The Clerk of the Circuit Court is an Elected
Constitutional Officer & Independent Custodian of the Court Record

Family


 

Family 

Florida Rules of Civil Procedure

Family law matters fall under the umbrella of Civil Court. 

This Clerk of the Circuit Court department maintains records and performs case processing for all cases where damages sought exceed $15,000 and all domestic relations (i.e. divorce, child support, domestic violence), mortgage foreclosures, lien foreclosures and negligence actions.

The Circuit Court for Civil is divided into two divisions: Civil and Family (See the Probate page for more Circuit Civil information).

The Family Division of the Circuit Court hears family actions, which include dissolution of marriage, name change, paternity, domestic violence and adoption. The Unified Family Court also handles certain adoption cases and Domestic Violence cases when a Juvenile Dependency action is pending. 

The Florida Courts provide information and forms for Family Law case types. 
They maintain a general assistance page here.

The Civil Division of Circuit Court hears civil action which include mortgage foreclosure, contracts, medical malpractice, negligence and wrongful acts, dealing with money matters in excess of $15,000. Circuit Civil actions seek private remedies of enforcement of personal rights based on contracts and agreements dealing with money amounts of $15,000 or more.

The County Court also hears Simplified Dissolution of Marriage cases, even though they are filed as a Circuit family action.

Announcements:

Child Support/Alimony Inquiry available here.

Civil & Family fees are available here.

Clerk's 24-hour Automated Child Support Information Line (727) 464-4845

The local Clerk of the Circuit Court's Office will be responsible for:

  • initially setting up the child support case,
  • maintaining a record of all Court hearings,
  • tracking the payment history, and
  • maintaining records on past due amounts

A copy of the payment history can be obtained in the Circuit Civil Court Records area of the Clerk's Office. Child support related forms approved by the Florida Bar are also available for purchase. Some are available online from the Florida Courts website. All written requests for information are processed in the Circuit Civil Court Records area of the Clerk's Office and requests should be forwarded to the Support Section, Room 170, 315 Court Street, Clearwater, FL, 33756.

Service charges established by Florida Statutes may be applicable to requested information.

If you have a change in name or address or any other personal information which may affect your child support payments or the child support record, you are responsible for notifying the Clerk's Office. Your changes should be put in writing, signed and mailed with proof of the name change to:

The Clerk of the Circuit Court
Circuit Civil Court Records

Support Section, Room 170
315 Court Street
Clearwater, FL 33756

The Clerk's Self Help Center offers affordable legal services and limited attorney consultations to self-represented litigants (i.e. those people who do not plan to have an attorney represent them in court).

Child Support Records and Services

Direct Deposit of Child Support/Alimony Payments

PLEASE NOTE: Florida Law now requires any payment(s) made to the State Disbursement Unit be disbursed electronically. If you are not currently receiving your payments electronically, you will need to file a direct deposit form so funds can be deposited in your checking or savings account.

PLEASE READ INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE COMPLETING AUTHORIZATION AGREEMENT

  • This application is for Pinellas County cases ONLY.
  • If payment is presently directed to the Department of Revenue for distribution to you, call
    1 (877) 769-0251 or visit the Department of Revenue website for information and options.
  • If your name is not imprinted on the original voided check you are providing, please provide verification that the bank listed will accept transfers in your name to the account specified.
  • If there has been a name change, please mail a copy of your marriage license, driver's license or applicable court order along with your application. Failure to do so will result in the application being returned to you and not processed.
  • All documents, including voided check, must be originals.

Please fill out and print the Payment Options Form and submit it with a VOIDED check (for a checking account) or a DEPOSIT SLIP (for a savings account) to:

Clerk of the Circuit Court
Civil Court Records

ATTN: Support Section
315 Court Street, Room 170
Clearwater, FL 33756

Direct deposit will begin after receipt of your completed payment option form. Any payments received between the receipt of your payment option form and the start of the direct deposit will be mailed to you.

Please remember, if you have a change in name or address or any other personal information which may affect your child support payments or the child support record, you are responsible for notifying the Clerk's Office. Your changes should be put in writing, signed and mailed with proof of the name change to:

Clerk of the Circuit Court
Civil Court Records

ATTN: Support Section
315 Court Street, Room 170
Clearwater, FL 33756

Should you have any questions about this service, please contact the Clerk's Customer Information Center at (727) 464-7000.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about Child Support

Child Support is defined as money paid from one parent to the other for the benefit of their dependent or minor child(ren). (Family Law Rules, Florida Rules of Court 2000) In Florida, the amount of child support is governed by the guidelines established by Florida Statutes.

The Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, available from the State Court's website or in the Clerk's Office as part of a pro se package of forms, will show you and the Court how your information fits with Florida's child support law. The worksheet is based on monthly paychecks and bills. To convert hourly or weekly payments to monthly, follow the FORMULA shown.

The child support guidelines establish the basic child support obligation for parents whose combined net income is between $7,800 and $120,000 annually. If the parents' combined income is more than $120,000 annually, a formula is provided for the Court to establish support beyond the guideline amount. If the combined parents' income is below $7,800, the Court determines the child support on a case-by-case basis.

Child Support Guidelines are Based on:

The child support guidelines dollar amount is based on the number of children and the combined income of the parents. The child support obligation is divided between the parents in direct proportion to their income or earning capacity. The parent with whom the child lives most of the time (the "custodial" parent) is paid the established support by the other ("non-custodial") parent.

The Court, at its discretion, may increase or decrease the guidelines dollar amount by up to 5% (five percent). The child support guidelines dollar amount may be increased or decreased by more than 5% (five percent) if the Court agrees with written reasons given for the change.

Yes, child support can be modified by the Court if there is a substantial change in the circumstances of the family. If there is a change of 15% (fifteen percent) or $50.00 (fifty dollars), whichever is greater, in the child support guidelines, that may be reason for modifying child support.

After the Court has decided the dollar amount of the child support to be paid, a decision will be made by the Court as to whether payments should be made directly to you or collected and disbursed to you through the State of Florida Disbursement Unit (FLSDU). The Court will also order how the child support payments are to be made - through an Income Withholding Order (IWO) or direct to you.

According to Florida Statute 61.13, if the parties elect not to require that support payments be made through the depository, any party may subsequently file an affidavit with the depository alleging a default in payment of child support and stating that the party wishes to require that payments be made through the depository. The party shall provide copies of the affidavit to the court and to each other party. Fifteen days after receipt of the affidavit, the depository shall notify both parties that future payments shall be paid through the depository.

The Clerk of the Court can enforce Child Support in the following ways:

Notice of Delinquency resulting in Judgment by Operation of Law: Fifteen (15) days after a case becomes delinquent according to a site other than the Clerk's websiteS.61.14(6)(a)1, the Clerk sends the Obligor (also referred to as "payor" or "respondent") a notice of delinquency to the address of record. The Obligor has fifteen (15) days to make payment in full or file a motion to contest.

  1. Payment in full must include fees listed on notice.
  2. Motion to Contest. Upon receipt of a motion to contest the Clerk will schedule a hearing and send out notices for the hearing date and time to the Obligor and Obligee (also referred to as "payee" or "petitioner"). After the hearing an order is issued concerning delinquency.
  3. If payment or Motion is not received within the fifteen (15) days, a Judgment by Operation of Law is filed. This will cause the support records to accrue interest on arrears balances. Interest is established at the rate for that year by the Florida Department of Financial Services (Office of the Chief Financial Officer of Florida).

Driver's License Suspension for Child Support Only and Non-IV-D Cases (only for cases not enforced by the Department of Revenue Child Support).

  1. Upon written request from the Obligee the Clerk will verify delinquency on account and send a Notice of Intent to Suspend to the Obligor. Notice is sent by regular mail that is posted to the Obligor's last address of record with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles as provided under a site other than the Clerk's website S.61.13016FS and a site other than the Clerk's website S.322.245.
  2. The Obligor may do one of the following:
    • Motion/Petition to Contest the suspension. Upon receipt of the motion and a $32.00 fee, the Clerk will schedule a hearing and send notice of the hearing date and time to both parties.
    • Enter into a written agreement with the Obligee and provide the signed, written agreement to the Clerk for filing.
      or
    • Make the payment of delinquency in full to the Clerk of Court

When motion/unsigned order is received by Clerk the documents will be forwarded to the judge assigned to your case for review.

You can satisfy a Judgment by Operation of Law by:

  1. Request a Lien Payoff from the Clerk (Current cost as of May 2007 is $25.00 plus a self-addressed envelope for return.) The Clerk will audit the account and prepare a payoff statement, which will be valid for thirty (30) days. Please allow 7 to 10 days for processing. Upon receipt of payment the Clerk will prepare a Satisfaction.
  2. A court order instructing the Clerk to issue a Satisfaction. Fees for processing are still due.
  3. For private cases only, not being enforced by the Department of Revenue, the Obligee may request a partial release for a certain legal description from the Clerk. Upon receipt of the request, a partial release is prepared and recorded. Fees are required for processing.

