Large parts of the state’s court system are closed as part of an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but Florida officials want people to know they’re still open for emergencies including helping abuse victims file restraining orders.
Alexcia Cox heads up the domestic violence unit at the state attorney’s office in West Palm Beach.
“You can still seek an injunction; you can still receive an injunction during this time period. So just because you hear the courts are only hearing certain matters, please don’t let that be a barrier to you seeking help through the court system if you need it,” Cox says.
Filing protective injunctions, like restraining orders, is considered an essential service. The Florida Clerks and Comptrollers Association recommends calling the local clerk’s office directly for assistance. Cox also suggests reaching out to local shelters or organizations aimed at protecting victims of domestic violence for help filling out the needed paperwork.