Are Restraining Orders Public Records in Florida?

Author:

Updated:


Florida Warrant Search

woman-talking-to-police-about-Restraining-Order in florida

Yes, in Florida, the details of restraining orders are considered public records. This means that the public can view all relevant data and paperwork associated with the case. However, Florida’s civil injunctions are generally not readily available to the public at large in an effort to safeguard the petitioner’s privacy. These restraining orders are filed and kept at the county level, specifically within the courthouse of the county where the case was lodged. If you are the subject of a permanent restraining order, be aware that it will be included in the public record.

How To Look Up Restraining Orders in Florida

If you’re interested in finding out if someone you know has had a restraining order filed against them, or if you’re just keen on staying informed about your community, you can go about it in several ways. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to look up restraining orders in Florida:

  1. Florida Clerk of Courts Website: One of the simplest methods is to visit the Florida Clerk of Courts website. This online database offers public access to court records, including restraining orders. Here’s how you can use it:
    • Visit the Website: Head over to the Florida Clerk of Courts website. This site is a wide resource for all court-related information in Florida.
    • Navigate to Public Records: Find the public records section on the site. This section is designed to provide easy access to a variety of court records.
    • Enter the Required Information: You’ll need to input the necessary information, like the person’s name or case number. This information is used to search for relevant restraining order cases.
  2. Florida Criminal Case Search Tool: The Florida Criminal Case Search tool is another valuable resource. This online search form allows you to search for criminal cases across various Florida counties, including those involving restraining orders. Here’s how to use it:
    • Access the Tool: Visit the Florida Criminal Case Search tool.
    • Enter the Required Information: Similar to the Florida Clerk of Courts website, you must input the person’s name or case number to conduct a search.

Florida Clerk of Courts Public Records

The Florida Clerk of Courts website is a goldmine of public records. It’s a one-stop-shop for anyone seeking information about court cases, including restraining orders. By simply entering the name of the person or the case number, you can access a wealth of information at your fingertips.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of what you can find on the Florida Clerk of Courts website:

  • Public Records Search: This is the main feature of the website. You can search for public records of various court cases, including restraining orders. All you need to do is enter the name of the person or the case number.
  • Court Services: This section provides information about the different court services available in Florida, including civil, criminal, family, and probate courts.
  • Online Services: Here, you can find links to various online services, such as e-filing, e-payment, and e-recording. These services allow you to file documents, make payments, and record documents online.
  • Clerk Directory: This is a directory of all the Clerks of Court in Florida. You can use this directory to find your county’s contact information for the Clerk of Court.
  • Forms and Publications: This section provides access to various forms and publications related to court proceedings in Florida. This can be a valuable resource if you’re involved in a court case.

Florida Criminal Case Search

Another valuable resource at your disposal is the Florida Criminal Case Search tool. This online tool is a comprehensive database that allows you to search for criminal cases across various Florida counties, including those involving restraining orders. Here’s how you can use it:

  • Access the tool: You can access the Florida Criminal Case Search tool by visiting the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal.
  • Enter the required information: Once you’re on the website, you can input the person’s name or case number to conduct your search.
  • Search for restraining orders: This tool allows you to swiftly find information about any restraining orders filed against the person you’re searching for.
  • Understand the limitations: Keep in mind that this tool mainly focuses on criminal cases. So, if a restraining order was filed as part of a civil case, it might not appear in this search.

Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record?

In Florida, a restraining order does indeed go on your record. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Public record: A restraining order is considered a public record, which means it’s accessible to anyone who conducts a search. You can access these records through the Florida State Courts Public Records Search.
  • Confidential details: While the existence of a restraining order is public, the details within the order are confidential. This confidentiality is designed to protect the individuals involved.
  • Background checks: If a background check is conducted on you, the restraining order may appear as part of the check. However, the visibility of the order on a background check can depend on the type of check conducted and the nature of the order itself.

How Long Does a Restraining Order Stay on Your Record?

In Florida, a restraining order can stay on your record indefinitely. This is because it’s a court order, and court orders are part of the public record. Yet, the length of time it stays on your record can depend on various factors, including:

  • The nature of the order: Different types of restraining orders may have different durations. For example, a temporary restraining order may be removed from your record once it expires, while a permanent restraining order may stay on your record indefinitely.
  • The circumstances surrounding the order: If the restraining order was issued as part of a criminal case, it may stay on your record longer than if it was issued as part of a civil case.

FL Restraining Order Background Check

When conducting a background check in Florida, a restraining order may appear as part of the check. This is because restraining orders are part of the public record. Regardless, the visibility of the order on a background check can depend on the following:

  • The type of check conducted: Not all background checks are the same. Some may only check for criminal records, while others may also check for civil records like restraining orders.
  • The nature of the order: As mentioned above, different types of restraining orders may have different visibility on background checks.

For more information on background checks in Florida, you can visit the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website (FDLE).

While looking up restraining orders can be informative and beneficial for personal safety or general curiosity, handling this information responsibly and respecting people’s privacy rights is required. For more information on privacy rights in Florida, you can visit the Florida Office of the Attorney General’s website.