The State of Florida Disbursement Unit

The State of Florida Disbursement Unit (FLSDU) was established by the Title IV-D agency to provide one central address for the collection and disbursement of child support payments in cases enforced by the Department of Revenue pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. Support orders initially issued in Florida after January 1, 1994, in which the obligor's child support is being paid through an Income Withholding Order (IWO) are also collected and disbursed by the FLSDU. The Clerk of the Circuit Court for Pinellas County has contracted with the FLSDU to process all court ordered child support and alimony payments.

Child Support Payments Have to Be Paid Through the FLSDU at:

State of Florida Disbursement Unit
P.O. Box 8500
Tallahassee, FL 32314-8500
1(877) 769-0251

The payment to the State of Florida Disbursement Unit should include:

  • Your full name (first, middle and last)
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Case number
  • County code for the county where the court order was entered.
  • The county code for Pinellas County is "52".

The FLSDU Will Send out the Child Support Payment.

The FLSDU is required to disburse child support payments within 48 hours of receipt. If the Court has ordered child support payments to be paid through the FLSDU directly to you, you may wish to expedite receipt of the payment through the use of DIRECT DEPOSIT.

To Find out if the Child Support Payment has been Received or Sent out by the FLSDU:

Click here to view your most recent payment or you may call toll-free 1(877) 769-0251, 24 hours-a-day to find out if a payment has been received or disbursed by the FLSDU. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and case number. If you are a payor, the voice response unit provides information on the last payment received. If you are a payee, the voice response unit provides information on the last payment issued to you. Be sure to have the case number when calling this number.

Child Support Wage Calculation Formula

Clerk's 24-hour Automated Child Support Information Line (727) 464-4845

The formula for figuring monthly payments when you are paid weekly or hourly...
 40 Hours  = regular fulltime work week
 52 weeks  = one year
 12 months = one year
  7 days   = one week
    wages  = gross income, the money paid to a 
             person before taxes, benefits or debts
             are taken out

Formula

Hourly wage x hours per week x weeks per year ÷ width="10" /> 12 = monthly wage

Daily wage x days per week x weeks per year ÷ 12 = monthly wage

Weekly wage x weeks per year ÷ 12 = monthly wage

Bi-weekly wage x 26 ÷ 12 = monthly wage

Semi-monthly wage x 24 ÷ 12 = monthly wage

Bi-monthly wage x 6 ÷ 12 = monthly wage

Quarterly wage x 4 ÷ 12 = monthly wage

Semi-annual wage x 2 ÷ 12 = monthly wage

Annual wage ÷ 12 = monthly wage

Divorce Information and Services

Divorce is a legal action filed by a married person or persons to end the marital relationship. In addition to restoring the parties to single status, the Court can issue orders for: spousal support; custody, visitation and child support for the minor children of the marriage; and the division any shared property assets and debts.

In the State of Florida, there are two methods for filing divorce.

SIMPLIFIED DIVORCE MAY BE APPROPRIATE WHEN
  • You or your spouse have been a resident of the State of Florida for at least the past six (6) months.
  • You and your spouse are both able to appear at the Clerk of the Court’s Office to both file the necessary forms to initiate the divorce action and to attend the final hearing in person.
  • There are no children together born before or during the marriage, including by adoption, and the partner, to their knowledge, is not pregnant as of the date the action is filed.
  • You and your spouse are in agreement on how property, assets and debts are to be divided.
A GENERAL DIVORCE MAY BE APPROPRIATE WHEN
  • You have been a resident of the State of Florida for at least the past six (6) months.
  • Your spouse resides out of state or you do not know your spouse's whereabouts.
  • There is a minor (under age 18) or dependent child of the marriage or the partner is pregnant.
  • You and your spouse cannot agree on how property, assets and debts are to be divided.
  • There is a need for spousal support (alimony).

PLEASE NOTE:
Deputy Clerks CANNOT give you advice on your rights and obligations. Divorce can be a complicated area of the law. If you have any questions or concerns, you should consider contacting an attorney.

You are NOT required to retain an attorney to file a Divorce; however you may desire to consult with an attorney if you or your spouse have any questions concerning the use of the Family Law forms or your legal rights prior to filing for a Simplified or General Divorce.

If you have any further questions you may contact one of the offices below, or one of the Self Help Centers.

