been solemnized by any of the persons named in s. 741.07, and such person has not made a certificate thereof on the marriage license as required by s. 741.08, or when the marriage license has been lost, or when by reason of death or other cause the proper certificate cannot be obtained, the marriage may be proved by affidavit before any officer authorized to administer oaths made by two competent witnesses who were present and saw the marriage ceremony performed, which affidavit may be filed and recorded in the office of the county court judge or clerk of the circuit court from which the marriage license issued, with the same force and effect as in cases in which the proper certificate has been made, returned and recorded.
History.s. 1, ch. 3126, 1879; RS 2059; GS 2578; RGS 3937; CGL 5856; s. 28, ch. 73-334; s. 1, ch. 74-372.
741.21 Incestuous marriages prohibited.A man may not marry any woman to whom he is related by lineal consanguinity, nor his sister, nor his aunt, nor his niece. A woman may not marry any man to whom she is related by lineal consanguinity, nor her brother, nor her uncle, nor her nephew.
History.RS 2602; GS 3525; RGS 5415; CGL 7558.
741.211 Common-law marriages void.No common-law marriage entered into after January 1, 1968, shall be valid, except that nothing contained in this section shall affect any marriage which, though otherwise defective, was entered into by the party asserting such marriage in good faith and in substantial compliance with this chapter.
History.s. 1, ch. 67-571.
741.212 Marriages between persons of the same sex.
(1) Marriages between persons of the same sex entered into in any jurisdiction, whether within or outside the State of Florida, the United States, or any other jurisdiction, either domestic or foreign, or any other place or location, or relationships between persons of the same sex which are treated as marriages in any jurisdiction, whether within or outside the State of Florida, the United States, or any other jurisdiction, either domestic or foreign, or any other place or location, are not recognized for any purpose in this state.
(2) The state, its agencies, and its political subdivisions may not give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any state, territory, possession, or tribe of the United States or of any other jurisdiction, either domestic or foreign, or any other place or location respecting either a marriage or relationship not recognized under subsection (1) or a claim arising from such a marriage or relationship.
(3) For purposes of interpreting any state statute or rule, the term “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the term “spouse” applies only to a member of such a union.
History.s. 1, ch. 97-268.
741.23 Husband not liable for wife’s torts.The common-law rule whereby a husband is liable for the torts of his wife is hereby abrogated.
History.s. 1, ch. 26829, 1951.
741.235 Doctrine of interspousal tort immunity abrogated.The common-law doctrine of interspousal tort immunity is hereby abrogated with regard to the intentional tort of battery, and the ability of a person to sue another person for the intentional tort of battery shall not be affected by any marital relationship between the persons.
History.s. 1, ch. 85-328.
741.24 Civil action against parents; willful destruction or theft of property by minor.
(1) Any municipal corporation, county, school district, or department of Florida; any person, partnership, corporation, or association; or any religious organization, whether incorporated or unincorporated, shall be entitled to recover damages in an appropriate action at law, in a court of competent jurisdiction, from the parents of any minor under the age of 18 years, living with the parents, who maliciously or willfully destroys or steals property, real, personal, or mixed, belonging to such municipal corporation, county, school district, department of the state, person, partnership, corporation, association, or religious organization.
(2) The recovery shall be limited to the actual damages in addition to taxable court costs.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 31400, 1956; s. 40, ch. 67-254; s. 1, ch. 67-404; s. 1, ch. 77-366; s. 280, ch. 79-400; s. 36, ch. 88-381.
Note.Former s. 45.20.
741.28 Domestic violence; definitions.As used in ss. 741.28-741.31:
(1) “Department” means the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
(2) “Domestic violence” means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual 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 family or household member.
(3) “Family or household member” means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.
(4) “Law enforcement officer” means any person who is elected, appointed, or employed by any municipality or the state or any political subdivision thereof who meets the minimum qualifications established in s. 943.13 and is certified as a law enforcement officer under s. 943.1395.
History.s. 1, ch. 94-134; s. 1, ch. 94-135; s. 1, ch. 95-195; s. 4, ch. 97-155; s. 9, ch. 2002-55.
741.281 Court to order batterers’ intervention program attendance.If a person is found guilty of, has adjudication withheld on, or pleads nolo contendere to a crime of domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28, that person shall be ordered by the court to a minimum term of 1 year’s probation and the court shall order that the defendant attend a batterers’ intervention program as a condition of probation. The court must impose the condition of the batterers’ intervention program for a defendant under this section, but the court, in its discretion, may determine not to impose the condition if it states on the record why a batterers’ intervention program might be inappropriate. The court must impose the condition of the batterers’ intervention program for a defendant placed on probation unless the court determines that the person does not qualify for the batterers’ intervention program pursuant to s. 741.325. The imposition of probation under this section does not preclude the court from imposing any sentence of imprisonment authorized by s. 775.082.
History.s. 19, ch. 95-195; s. 2, ch. 96-392; s. 8, ch. 2001-50; s. 10, ch. 2002-55; s. 8, ch. 2012-147.
741.283 Minimum term of imprisonment for domestic violence.If a person is adjudicated guilty of a crime of domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28, and the person has intentionally caused bodily harm to another person, the court shall order the person to serve a minimum of 5 days in the county jail as part of the sentence imposed, unless the court sentences the person to a nonsuspended period of incarceration in a state correctional facility. This section does not preclude the court from sentencing the person to probation, community control, or an additional period of incarceration.
History.s. 3, ch. 2001-50.
741.29 Domestic violence; investigation of incidents; notice to victims of legal rights and remedies; reporting.
(1) Any law enforcement officer who investigates an alleged incident of domestic violence shall assist the victim to obtain medical treatment if such is required as a result of the alleged incident to which the officer responds. Any law enforcement officer who investigates an alleged incident of domestic violence shall advise the victim of such violence that there is a domestic violence center from which the victim may receive services. The law enforcement officer shall give the victim immediate notice of the legal rights and remedies available on a standard form developed and distributed by the department. As necessary, the department shall revise the Legal Rights and Remedies Notice to Victims to include a general summary of s. 741.30 using simple English as well as Spanish, and shall distribute the notice as a model form to be used by all law enforcement agencies throughout the state. The notice shall include:
(a) The resource listing, including telephone number, for the area domestic violence center designated by the Department of Children and Family Services; and
(b) A copy of the following statement: “IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, you may ask the state attorney to file a criminal complaint. You also have the right to go to court and file a petition requesting an injunction for protection from domestic violence which may include, but need not be limited to, provisions which restrain the abuser from further acts of abuse; direct the abuser to leave your household; prevent the abuser from entering your residence, school, business, or place of employment; award you custody of your minor child or children; and direct the abuser to pay support to you and the minor children if the abuser has a legal obligation to do so.”
(2) When a law enforcement officer investigates an allegation that an incident of domestic violence has occurred, the officer shall handle the incident pursuant to the arrest policy provided in s. 901.15(7), and as developed in accordance with subsections (3), (4), and (5). Whether or not an arrest is made, the officer shall make a written police report that is complete and clearly indicates the alleged offense was an incident of domestic violence. Such report shall be given to the officer’s supervisor and filed with the law enforcement agency in a manner that will permit data on domestic violence cases to be compiled. Such report must include:
(a) A description of physical injuries observed, if any.
(b) If a law enforcement officer decides not to make an arrest or decides to arrest two or more parties, the officer shall include in the report the grounds for not arresting anyone or for arresting two or more parties.
(c) A statement which indicates that a copy of the legal rights and remedies notice was given to the victim.

