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Governor signs measure to speed the delivery of protective orders

Senior Editor Top Stories

LegislatureGov. Ron DeSantis has signed a bipartisan measure designed to speed the delivery of protective orders to law enforcement.

The measure, HB 905 by Rep. Elizabeth Fetterhoff, R-DeLand, would require all law enforcement agencies to accept domestic violence injunctions via email.

The House voted 112-1 to approve it on March 2. Two days later, the Senate voted 39-0 to send it to DeSantis.

Fettertoff called the measure a “common-sense solution that will save countless victims’ lives.”

“It was shocking to learn that domestic violence injunctions are still being sent through the mail or even hand-delivered and not being sent through an existing, secure system,” she said.

HB 905 requires the clerk of court to electronically submit to the sheriff in the county where the respondent resides — or may be found — a certified copy of a petition for protective injunction, a final judgment for a protective injunction, and any other required documents within 24 hours after the court issues an injunction for protection.

It applies to protective orders for:

  • Domestic violence.
  • Repeat violence.
  • Sexual violence.
  • Dating violence, or,
  • Stalking.

Sen. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, sponsored the companion, SB 654. She echoed Fetterhoff’s concerns.

“Why should anyone have to wait for protection while the postal service attempts to deliver a protective order?” Cruz said.

Earlier, while testifying for the measure, Hillsborough Clerk of the Court and Comptroller Cindy Stuart told the Senate Judiciary Committee that her office processed some 6,500 protective injunctions per year.

“And to think that those are getting put in the mail in the majority of offices across the state is a public safety issue,” Stuart said. “Time matters. Seconds matter.”

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