Divorce petitions and other related paperwork, may be filed and additional information is available at any of the following Clerk's Office locations. Please Note: For faster and more efficient service all paperwork being mailed should be sent to the Civil Court Records address.

For more information call (727) 464-7000

Civil Court Records
315 Court Street, Room 170
Clearwater, FL 33756

North County Branch
29582 U.S. 19 North
Clearwater, FL 33761

St.. Petersburg Branch
545 First Avenue North, Room 101
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Persons with disablilities requiring reasonable accommodations to use the services provided should call (727) 464-4062 (TDD or Voice). Please call 24 hours prior to coming to the courthouse. 

*The current fees may be determined by calling one of the offices listed at the bottom of the page or by referring to the current "Schedule of Services Charges" brochure available online or in any one of the Clerk's Offices.

Simplified Divorce

Also known as "Simplified Dissolution of Marriage"

A Simplified Divorce is a simple, inexpensive means of ending a marriage for those couples who meet certain eligibility requirements (listed below). If you do not qualify for a Simplified Divorce, you may wish to consult an attorney about the requirements for filing a General Divorce .

In order to file for a Simplified Divorce:

  • Your and your spouse must appear together at any one of the three Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court Offices' Civil Court Records departments (Clearwater Courthouse, North County Branch, St. Petersburg Branch) and jointly file the paperwork.
  • Either you or your spouse must have resided in the State of Florida for at least the past six months. You will be required to provide proof of residency. Proof of residency may be shown by a valid Florida driver license, a Florida voter's registration card or the affidavit of a third party.
  • Both you and your spouse must agree that the marriage cannot be saved.
  • There may be no minor (under age 18) or dependent children of the marriage and the partner cannot be pregnant.
  • Both you and your spouse must mutually agree on how property, assets and debts are to be divided.

Form for filing a simplified divorce are available from the Clerk's Office and the Clerk’s Self Help Centers for a fee or may be obtained for free at the Florida Courts website, http://www.flcourts.org/.

Notary services are available at the Clerk's Office for a fee*.

You may obtain copies of documents you are filing at the Clerk’s Office for a fee*.

The filing fees for Simplified Divorce are set by Florida Statute and Pinellas County Ordinances, and are subject to change. The filing fee is due at the time of filing your Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage at the Clerk’s Office.

A hearing to finalize your Simplified Divorce will be scheduled at the earliest possible date dependent upon the court's schedule. The hearing will be scheduled by a Deputy Clerk upon the filing of the paperwork and requires the in-person consent of both parties. The hearing must be at least twenty-one (21) days from the date the paperwork is filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Both you and your spouse are required to attend the hearing; if one of you is not present, your case will be subject to dismissal and you will have lost your filing fee. There are no refunds of fees.

If you wish to withdraw your petition you and your spouse may file a Motion to Dismiss the Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. Both parties are required to come into the Clerk's Office and both must sign the Motion. You may file such a motion by completing a generic motion form and submitting it to the Clerk’s Office. Please note, you will not recover your filing fees or any court costs once your case has been filed if your case is dismissed.

General Divorce

Also known as "Dissolution of Marriage With Children" or "Dissolution of Marriage With No Minor Children"

Forms and instructions for filing a General Divorce are available from the Clerk's Office and the Clerk’s Self Help Centers for a fee. These forms, Dissolution of Marriage with Minor Children or Dissolution of Marriage with no Minor Children, can be found on the Florida Courts website.

Before filing your forms with the Clerk's Office you should:

  • Have your forms notarized where applicable.
  • Make a set of copies for your records.
  • Make a set of copies to have served on your spouse, who we will refer to as "the Respondent".

You may have your forms notarized and obtain copies of documents at the Clerk's office for a fee. The filing fees for a General Divorce are set by Florida Statute and Pinellas County Ordinances, and are subject to change. The filing fee is due at the time of filing your "Petition for Dissolution of Marriage" at the Clerk’s Office.

Service of Process

Service of Family Law Summons along with copies of the papers you are filing upon the respondent will be required. To have the summons served, you will need to contract with a Private Process Server, click here for a list of Pinellas County appointed process servers.

The respondent may waive the service requirement by filing an Answer and Waiver of Service notarized and specifically stating that they are waiving the required twenty (20) day waiting period.

If the respondent lives outside Pinellas County, you are responsible for contacting the Sheriff or a Private Process Service in that area to obtain proper service in that jurisdiction. After you have contacted the Sheriff or Private Process Server to determine the correct fee, you must provide the Clerk’s Office with the appropriate fee for service and an envelope with required postage for mailing to have the documents forwarded.