Whenever possible, the law enforcement officer shall obtain a written statement from the victim and witnesses concerning the alleged domestic violence. The officer shall submit the report to the supervisor or other person to whom the employer’s rules or policies require reports of similar allegations of criminal activity to be made. The law enforcement agency shall, without charge, send a copy of the initial police report, as well as any subsequent, supplemental, or related report, which excludes victim/witness statements or other materials that are part of an active criminal investigation and are exempt from disclosure under chapter 119, to the nearest locally certified domestic violence center within 24 hours after the agency’s receipt of the report. The report furnished to the domestic violence center must include a narrative description of the domestic violence incident.

(3) Whenever a law enforcement officer determines upon probable cause that an act of domestic violence has been committed within the jurisdiction the officer may arrest the person or persons suspected of its commission and charge such person or persons with the appropriate crime. The decision to arrest and charge shall not require consent of the victim or consideration of the relationship of the parties.
(4)(a) When complaints are received from two or more parties, the officers shall evaluate each complaint separately to determine whether there is probable cause for arrest.
(b) If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that two or more persons have committed a misdemeanor or felony, or if two or more persons make complaints to the officer, the officer shall try to determine who was the primary aggressor. Arrest is the preferred response only with respect to the primary aggressor and not the preferred response with respect to a person who acts in a reasonable manner to protect or defend oneself or another family or household member from domestic violence.
(5) No law enforcement officer shall be held liable, in any civil action, for an arrest based on probable cause, enforcement in good faith of a court order, or service of process in good faith under this chapter arising from an alleged incident of domestic violence brought by any party to the incident.
(6) A person who willfully violates a condition of pretrial release provided in s. 903.047, when the original arrest was for an act of domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, and shall be held in custody until his or her first appearance.
History.s. 12, ch. 84-343; s. 3, ch. 91-210; s. 5, ch. 94-90; s. 2, ch. 94-134; s. 2, ch. 94-135; s. 2, ch. 95-195; s. 1, ch. 97-298; s. 279, ch. 99-8; s. 7, ch. 2000-155.
741.2901 Domestic violence cases; prosecutors; legislative intent; investigation; duty of circuits; first appearance.
(1) Each state attorney shall develop special units or assign prosecutors to specialize in the prosecution of domestic violence cases, but such specialization need not be an exclusive area of duty assignment. These prosecutors, specializing in domestic violence cases, and their support staff shall receive training in domestic violence issues.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that domestic violence be treated as a criminal act rather than a private matter. For that reason, criminal prosecution shall be the favored method of enforcing compliance with injunctions for protection against domestic violence as both length and severity of sentence for those found to have committed the crime of domestic violence can be greater, thus providing greater protection to victims and better accountability of perpetrators. This provision shall not preclude such enforcement by the court through the use of indirect criminal contempt. The state attorney in each circuit shall adopt a pro-prosecution policy for acts of domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28, and an intake policy and procedures coordinated with the clerk of court for violations of injunctions for protection against domestic violence. The filing, nonfiling, or diversion of criminal charges, and the prosecution of violations of injunctions for protection against domestic violence by the state attorney, shall be determined by these specialized prosecutors over the objection of the victim, if necessary.
(3) Prior to a defendant’s first appearance in any charge of domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28, the State Attorney’s Office shall perform a thorough investigation of the defendant’s history, including, but not limited to: prior arrests for domestic violence, prior arrests for nondomestic charges, prior injunctions for protection against domestic and repeat violence filed listing the defendant as respondent and noting history of other victims, and prior walk-in domestic complaints filed against the defendant. This information shall be presented at first appearance, when setting bond, and when passing sentence, for consideration by the court. When a defendant is arrested for an act of domestic violence, the defendant shall be held in custody until brought before the court for admittance to bail in accordance with chapter 903. In determining bail, the court shall consider the safety of the victim, the victim’s children, and any other person who may be in danger if the defendant is released.
History.s. 4, ch. 91-210; s. 3, ch. 94-134; s. 3, ch. 94-135; s. 3, ch. 95-195.
741.2902 Domestic violence; legislative intent with respect to judiciary’s role.
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature, with respect to domestic violence cases, that at the first appearance the court shall consider the safety of the victim, the victim’s children, and any other person who may be in danger if the defendant is released, and exercise caution in releasing defendants.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature, with respect to injunctions for protection against domestic violence, issued pursuant to s. 741.30, that the court shall:
(a) Recognize that the petitioner’s safety may require immediate removal of the respondent from their joint residence and that there can be inherent danger in permitting the respondent partial or periodic access to the residence.
(b) Ensure that the parties have a clear understanding of the terms of the injunction, the penalties for failure to comply, and that the parties cannot amend the injunction verbally, in writing, or by invitation to the residence.
(c) Ensure that the parties have knowledge of legal rights and remedies including, but not limited to, visitation, child support, retrieving property, counseling, and enforcement or modification of the injunction.
(d) Consider temporary child support when the pleadings raise the issue and in the absence of other support orders.
(e) Consider supervised visitation, withholding visitation, or other arrangements for visitation that will best protect the child and petitioner from harm.
(f) Enforce, through a civil or criminal contempt proceeding, a violation of an injunction for protection against domestic violence.
(g) Consider requiring the perpetrator to complete a batterers’ intervention program. It is preferred that such program meet the requirements specified in s. 741.325.
History.s. 5, ch. 91-210; s. 4, ch. 94-134; s. 4, ch. 94-135; s. 13, ch. 94-170; s. 4, ch. 95-195; s. 11, ch. 2002-55; s. 9, ch. 2012-147.
741.30 Domestic violence; injunction; powers and duties of court and clerk; petition; notice and hearing; temporary injunction; issuance of injunction; statewide verification system; enforcement; public records exemption.
(1) There is created a cause of action for an injunction for protection against domestic violence.
(a) Any person described in paragraph (e), who is either the victim of domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28 or has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of any act of domestic violence, has standing in the circuit court to file a sworn petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence.
(b) This cause of action for an injunction may be sought whether or not any other cause of action is currently pending between the parties. However, the pendency of any such cause of action shall be alleged in the petition.
(c) In the event a subsequent cause of action is filed under chapter 61, any orders entered therein shall take precedence over any inconsistent provisions of an injunction issued under this section which addresses matters governed by chapter 61.
(d) A person’s right to petition for an injunction shall not be affected by such person having left a residence or household to avoid domestic violence.
(e) This cause of action for an injunction may be sought by family or household members. No person shall be precluded from seeking injunctive relief pursuant to this chapter solely on the basis that such person is not a spouse.
(f) This cause of action for an injunction shall not require that either party be represented by an attorney.
(g) Any person, including an officer of the court, who offers evidence or recommendations relating to the cause of action must either present the evidence or recommendations in writing to the court with copies to each party and their attorney, or must present the evidence under oath at a hearing at which all parties are present.
(h) Nothing in this section shall affect the title to any real estate.
(i) The court is prohibited from issuing mutual orders of protection. This does not preclude the court from issuing separate injunctions for protection against domestic violence where each party has complied with the provisions of this section. Compliance with the provisions of this section cannot be waived.
(j) Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 47, a petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence may be filed in the circuit where the petitioner currently or temporarily resides, where the respondent resides, or where the domestic violence occurred. There is no minimum requirement of residency to petition for an injunction for protection.
(2)(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the assessment of a filing fee for a petition for protection against domestic violence is prohibited effective October 1, 2002. However, subject to legislative appropriation, the clerk of the circuit court may, on a quarterly basis, submit to the Office of the State Courts Administrator a certified request for reimbursement for petitions for protection against domestic violence issued by the court, at the rate of $40 per petition. The request for reimbursement shall be submitted in the form and manner prescribed by the Office of the State Courts Administrator. From this reimbursement, the clerk shall pay any law enforcement agency serving the injunction the fee requested by the law enforcement agency; however, this fee shall not exceed $20.
(b) No bond shall be required by the court for the entry of an injunction.
(c)1. The clerk of the court shall assist petitioners in seeking both injunctions for protection against domestic violence and enforcement for a violation thereof as specified in this section.
2. All clerks’ offices shall provide simplified petition forms for the injunction, any modifications, and the enforcement thereof, including instructions for completion.
3. The clerk of the court shall advise petitioners of the opportunity to apply for a certificate of indigence in lieu of prepayment for the cost of the filing fee, as provided in paragraph (a).
4. The clerk of the court shall ensure the petitioner’s privacy to the extent practical while completing the forms for injunctions for protection against domestic violence.
5. The clerk of the court shall provide petitioners with a minimum of two certified copies of the order of injunction, one of which is serviceable and will inform the petitioner of the process for service and enforcement.
6. Clerks of court and appropriate staff in each county shall receive training in the effective assistance of petitioners as provided or approved by the Florida Association of Court Clerks.
7. The clerk of the court in each county shall make available informational brochures on domestic violence when such brochures are provided by local certified domestic violence centers.
8. The clerk of the court in each county shall distribute a statewide uniform informational brochure to petitioners at the time of filing for an injunction for protection against domestic or repeat violence when such brochures become available. The brochure must include information about the effect of giving the court false information about domestic violence.
(3)(a) The sworn petition shall allege the existence of such domestic violence and shall include the specific facts and circumstances upon the basis of which relief is sought.
(b) The sworn petition shall be in substantially the following form:

