Christian Van Riper
Timothy C. Nies
Our trial attorneys are known for their tenacious litigation, professional service, personal attention, and open communications with our clients.
The legal term for a restraining order in Florida is "Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence," and anyone who is the victim of domestic violence, male or female, is eligible to get one free of charge.
Our attorneys, Christian Van Riper and Timothy Nies, are uniquely qualified in representing victims of domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking. Christian Van Riper is a former prosecutor for the State of Florida, where he prosecuted and tried countless violent and dangerous criminals, including those accused of domestic battery and stalking. Prior to law school, Christian was an investigator for Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF), where he was responsible for working with families and conducting investigations of alleged abused, abandoned, neglected or exploited children. Christian’s experience as both a prosecutor and a DCF investigator sets him apart from other attorneys. Attorney Timothy C. Nies, is a former U.S. Army Ranger, and a senior insurance defense casualty trial with the largest insurance defense firm in the U.S., where he litigated civil cases of assaults and sexual battery.
Our skilled attorneys understand the law relating to injunctions for protection against domestic violence (restraining orders), and work hard to make sure that the court issues the restraining orders. In our experience, oftentimes the person who committed the domestic violence will hire an attorney to appear at the hearing set by the Court to determine whether or not to continue the temporary hearing. This is why we suggest those who need a restraining order placed on a batterer for their own safety contact an attorney for a free consultation. Unfortunately, thousands of domestic violence situations continue month after month because a battered victim does not know how to obtain a domestic violence or attend a hearing unprepared. According to firm partner, Christian Van Riper: “domestic violence, whether assault, sexual assault, stalking or any form of physical harm is very serious and taking a few steps to ensure that a restraining order is granted could save your life.”
Our attorneys will help you fill out the initial court paperwork to establish the injunction and attend the final hearing on the injunction where we will present and question your witnesses, the police officer(s) if police were called (note, they do not need to have been summoned to obtain a restraining order), present evidence and cross-examine the abuse and his/her witnesses.
Whether you retain us to help you with obtaining a restraining order, or if you wish to handle the hearing yourself, please make sure you have, if possible: your driver's license, other other form of government issued ID, current address and telephone number of your abuser, his/her date of birth, any police reports, medical reports or photographs of your injuries, if you have them.
In Florida, including Martin, St. Lucie, Palm Beach and Broward counties, once the petition is completed, you will be given a temporary restraining order by the Court (if the petition demonstrates repeat domestic violence, stalking, etc. – this is why it is important to get the initial petition right). The temporary restraining order is good for no more than 15 days, however, it is our experience, that the hearings are often scheduled within a couple days of filing the initial petition with the court.
At the hearing on the scheduled hearing on whether to continue the restraining order, you will be required to face your abuser and be questioned by either him/her or by his/her attorney. We will prepare you in detail for the examination. We will also present other evidence, photographs, reports, and testimony of your witnesses. After the hearing, the judge will make a ruling on whether or not a full restraining order is necessary. If he finds that the requirements for a restraining order are not met, the abuser is free to go. If the judge orders that the restraining order continue, he may also order temporary child support and temporary custody of the parties children.
The temporary injunction and full injunction both order that the abuser must not be within so many feet (oftentimes 500 ft) of you at any time, day or night. Further, he or she is ordered to not call, write, email or make contact with you whatsoever, whether by family member or friend. If the abuser violates the restraining order, he or she will be arrested and may face jail time.
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South Palm Beach County:
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