Answering the Petition

Once Served the respondent will have twenty (20) calendar days to respond in writing to your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.

If the respondent files the necessary responding paperwork the case will then proceed as either a contested matter or an uncontested matter.

The action is considered contested if the parties are unable to agree on some or all issues and the unresolved issues must be resolved by the Court. The action is considered uncontested if the parties are able to cooperate and agree on all issues outside of Court and the matter can proceed to its conclusion by submitting the necessary signed paperwork for the Court's signature.

Forms for Answering (there is a fee for Counter petition):

If you are unable to locate the respondent to have them personally served you will be required to have them served by constructive service (also referred to as service by publication). The service will be published in the newspaper of your choice for a period of thirty (30) calendar days and you will be billed for the publication. Constructive service forms and instructions are available on the Sixth Judicial Circuit’s website.

Default

If the respondent does NOT file and answer within the required waiting period of 20 calendar days from the date of service, you may file a Motion for Default and Default form. You may then complete your divorce proceedings without the participation of the Respondent.

Once a default is entered or the Respondent files their answer, you may schedule your hearing by contacting the Family Law Division at (727) 582-7200. The hearing will be scheduled on the earliest possible date dependent upon the court's schedule. You will be required to fill out and file a Notice of Hearing form upon contacting the Family Law Division and must provide the original to the Clerk’s Office and a copy to the Respondent.

Helpful Information - Tips for Staying Safe

  • Call 911 if you are in immediate danger
  • You may contact CASA at (727) 895-4912 or Haven at (727) 442-4128 24/7
  • File a Petition for Violation of Injunction if you believe the restraining order is being violated by the respondent

Your abuser may monitor your internet use. If you have reason to believe your computer is not secure, you may wish to use a computer your abuser does not access. If your abuser has access to your computer, follow steps to delete your browsing history.

An Injunction for Protection is a Civil Court Order (often referred to as a "restraining order" and herein referred to as "Injunction") that places restrictions on an individual (referred to as the Respondent) who has allegedly committed acts or (in some cases) made threats of violence against another individual (referred to as the Petitioner). An Injunction is requested by the Petitioner who files a "Petition" with the Court asking for protection from the Respondent.

An Injunction may include provisions that: restrain the Respondent from further acts of violence; order the Respondent to leave a shared dwelling; prevent the Respondent from coming to your home, school or place of employment; and/or award temporary custody of minor children.

An Injunction should not be used as a tool to manipulate the Respondent or the Judicial System, gain access to property, or to settle issues of child custody or spousal support, but rather to protect you against a genuine and well-founded fear of continued violence or abuse.

Violence id defined by Florida Statute 784.046(1)(a) 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, by a person against another person."

Violence does not include all offensive behavior. Trespassing, criminal mischief, threats, tampering with a witness and harassing phone calls are all criminal offenses which should be reported to law enforcement, but may not necessarily, alone, qualify for the issuance of an Injunction.

Filing for protection is free. There is no fee to file a Petition and the Sheriff's Office also serves (hand delivers) certified copies of the Judge's order to the Respondent without charge.

A petition must be filed in the county where you currently or temporarily reside, where the Respondent resides or where the violence occurred.

  • In Pinellas County, a Petition may be filed at one of the Pinellas County Clerk's Office locations listed at the bottom of this page, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., excluding County holidays.
     
  • To file an Emergency Petition in Pinellas County after 4:00 p.m. contact The HAVEN in Clearwater at (727) 442-4128 or C.A.S.A. (Community Action Stops Abuse) in St. Petersburg at (727) 895-4912.

Important: Because of the complexities of the forms that are required in order to seek a Restraining Order, it could take up to 45 minutes to complete all requirements. Since all paperwork must be submitted to the Court for review by 4:00 p.m., it is necessary for petitioners to submit completed paperwork to the Clerk's office no later than 3:40 p.m. to ensure same day review by the Court. Paperwork filed on business days after 4:00 p.m. will be provided to the Court for review the following day.

A petition is filed by an individual against an individual. A Petition may not be filed by or against a group of individuals or an entity (such as a business).
If you are a minor (under age 18) one of your parents or your legal guardian must file the Petition on your behalf. If you are filling against a minor you must provide the first and last name of the minor child against whom you are filing, as well as the first and last name of that minor's parent or legal guardian.