PETITION FOR
INJUNCTION FOR PROTECTION
AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Before me, the undersigned authority, personally appeared Petitioner   (Name)  , who has been sworn and says that the following statements are true:

(a) Petitioner resides at:   (address)  

(Petitioner may furnish address to the court in a separate confidential filing if, for safety reasons, the petitioner requires the location of the current residence to be confidential.)

(b) Respondent resides at:   (last known address)  

(c) Respondent’s last known place of employment:   (name of business and address)  

(d) Physical description of respondent:  

Race 

Sex 

Date of birth 

Height 

Weight 

Eye color 

Hair color 

Distinguishing marks or scars 

(e) Aliases of respondent:  

(f) Respondent is the spouse or former spouse of the petitioner or is any other person related by blood or marriage to the petitioner or is any other person who is or was residing within a single dwelling unit with the petitioner, as if a family, or is a person with whom the petitioner has a child in common, regardless of whether the petitioner and respondent are or were married or residing together, as if a family.

(g) The following describes any other cause of action currently pending between the petitioner and respondent:  
 

The petitioner should also describe any previous or pending attempts by the petitioner to obtain an injunction for protection against domestic violence in this or any other circuit, and the results of that attempt 
 

Case numbers should be included if available.

(h) Petitioner is either a victim of domestic violence or has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence because respondent has  (mark all sections that apply and describe in the spaces below the incidents of violence or threats of violence, specifying when and where they occurred, including, but not limited to, locations such as a home, school, place of employment, or visitation exchange) :  

 committed or threatened to commit domestic violence defined in s. 741.28, Florida Statutes, as any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual 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. With the exception of persons who are parents of a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.

 previously threatened, harassed, stalked, or physically abused the petitioner.

 attempted to harm the petitioner or family members or individuals closely associated with the petitioner.

 threatened to conceal, kidnap, or harm the petitioner’s child or children.

 intentionally injured or killed a family pet.

 used, or has threatened to use, against the petitioner any weapons such as guns or knives.

 physically restrained the petitioner from leaving the home or calling law enforcement.

 a criminal history involving violence or the threat of violence (if known).

 another order of protection issued against him or her previously or from another jurisdiction (if known).

 destroyed personal property, including, but not limited to, telephones or other communication equipment, clothing, or other items belonging to the petitioner.

 engaged in any other behavior or conduct that leads the petitioner to have reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.

(i) Petitioner alleges the following additional specific facts: (mark appropriate sections)

 A minor child or minor children reside with the petitioner whose names and ages are as follows:  
 

 Petitioner needs the exclusive use and possession of the dwelling that the parties share.

 Petitioner is unable to obtain safe alternative housing because:  

 Petitioner genuinely fears that respondent imminently will abuse, remove, or hide the minor child or children from petitioner because:  
 

(j) Petitioner genuinely fears imminent domestic violence by respondent.

(k) Petitioner seeks an injunction: (mark appropriate section or sections)

 Immediately restraining the respondent from committing any acts of domestic violence.

 Restraining the respondent from committing any acts of domestic violence.

 Awarding to the petitioner the temporary exclusive use and possession of the dwelling that the parties share or excluding the respondent from the residence of the petitioner.

 Providing a temporary parenting plan, including a temporary time-sharing schedule, with regard to the minor child or children of the parties which might involve prohibiting or limiting time-sharing or requiring that it be supervised by a third party.

 Establishing temporary support for the minor child or children or the petitioner.

 Directing the respondent to participate in a batterers’ intervention program or other treatment pursuant to s. 39.901, Florida Statutes.

 Providing any terms the court deems necessary for the protection of a victim of domestic violence, or any minor children of the victim, including any injunctions or directives to law enforcement agencies.

(c) Every petition for an injunction against domestic violence shall contain, directly above the signature line, a statement in all capital letters and bold type not smaller than the surrounding text, as follows:

I HAVE READ EVERY STATEMENT MADE IN THIS PETITION AND EACH STATEMENT IS TRUE AND CORRECT. I UNDERSTAND THAT THE STATEMENTS MADE IN THIS PETITION ARE BEING MADE UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY, PUNISHABLE AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 837.02, FLORIDA STATUTES.

  (initials)  

(d) If the sworn petition seeks to determine a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule with regard to the minor child or children of the parties, the sworn petition shall be accompanied by or shall incorporate the allegations required by s. 61.522 of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.
(4) Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall set a hearing to be held at the earliest possible time. The respondent shall be personally served with a copy of the petition, financial affidavit, Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act affidavit, if any, notice of hearing, and temporary injunction, if any, prior to the hearing.
(5)(a) If it appears to the court that an immediate and present danger of domestic violence exists, the court may grant a temporary injunction ex parte, pending a full hearing, and may grant such relief as the court deems proper, including an injunction:
1. Restraining the respondent from committing any acts of domestic violence.
2. Awarding to the petitioner the temporary exclusive use and possession of the dwelling that the parties share or excluding the respondent from the residence of the petitioner.
3. On the same basis as provided in s. 61.13, providing the petitioner a temporary parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule, which may award the petitioner up to 100 percent of the time-sharing. The temporary parenting plan remains in effect until the order expires or an order is entered by a court of competent jurisdiction in a pending or subsequent civil action or proceeding affecting the placement of, access to, parental time with, adoption of, or parental rights and responsibilities for the minor child.
(b) In a hearing ex parte for the purpose of obtaining such ex parte temporary injunction, no evidence other than verified pleadings or affidavits shall be used as evidence, unless the respondent appears at the hearing or has received reasonable notice of the hearing. A denial of a petition for an ex parte injunction shall be by written order noting the legal grounds for denial. When the only ground for denial is no appearance of an immediate and present danger of domestic violence, the court shall set a full hearing on the petition for injunction with notice at the earliest possible time. Nothing herein affects a petitioner’s right to promptly amend any petition, or otherwise be heard in person on any petition consistent with the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
(c) Any such ex parte temporary injunction shall be effective for a fixed period not to exceed 15 days. A full hearing, as provided by this section, shall be set for a date no later than the date when the temporary injunction ceases to be effective. The court may grant a continuance of the hearing before or during a hearing for good cause shown by any party, which shall include a continuance to obtain service of process. Any injunction shall be extended if necessary to remain in full force and effect during any period of continuance.
(6)(a) Upon notice and hearing, when it appears to the court that the petitioner is either the victim of domestic violence as defined by s. 741.28 or has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, the court may grant such relief as the court deems proper, including an injunction:
1. Restraining the respondent from committing any acts of domestic violence.
2. Awarding to the petitioner the exclusive use and possession of the dwelling that the parties share or excluding the respondent from the residence of the petitioner.
3. On the same basis as provided in chapter 61, providing the petitioner with 100 percent of the time-sharing in a temporary parenting plan that remains in effect until the order expires or an order is entered by a court of competent jurisdiction in a pending or subsequent civil action or proceeding affecting the placement of, access to, parental time with, adoption of, or parental rights and responsibilities for the minor child.
4. On the same basis as provided in chapter 61, establishing temporary support for a minor child or children or the petitioner. An order of temporary support remains in effect until the order expires or an order is entered by a court of competent jurisdiction in a pending or subsequent civil action or proceeding affecting child support.
5. Ordering the respondent to participate in treatment, intervention, or counseling services to be paid for by the respondent. When the court orders the respondent to participate in a batterers’ intervention program, the court, or any entity designated by the court, must provide the respondent with a list of batterers’ intervention programs from which the respondent must choose a program in which to participate.
6. Referring a petitioner to a certified domestic violence center. The court must provide the petitioner with a list of certified domestic violence centers in the circuit which the petitioner may contact.
7. Ordering such other relief as the court deems necessary for the protection of a victim of domestic violence, including injunctions or directives to law enforcement agencies, as provided in this section.
(b) In determining whether a petitioner has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, the court shall consider and evaluate all relevant factors alleged in the petition, including, but not limited to:
1. The history between the petitioner and the respondent, including threats, harassment, stalking, and physical abuse.
2. Whether the respondent has attempted to harm the petitioner or family members or individuals closely associated with the petitioner.
3. Whether the respondent has threatened to conceal, kidnap, or harm the petitioner’s child or children.
4. Whether the respondent has intentionally injured or killed a family pet.
5. Whether the respondent has used, or has threatened to use, against the petitioner any weapons such as guns or knives.
6. Whether the respondent has physically restrained the petitioner from leaving the home or calling law enforcement.
7. Whether the respondent has a criminal history involving violence or the threat of violence.
8. The existence of a verifiable order of protection issued previously or from another jurisdiction.
9. Whether the respondent has destroyed personal property, including, but not limited to, telephones or other communications equipment, clothing, or other items belonging to the petitioner.
10. Whether the respondent engaged in any other behavior or conduct that leads the petitioner to have reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.

In making its determination under this paragraph, the court is not limited to those factors enumerated in subparagraphs 1.-10.

(c) The terms of an injunction restraining the respondent under subparagraph (a)1. or ordering other relief for the protection of the victim under subparagraph (a)7. shall remain in effect until modified or dissolved. Either party may move at any time to modify or dissolve the injunction. No specific allegations are required. Such relief may be granted in addition to other civil or criminal remedies.
(d) A temporary or final judgment on injunction for protection against domestic violence entered pursuant to this section shall, on its face, indicate that:
1. The injunction is valid and enforceable in all counties of the State of Florida.
2. Law enforcement officers may use their arrest powers pursuant to s. 901.15(6) to enforce the terms of the injunction.
3. The court had jurisdiction over the parties and matter under the laws of Florida and that reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard was given to the person against whom the order is sought sufficient to protect that person’s right to due process.
4. The date respondent was served with the temporary or final order, if obtainable.
(e) An injunction for protection against domestic violence entered pursuant to this section, on its face, may order that the respondent attend a batterers’ intervention program as a condition of the injunction. Unless the court makes written factual findings in its judgment or order which are based on substantial evidence, stating why batterers’ intervention programs would be inappropriate, the court shall order the respondent to attend a batterers’ intervention program if:
1. It finds that the respondent willfully violated the ex parte injunction;
2. The respondent, in this state or any other state, has been convicted of, had adjudication withheld on, or pled nolo contendere to a crime involving violence or a threat of violence; or
3. The respondent, in this state or any other state, has had at any time a prior injunction for protection entered against the respondent after a hearing with notice.
(f) The fact that a separate order of protection is granted to each opposing party shall not be legally sufficient to deny any remedy to either party or to prove that the parties are equally at fault or equally endangered.
(g) A final judgment on injunction for protection against domestic violence entered pursuant to this section must, on its face, indicate that it is a violation of s. 790.233, and a first degree misdemeanor, for the respondent to have in his or her care, custody, possession, or control any firearm or ammunition.
(h) All proceedings under this subsection shall be recorded. Recording may be by electronic means as provided by the Rules of Judicial Administration.
(7) The court shall allow an advocate from a state attorney’s office, an advocate from a law enforcement agency, or an advocate from a certified domestic violence center who is registered under s. 39.905 to be present with the petitioner or respondent during any court proceedings or hearings related to the injunction for protection, provided the petitioner or respondent has made such a request and the advocate is able to be present.
(8)(a)1. The clerk of the court shall furnish a copy of the petition, financial affidavit, Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act affidavit, if any, notice of hearing, and temporary injunction, if any, to the sheriff or a law enforcement agency of the county where the respondent resides or can be found, who shall serve it upon the respondent as soon thereafter as possible on any day of the week and at any time of the day or night. When requested by the sheriff, the clerk of the court may transmit a facsimile copy of an injunction that has been certified by the clerk of the court, and this facsimile copy may be served in the same manner as a certified copy. Upon receiving a facsimile copy, the sheriff must verify receipt with the sender before attempting to serve it upon the respondent. In addition, if the sheriff is in possession of an injunction for protection that has been certified by the clerk of the court, the sheriff may transmit a facsimile copy of that injunction to a law enforcement officer who shall serve it in the same manner as a certified copy. The clerk of the court shall be responsible for furnishing to the sheriff such information on the respondent’s physical description and location as is required by the department to comply with the verification procedures set forth in this section. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the chief judge of each circuit, in consultation with the appropriate sheriff, may authorize a law enforcement agency within the jurisdiction to effect service. A law enforcement agency serving injunctions pursuant to this section shall use service and verification procedures consistent with those of the sheriff.
2. When an injunction is issued, if the petitioner requests the assistance of a law enforcement agency, the court may order that an officer from the appropriate law enforcement agency accompany the petitioner and assist in placing the petitioner in possession of the dwelling or residence, or otherwise assist in the execution or service of the injunction. A law enforcement officer shall accept a copy of an injunction for protection against domestic violence, certified by the clerk of the court, from the petitioner and immediately serve it upon a respondent who has been located but not yet served.
3. All orders issued, changed, continued, extended, or vacated subsequent to the original service of documents enumerated under subparagraph 1., shall be certified by the clerk of the court and delivered to the parties at the time of the entry of the order. The parties may acknowledge receipt of such order in writing on the face of the original order. In the event a party fails or refuses to acknowledge the receipt of a certified copy of an order, the clerk shall note on the original order that service was effected. If delivery at the hearing is not possible, the clerk shall mail certified copies of the order to the parties at the last known address of each party. Service by mail is complete upon mailing. When an order is served pursuant to this subsection, the clerk shall prepare a written certification to be placed in the court file specifying the time, date, and method of service and shall notify the sheriff.

If the respondent has been served previously with the temporary injunction and has failed to appear at the initial hearing on the temporary injunction, any subsequent petition for injunction seeking an extension of time may be served on the respondent by the clerk of the court by certified mail in lieu of personal service by a law enforcement officer.

(b) There shall be created a Domestic and Repeat Violence Injunction Statewide Verification System within the Department of Law Enforcement. The department shall establish, implement, and maintain a statewide communication system capable of electronically transmitting information to and between criminal justice agencies relating to domestic violence injunctions and repeat violence injunctions issued by the courts throughout the state. Such information must include, but is not limited to, information as to the existence and status of any injunction for verification purposes.
(c)1. Within 24 hours after the court issues an injunction for protection against domestic violence or changes, continues, extends, or vacates an injunction for protection against domestic violence, the clerk of the court must forward a certified copy of the injunction for service to the sheriff with jurisdiction over the residence of the petitioner. The injunction must be served in accordance with this subsection.
2. Within 24 hours after service of process of an injunction for protection against domestic violence upon a respondent, the law enforcement officer must forward the written proof of service of process to the sheriff with jurisdiction over the residence of the petitioner.
3. Within 24 hours after the sheriff receives a certified copy of the injunction for protection against domestic violence, the sheriff must make information relating to the injunction available to other law enforcement agencies by electronically transmitting such information to the department.
4. Within 24 hours after the sheriff or other law enforcement officer has made service upon the respondent and the sheriff has been so notified, the sheriff must make information relating to the service available to other law enforcement agencies by electronically transmitting such information to the department.
5.a. Subject to available funding, the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers shall develop an automated process by which a petitioner may request notification of service of the injunction for protection against domestic violence and other court actions related to the injunction for protection. The automated notice shall be made within 12 hours after the sheriff or other law enforcement officer serves the injunction upon the respondent. The notification must include, at a minimum, the date, time, and location where the injunction for protection against domestic violence was served. When a petitioner makes a request for notification, the clerk must apprise the petitioner of her or his right to request in writing that the information specified in sub-subparagraph b. be held exempt from public records requirements for 5 years. The Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers may apply for any available grants to fund the development of the automated process.
b. Upon implementation of the automated process, information held by clerks and law enforcement agencies in conjunction with the automated process developed under sub-subparagraph a. which reveals the home or employment telephone number, cellular telephone number, home or employment address, electronic mail address, or other electronic means of identification of a petitioner requesting notification of service of an injunction for protection against domestic violence and other court actions related to the injunction for protection is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, upon written request by the petitioner. Such information shall cease to be exempt 5 years after the receipt of the written request. Any state or federal agency that is authorized to have access to such documents by any provision of law shall be granted such access in the furtherance of such agency’s statutory duties, notwithstanding this sub-subparagraph. This sub-subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2017, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
6. Within 24 hours after an injunction for protection against domestic violence is vacated, terminated, or otherwise rendered no longer effective by ruling of the court, the clerk of the court must notify the sheriff receiving original notification of the injunction as provided in subparagraph 2. That agency shall, within 24 hours after receiving such notification from the clerk of the court, notify the department of such action of the court.
(9)(a) The court may enforce a violation of an injunction for protection against domestic violence through a civil or criminal contempt proceeding, or the state attorney may prosecute it as a criminal violation under s. 741.31. The court may enforce the respondent’s compliance with the injunction through any appropriate civil and criminal remedies, including, but not limited to, a monetary assessment or a fine. The clerk of the court shall collect and receive such assessments or fines. On a monthly basis, the clerk shall transfer the moneys collected pursuant to this paragraph to the State Treasury for deposit in the Domestic Violence Trust Fund established in s. 741.01.
(b) If the respondent is arrested by a law enforcement officer under s. 901.15(6) or for a violation of s. 741.31, the respondent shall be held in custody until brought before the court as expeditiously as possible for the purpose of enforcing the injunction and for admittance to bail in accordance with chapter 903 and the applicable rules of criminal procedure, pending a hearing.
(10) The petitioner or the respondent may move the court to modify or dissolve an injunction at any time.
History.s. 1, ch. 79-402; s. 481, ch. 81-259; s. 4, ch. 82-135; s. 10, ch. 84-343; s. 1, ch. 85-216; s. 1, ch. 86-264; s. 21, ch. 87-95; s. 1, ch. 87-395; s. 6, ch. 91-210; s. 3, ch. 91-306; s. 1, ch. 92-42; s. 5, ch. 94-134; s. 5, ch. 94-135; s. 5, ch. 95-195; s. 3, ch. 96-392; s. 56, ch. 96-418; s. 5, ch. 97-155; s. 2, ch. 98-284; s. 158, ch. 98-403; ss. 12, 13, ch. 2002-55; s. 6, ch. 2002-65; s. 113, ch. 2003-402; s. 9, ch. 2005-239; s. 35, ch. 2008-61; s. 8, ch. 2009-180; s. 7, ch. 2009-215; s. 1, ch. 2011-187; s. 10, ch. 2012-147; s. 1, ch. 2012-154.
741.31 Violation of an injunction for protection against domestic violence.
(1) In the event of a violation of the injunction for protection against domestic violence when there has not been an arrest, the petitioner may contact the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred. The clerk shall either assist the petitioner in the preparation of an affidavit in support of the violation or direct the petitioner to the office operated by the court within the circuit that has been designated by the chief judge of that circuit as the central intake point for injunction violations and where the petitioner can receive assistance in the preparation of the affidavit in support of the violation.
(2) The affidavit shall be immediately forwarded by the office assisting the petitioner to the state attorney of that circuit and to such court or judge as the chief judge of that circuit determines to be the recipient of affidavits of violation. If the affidavit alleges a crime has been committed, the office assisting the petitioner shall also forward a copy of the petitioner’s affidavit to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation. No later than 20 days after receiving the initial report, the local law enforcement agency shall complete their investigation and forward the report to the state attorney. The policy adopted by the state attorney in each circuit under s. 741.2901(2), shall include a policy regarding intake of alleged violations of injunctions for protection against domestic violence under this section. The intake shall be supervised by a prosecutor who, pursuant to s. 741.2901(1), has been designated and assigned to handle domestic violence cases. The state attorney shall determine within 30 working days whether its office will proceed to file criminal charges, or prepare a motion for an order to show cause as to why the respondent should not be held in criminal contempt, or prepare both as alternative findings, or file notice that the case remains under investigation or is pending subject to some other action.
(3) If the court has knowledge, based on its familiarity with the case, that the petitioner, the children of the petitioner, or another person is in immediate danger if the court fails to act prior to the decision of the state attorney to prosecute, it should immediately issue an order of appointment of the state attorney to file a motion for an order to show cause as to why the respondent should not be held in contempt. If the court does not issue an order of appointment of the state attorney, it shall immediately notify the state attorney that the court is proceeding to enforce the violation through criminal contempt.
(4)(a) A person who willfully violates an injunction for protection against domestic violence issued pursuant to s. 741.30, or a foreign protection order accorded full faith and credit pursuant to s. 741.315, by:
1. Refusing to vacate the dwelling that the parties share;
2. Going to, or being within 500 feet of, the petitioner’s residence, school, place of employment, or a specified place frequented regularly by the petitioner and any named family or household member;
3. Committing an act of domestic violence against the petitioner;
4. Committing any other violation of the injunction through an intentional unlawful threat, word, or act to do violence to the petitioner;
5. Telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the petitioner directly or indirectly, unless the injunction specifically allows indirect contact through a third party;
6. Knowingly and intentionally coming within 100 feet of the petitioner’s motor vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is occupied;
7. Defacing or destroying the petitioner’s personal property, including the petitioner’s motor vehicle; or
8. Refusing to surrender firearms or ammunition if ordered to do so by the court

commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(b)1. It is a violation of s. 790.233, and a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, for a person to violate a final injunction for protection against domestic violence by having in his or her care, custody, possession, or control any firearm or ammunition.
2. It is the intent of the Legislature that the disabilities regarding possession of firearms and ammunition are consistent with federal law. Accordingly, this paragraph shall not apply to a state or local officer as defined in s. 943.10(14), holding an active certification, who receives or possesses a firearm or ammunition for use in performing official duties on behalf of the officer’s employing agency, unless otherwise prohibited by the employing agency.
(5) Whether or not there is a criminal prosecution under subsection (4), the court shall order the respondent to attend a batterers’ intervention program if it finds a willful violation of a domestic violence injunction, unless the court makes written factual findings in its judgment or order which are based on substantial evidence, stating why a batterers’ intervention program would be inappropriate.
(6) Any person who suffers an injury and/or loss as a result of a violation of an injunction for protection against domestic violence may be awarded economic damages for that injury and/or loss by the court issuing the injunction. Damages includes costs and attorneys’ fees for enforcement of the injunction.
History.s. 2, ch. 86-264; s. 169, ch. 91-224; s. 6, ch. 94-134; s. 6, ch. 94-135; s. 8, ch. 95-182; s. 36, ch. 95-184; s. 6, ch. 95-195; s. 4, ch. 96-392; s. 19, ch. 96-402; s. 6, ch. 97-155; s. 3, ch. 98-284; s. 73, ch. 99-5; s. 14, ch. 2002-55.
741.313 Unlawful action against employees seeking protection.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Domestic violence” means domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28, or any crime the underlying factual basis of which has been found by a court to include an act of domestic violence.
(b) “Employee” has the same meaning as in s. 440.02(15).
(c) “Employer” has the same meaning as in s. 440.02(16).
(d) “Family or household member” has the same meaning as in s. 741.28.
(e) “Sexual violence” means sexual violence, as defined in s. 784.046, or any crime the underlying factual basis of which has been found by a court to include an act of sexual violence.
(f) “Victim” means an individual who has been subjected to domestic violence or sexual violence.
(2)(a) An employer shall permit an employee to request and take up to 3 working days of leave from work in any 12-month period if the employee or a family or household member of an employee is the victim of domestic violence or sexual violence. This leave may be with or without pay, at the discretion of the employer.
(b) This section applies if an employee uses the leave from work to:
1. Seek an injunction for protection against domestic violence or an injunction for protection in cases of repeat violence, dating violence, or sexual violence;
2. Obtain medical care or mental health counseling, or both, for the employee or a family or household member to address physical or psychological injuries resulting from the act of domestic violence or sexual violence;
3. Obtain services from a victim services organization, including, but not limited to, a domestic violence shelter or program or a rape crisis center as a result of the act of domestic violence or sexual violence;
4. Make the employee’s home secure from the perpetrator of the domestic violence or sexual violence or to seek new housing to escape the perpetrator; or
5. Seek legal assistance in addressing issues arising from the act of domestic violence or sexual violence or to attend and prepare for court-related proceedings arising from the act of domestic violence or sexual violence.
(3) This section applies to an employer who employs 50 or more employees and to an employee who has been employed by the employer for 3 or more months.
(4)(a) Except in cases of imminent danger to the health or safety of the employee, or to the health or safety of a family or household member, an employee seeking leave from work under this section must provide to his or her employer appropriate advance notice of the leave as required by the employer’s policy along with sufficient documentation of the act of domestic violence or sexual violence as required by the employer.
(b) An employee seeking leave under this section must, before receiving the leave, exhaust all annual or vacation leave, personal leave, and sick leave, if applicable, that is available to the employee, unless the employer waives this requirement.
(c)1. A private employer must keep all information relating to the employee’s leave under this section confidential.
2. An agency, as defined in s. 119.011, must keep information relating to the employee’s leave under this section confidential and exempt from disclosure to the extent authorized by subsection (7).
(5)(a) An employer may not interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of or any attempt by an employee to exercise any right provided under this section.
(b) An employer may not discharge, demote, suspend, retaliate, or in any other manner discriminate against an employee for exercising his or her rights under this section.
(c) An employee has no greater rights to continued employment or to other benefits and conditions of employment than if the employee was not entitled to leave under this section. This section does not limit the employer’s right to discipline or terminate any employee for any reason, including, but not limited to, reductions in work force or termination for cause or for no reason at all, other than exercising his or her rights under this section.
(6) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the sole remedy for any person claiming to be aggrieved by a violation of this section is to bring a civil suit for damages or equitable relief, or both, in circuit court. The person may claim as damages all wages and benefits that would have been due the person up to and including the date of the judgment had the act violating this section not occurred, but the person may not claim wages or benefits for a period of leave granted without pay as provided in paragraph (2)(a). However, this section does not relieve the person from the obligation to mitigate his or her damages.
(7)(a) Personal identifying information that is contained in records documenting an act of domestic violence or sexual violence submitted by an agency employee to an agency, as defined in chapter 119, under the requirements of this section is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(b) A written request for leave that is submitted by an agency employee under the requirements of this section and any agency time sheet that reflects such a request are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution until 1 year after the leave has been taken.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-107; s. 1, ch. 2007-108; s. 1, ch. 2008-253; s. 1, ch. 2008-254; s. 1, ch. 2013-215.
741.315 Recognition of foreign protection orders.
(1) As used in this section, the term “court of a foreign state” means a court of competent jurisdiction of a state of the United States, other than Florida; the District of Columbia; an Indian tribe; or a commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.
(2) Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. s. 2265, an injunction for protection against domestic violence issued by a court of a foreign state must be accorded full faith and credit by the courts of this state and enforced by a law enforcement agency as if it were the order of a Florida court issued under s. 741.30, s. 741.31, s. 784.046, s. 784.047, s. 784.0485, or s. 784.0487, and provided that the court had jurisdiction over the parties and the matter and that reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard was given to the person against whom the order is sought sufficient to protect that person’s right to due process. Ex parte foreign injunctions for protection are not eligible for enforcement under this section unless notice and opportunity to be heard have been provided within the time required by the foreign state or tribal law, and in any event within a reasonable time after the order is issued, sufficient to protect the respondent’s due process rights.
(3) Notwithstanding s. 55.505 or any other provision to the contrary, neither residence in this state nor registration of foreign injunctions for protection shall be required for enforcement of this order by this state and failure to register the foreign order shall not be an impediment to its enforcement. The following registration procedure shall be available to protected persons who hold orders from a court of a foreign state.
(a) A protected person shall present a certified copy of a foreign order of protection to any sheriff in this state and request that the same be registered in the injunction registry. However, nothing in this section shall operate to preclude the enforcement of any order of protection determined by the law enforcement officer to be valid even if the protected person does not have a certified copy of the foreign protection order. It is not necessary that the protected person register the foreign order in the protected person’s county of residence. Venue is proper throughout the state. The protected person must swear by affidavit, that to the best of the protected person’s knowledge and belief, the attached certified copy of the foreign order, docket number     , issued in the state of    on     is currently in effect as written and has not been superseded by any other order and that the respondent has been given a copy of it.
(b) The sheriff shall examine the certified copy of the foreign order and register the order in the injunction registry, noting that it is a foreign order of protection. If not apparent from the face of the certified copy of the foreign order, the sheriff shall use best efforts to ascertain whether the order was served on the respondent. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement shall develop a special notation for foreign orders of protection. The sheriff shall assign a case number and give the protected person a receipt showing registration of the foreign order in this state. There shall be no fee for registration of a foreign order.
(c) The foreign order may also be registered by local law enforcement agencies upon receipt of the foreign order and any accompanying affidavits in the same manner described in paragraphs (a) and (b).
(4)(a) Law enforcement officers shall enforce foreign orders of protection as if they were entered by a court of this state. Upon presentation of a foreign protection order by a protected person, a law enforcement officer shall assist in enforcement of all of its terms, pursuant to federal law, except matters related to child custody, visitation, and support. As to those provisions only, enforcement may be obtained upon domestication of the foreign order pursuant to ss. 55.501-55.509 unless the foreign order is a “pickup order” or “order of bodily attachment” requiring the immediate return of a child.
(b) Before enforcing a foreign protection order, a law enforcement officer should confirm the identity of the parties present and review the order to determine that, on its face, it has not expired. Presentation of a certified or true copy of the protection order shall not be required as a condition of enforcement, provided that a conflicting certified copy is not presented by the respondent or the individual against whom enforcement is sought.
(c) A law enforcement officer shall use reasonable efforts to verify service of process.
(d) Service may be verified as follows:
1. By petitioner: Petitioner may state under oath that to the best of petitioner’s knowledge, respondent was served with the order of protection because petitioner was present at time of service; respondent told petitioner he or she was served; another named person told petitioner respondent was served; or respondent told petitioner he or she knows of the content of the order and date of the return hearing.
2. By respondent: Respondent states under oath that he or she was or was not served with the order.
(e) Enforcement and arrest for violation of a foreign protection order shall be consistent with the enforcement of orders issued in this state.
(f) A law enforcement officer acting in good faith under this section and the officer’s employing agency shall be immune from all liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed by reason of the officer’s or agency’s actions in carrying out the provisions of this section.
(g) Law enforcement shall not require petitioner to sign a registration affidavit as a condition of enforcement.
(h) A foreign order of protection shall remain in effect until the date of expiration on its face; or, if there is no expiration date on its face, a foreign order of protection shall remain in effect until expiration. If the order of protection states on its face that it is a permanent order, then there is no date of expiration.
(5) Any person who acts under this section and intentionally provides a law enforcement officer with a copy of an order of protection known by that person to be false or invalid, or who denies having been served with an order of protection when that person has been served with such order, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(6) In the event 18 U.S.C. s. 2265 is held to be unconstitutional, this section shall be null and void.
History.s. 7, ch. 97-155; s. 1, ch. 2012-153.
741.316 Domestic violence fatality review teams; definition; membership; duties.
(1) As used in this section, the term “domestic violence fatality review team” means an organization that includes, but is not limited to, representatives from the following agencies or organizations:
(a) Law enforcement agencies.
(b) The state attorney.
(c) The medical examiner.
(d) Certified domestic violence centers.
(e) Child protection service providers.
(f) The office of court administration.
(g) The clerk of the court.
(h) Victim services programs.
(i) Child death review teams.
(j) Members of the business community.
(k) County probation or corrections agencies.
(l) Any other persons who have knowledge regarding domestic violence fatalities, nonlethal incidents of domestic violence, or suicide, including research, policy, law, and other matters connected with fatal incidents.
(m) Other representatives as determined by the review team.
(2) A domestic violence fatality review team may be established at a local, regional, or state level in order to review fatal and near-fatal incidents of domestic violence, related domestic violence matters, and suicides. The review may include a review of events leading up to the domestic violence incident, available community resources, current laws and policies, actions taken by systems and individuals related to the incident and the parties, and any information or action deemed relevant by the team, including a review of public records and records for which public records exemptions are granted. The purpose of the teams is to learn how to prevent domestic violence by intervening early and improving the response of an individual and the system to domestic violence. The structure and activities of a team shall be determined at the local level. The team may determine the number and type of incidents it wishes to review and shall make policy and other recommendations as to how incidents of domestic violence may be prevented.
(3)(a) There may not be any monetary liability on the part of, and a cause of action for damages may not arise against, any member of a domestic violence fatality review team or any person acting as a witness to, incident reporter to, or investigator for a domestic violence fatality review team for any act or proceeding undertaken or performed within the scope of the functions of the team, unless such person acted in bad faith, with malicious purpose, or in a manner exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of human rights, safety, or property.
(b) This subsection does not affect the provisions of s. 768.28.
(4) All information and records acquired by a domestic violence fatality review team are not subject to discovery or introduction into evidence in any civil or criminal action or administrative or disciplinary proceeding by any department or employing agency if the information or records arose out of matters that are the subject of evaluation and review by the domestic violence fatality review team. However, information, documents, and records otherwise available from other sources are not immune from discovery or introduction into evidence solely because the information, documents, or records were presented to or reviewed by such a team. A person who has attended a meeting of a domestic violence fatality review team may not testify in any civil, criminal, administrative, or disciplinary proceedings as to any records or information produced or presented to the team during meetings or other activities authorized by this section. This subsection does not preclude any person who testifies before a team or who is a member of a team from testifying as to matters otherwise within his or her knowledge.
(5) The domestic violence fatality review teams are assigned to the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence for administrative purposes.
History.s. 1, ch. 2000-220; s. 2, ch. 2008-112; s. 1, ch. 2010-36; s. 11, ch. 2012-147.
741.3165 Certain information exempt from disclosure.
(1)(a) Any information that is confidential or exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution and that is obtained by a domestic violence fatality review team conducting activities as described in s. 741.316 shall retain its confidential or exempt status when held by a domestic violence fatality review team.
(b) Any information contained in a record created by a domestic violence fatality review team pursuant to s. 741.316 that reveals the identity of a victim of domestic violence or the identity of the children of the victim is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(2) Portions of meetings of any domestic violence fatality review team regarding domestic violence fatalities and their prevention, during which confidential or exempt information, the identity of the victim, or the identity of the children of the victim is discussed, are exempt from s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State Constitution.
History.s. 1, ch. 2000-219; s. 1, ch. 2005-212; s. 160, ch. 2008-4; s. 1, ch. 2010-43.
741.32 Batterers’ intervention programs.The Legislature finds that the incidence of domestic violence in this state is disturbingly high and that, despite the efforts of many to curb this violence, one person dies at the hands of a spouse, ex-spouse, or cohabitant approximately every 3 days. Further, a child who witnesses the perpetration of this violence becomes a victim as he or she hears or sees it occurring. This child is at high risk of also being the victim of physical abuse by the parent who is perpetrating the violence and, to a lesser extent, by the parent who is the victim. These children are also at a high risk of perpetrating violent crimes as juveniles and, later, becoming perpetrators of the same violence that they witnessed as children. The Legislature finds that there should be standardized programming available to the justice system to protect victims and their children and to hold the perpetrators of domestic violence accountable for their acts. Finally, the Legislature recognizes that in order for batterers’ intervention programs to be successful in protecting victims and their children, all participants in the justice system as well as social service agencies and local and state governments must coordinate their efforts at the community level.
History.s. 16, ch. 95-195; s. 37, ch. 96-312; s. 280, ch. 99-8; s. 2, ch. 2001-183; s. 12, ch. 2012-147.
741.325 Requirements for batterers’ intervention programs.
(1) A batterers’ intervention program must meet the following requirements:
(a)  The primary purpose of the program shall be victim safety and the safety of children, if present.
(b)  The batterer shall be held accountable for acts of domestic violence.
(c)  The program shall be at least 29 weeks in length and include 24 weekly sessions, plus appropriate intake, assessment, and orientation programming.
(d)  The program content shall be based on a psychoeducational model that addresses tactics of power and control by one person over another.
(e)  The program shall be funded by user fees paid by the batterers who attend the program, which allows them to take responsibility for their acts of violence. An exception shall be made for local, state, or federal programs that fund batterers’ intervention programs in whole or in part.
(2) The requirements of this section apply only to programs that address the perpetration of violence between intimate partners, spouses, ex-spouses, or those who share a child in common or who are cohabitants in intimate relationships for the purpose of exercising power and control by one over the other. It will endanger victims if courts and other referral agencies refer family and household members who are not perpetrators of the type of domestic violence encompassed by these requirements. Accordingly, the court and others who make referrals should refer perpetrators only to programming that appropriately addresses the violence committed.
History.s. 17, ch. 95-195; s. 3, ch. 2001-183; s. 13, ch. 2012-147.
741.401 Legislative findings; purpose.The Legislature finds that persons attempting to escape from actual or threatened domestic violence frequently establish new addresses in order to prevent their assailants or probable assailants from finding them. The purpose of ss. 741.401-741.409 is to enable state and local agencies to respond to requests for public records without disclosing the location of a victim of domestic violence, to enable interagency cooperation with the Attorney General in providing address confidentiality for victims of domestic violence, and to enable state and local agencies to accept a program participant’s use of an address designated by the Attorney General as a substitute mailing address.
History.s. 1, ch. 98-404.
741.402 Definitions; ss. 741.401-741.409.Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, as used in ss. 741.401-741.409, the term:
(1) “Address” means a residential street address, school address, or work address of an individual, as specified on the individual’s application to be a program participant under ss. 741.401-741.409.
(2) “Program participant” means a person certified as a program participant under s. 741.403.
(3) “Domestic violence” means an act as defined in s. 741.28 and includes a threat of such acts committed against an individual in a domestic situation, regardless of whether these acts or threats have been reported to law enforcement officers.
History.s. 2, ch. 98-404.
741.403 Address confidentiality program; application; certification.
(1) An adult person, a parent or guardian acting on behalf of a minor, or a guardian acting on behalf of a person adjudicated incapacitated under chapter 744 may apply to the Attorney General to have an address designated by the Attorney General serve as the person’s address or the address of the minor or incapacitated person. To the extent possible within funds appropriated for this purpose, the Attorney General shall approve an application if it is filed in the manner and on the form prescribed by the Attorney General and if it contains all of the following:
(a) A sworn statement by the applicant that the applicant has good reason to believe that the applicant, or the minor or incapacitated person on whose behalf the application is made, is a victim of domestic violence, and that the applicant fears for his or her safety or his or her children’s safety or the safety of the minor or incapacitated person on whose behalf the application is made.
(b) A designation of the Attorney General as agent for purposes of service of process and for the purpose of receipt of mail.
(c) The mailing address where the applicant can be contacted by the Attorney General, and the phone number or numbers where the applicant can be called by the Attorney General.
(d) A statement that the new address or addresses that the applicant requests must not be disclosed for the reason that disclosure will increase the risk of domestic violence.
(e) The signature of the applicant and of any individual or representative of any office designated in writing under s. 741.408 who assisted in the preparation of the application, and the date on which the applicant signed the application.
(2) Applications must be filed with the Office of the Attorney General. An application fee may not be charged.
(3) Upon filing a properly completed application, the Attorney General shall certify the applicant as a program participant. Applicants shall be certified for 4 years following the date of filing unless the certification is withdrawn or invalidated before that date. The Attorney General shall by rule establish a renewal procedure.
(4) A person who falsely attests in an application that disclosure of the applicant’s address would endanger the applicant’s safety or the safety of the applicant’s children or the minor or incapacitated person on whose behalf the application is made, or who knowingly provides false or incorrect information upon making an application, commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(5) Any person who attempts to gain access to a program participant’s actual address through fraud commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(6) Any person who knowingly enters the address confidentiality program to evade prosecution of criminal laws or civil liability commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.s. 3, ch. 98-404.
741.404 Certification cancellation.
(1) If the program participant obtains a name change, he or she loses certification as a program participant.
(2) The Attorney General may cancel a program participant’s certification if there is a change in the residential address from the one listed on the application, unless the program participant provides the Attorney General with 14 days’ prior notice of the change of address.
(3) The Attorney General may cancel certification of a program participant if mail forwarded by the Attorney General to the program participant’s address is returned and is undeliverable or if service of process documents are returned to the Attorney General.
(4) The Attorney General shall cancel certification of a program participant who applies using false information.
History.s. 4, ch. 98-404.
741.405 Agency use of designated address.
(1) A program participant may request that state and local agencies or other governmental entities use the address designated by the Attorney General as his or her address. When creating a new public record, state and local agencies or other governmental entities shall accept the address designated by the Attorney General as a program participant’s substitute address, unless the Attorney General has determined that:
(a) The agency or entity has a bona fide statutory or administrative requirement for the use of the address that would otherwise be confidential under ss. 741.401-741.409;
(b) This address will be used only for those statutory and administrative purposes;
(c) The agency or entity has identified the specific program participant’s record for which the waiver is requested;
(d) The agency or entity has identified the individuals who will have access to the record; and
(e) The agency or entity has explained how its acceptance of a substitute address will prevent the agency from meeting its obligations under the law and why it cannot meet its statutory or administrative obligation by a change in its internal procedures.
(2) During the review, evaluation, and appeal of an agency’s request, the agency shall accept the use of a program participant’s substitute address.
(3) The Attorney General’s determination to grant or withhold a requested waiver must be based on, but not limited to, an evaluation of information provided under subsection (1).
(4) If the Attorney General determines that an agency or entity has a bona fide statutory or administrative need for the actual address and that the information will be used only for that purpose, the Attorney General may issue the actual address to the agency or entity. When granting a waiver, the Attorney General shall notify and require the agency or entity to:
(a) Maintain the confidentiality of a program participant’s address information;
(b) Limit the use of and access to that address;
(c) Designate an address disposition date after which the agency or entity may no longer maintain the record of the address; and
(d) Comply with any other provisions and qualifications determined appropriate by the Attorney General.
(5) The Attorney General’s denial of an agency’s or entity’s waiver request must be made in writing and include a statement of specific reasons for denial. Acceptance or denial of an agency’s or entity’s waiver request shall constitute final agency action.
(6) Pursuant to chapter 120, an agency or entity may appeal the denial of its request.
(7) A program participant may use the address designated by the Attorney General as his or her work address.
(8) The Office of the Attorney General shall forward all first class mail to the appropriate program participants at no charge.
History.s. 5, ch. 98-404.
741.406 Voting by program participant; use of designated address by supervisor of elections.A program participant who is otherwise qualified to vote may request an absentee ballot pursuant to s. 101.62. The program participant shall automatically receive absentee ballots for all elections in the jurisdictions in which that individual resides in the same manner as absentee voters. The supervisor of elections shall transmit the absentee ballot to the program participant at the address designated by the participant in his or her application as an absentee voter. The name, address, and telephone number of a program participant may not be included in any list of registered voters available to the public.
History.s. 6, ch. 98-404; s. 1, ch. 2003-185.
741.408 Assistance for program applicants.The Attorney General shall designate state and local agencies and nonprofit agencies that provide counseling and shelter services to victims of domestic violence to assist persons applying to be program participants. Assistance and counseling rendered by the Office of the Attorney General or its designees to applicants does not constitute legal advice.
History.s. 8, ch. 98-404.
741.409 Adoption of rules.The Attorney General may adopt rules to facilitate the administration of this chapter by state and local agencies and other governmental entities.
History.s. 9, ch. 98-404.
741.465 Public records exemption for the Address Confidentiality Program for Victims of Domestic Violence.
(1) The addresses, corresponding telephone numbers, and social security numbers of program participants in the Address Confidentiality Program for Victims of Domestic Violence held by the Office of the Attorney General are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, except the information may be disclosed under the following circumstances: to a law enforcement agency for purposes of assisting in the execution of a valid arrest warrant; if directed by a court order, to a person identified in the order; or if the certification has been canceled. For purposes of this section, the term “address” means a residential street address, school address, or work address, as specified on the individual’s application to be a program participant in the Address Confidentiality Program for Victims of Domestic Violence.
(2) The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of participants in the Address Confidentiality Program for Victims of Domestic Violence contained in voter registration and voting records held by the supervisor of elections and the Department of State are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, except the information may be disclosed under the following circumstances: to a law enforcement agency for purposes of assisting in the execution of an arrest warrant or, if directed by a court order, to a person identified in the order. This exemption applies to information made exempt by this subsection before, on, or after the effective date of the exemption.
History.s. 1, ch. 98-405; ss. 3, 4, ch. 2003-185; ss. 2, 3, ch. 2005-279; s. 1, ch. 2010-42; s. 2, ch. 2010-115.