When filling out your petition:

  • You must provide the respondent's first and last name.
  • If you do not want the respondent to know where you are living: write "Confidential" anywhere your address is requested in the Petition and related forms. You should then fill out a Petitioner's Request for Confidential Filing of Address form. This form will not be subject to public disclosure.
  • Provide a brief, specific summary of any recent violence or stalking that the Respondent has committed against you. If you use general terms such as "violence" and "threats" you should include a description of the acts committed and/or words used.
  • Copies of supporting documentation (such as police reports, other court orders, etc.) may be submitted, but are generally not necessary.
  • You must provide the respondent's location and/or as much information about the respondent as you can by completing a Sheriff's Information Sheet, so that the Sheriff's Office can serve (hand deliver) certified copies of the Judge's order and your Petition to him or her (as required by law if a hearing is scheduled).

If the Respondent lives outside of the State of Florida, you will need to contact the Sheriff of the county that he or she lives in to obtain information about having Court papers "served". Provide this information and any relevant fees to the Clerk's Office where you filed your Petition by completing an Out-of-State Service Information Sheet

If you feel you are in imminent danger of violence you should contact your local law enforcement agency.

It will be taken to a judge for review. The Judge may make one of three decisions:

  1. Determine that you need protection and put in place a Temporary Injunction.
  2. Determine that your allegations do not meet Florida Statute requirements for a Temporary Injunction to be put in place but find that a hearing is merited.
  3. Determine that your situation does not meet Florida Statute requirements for a Temporary Injunction to be put in place and that a hearing is not merited.

In the first two instances, a hearing will be scheduled (within seven (7) to fifteen (15) calendar days of your Petition filing date) that you will be required to attend. The Respondent will be served (hand delivered) notice of the hearing and certified copies of both the Judge's order and your Petition.

You will need to return to the Clerk's Office where you file your Petition, on the day that you file your Petition, between 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to receive paperwork explaining the Judge's decision.

If a hearing is scheduled, the Judge at the hearing will determine whether or not to grant you a Final Judgment based on testimony from you, the Respondent and any eye-witnesses. If the Judge grants you a Final Judgment, it may be in effect for an indefinite period of time or may expire on a specific date.

If your petition is denied but new information about additional acts of violence or stalking arises, you may ask the Judge to review your original Petition and these new acts by filing a Supplemental Affidavit in Support of Petition for Injunction for Protection (F.L. Form 12.980(g)).

Injunction for Protection Forms

Florida law separates injunctions for protection into five categories: Domestic, Stalking, Repeat, Sexual and Dating. When determining the type of Injunction for which you need to file, it is very important that you read over all of the requirements for each type before selecting one. Choosing the incorrect type may cause your Petition to be denied by the Judge.

Dating Violence is violence or stalking that has occurred, or that the Petitioner has reasonable cause to believe they are in imminent danger of becoming a victim of, between individuals who (1) have been in a dating relationship within the past 6 months (2) have had an expectation of affection or sexual involvement and (3) have been involved over time and on a continuous basis, excluding individuals who have only engaged in ordinary fraternization in a business or social context.

Document Description Format
Clerk's Dating Violence Information Sheet   PDF
Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Dating Violence (F.L. Form 12.980(n))   PDF
Notice of Related Cases (F.L. Form 12.900(h))   PDF
Petitioner's Waiver or Non-Waiver of Return Hearing   PDF
Sheriff's Information Sheet   PDF
Supplemental Information Regarding Parties   PDF
Supplemental Affidavit in Support of Petition for Injunction for Protection (F.L. Form 12.980(g))   PDF
If Applicable:
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Affidavit (F. L. Form 12.902(d))   PDF
Out-of-State Service Information Sheet   PDF

Domestic Violence is defined as violence or stalking that has occurred, or that the Petitioner has reasonable cause to believe they are in imminent danger of becoming the victim of, between individuals who are spouses, former spouses, or persons related by blood or marriage who are residing or have resided together as a family, or individuals who are residing together or have resided together as if family, or individuals who have a child in common.

Document Description Format
Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence (F.L. Form 12.980(a))   PDF
Notice of Related Cases (F.L. Form 12.900(h))   PDF
Petitioner's Waiver or Non-Waiver of Return Hearing   PDF
Sheriff's Information Sheet   PDF
Supplemental Information Regarding Parties   PDF
Supplemental Affidavit in Support of Petition for Injunction for Protection (F.L. Form 12.980(g))   PDF
If Applicable:
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Affidavit (F. L. Form 12.902(d))   PDF
Out-of-State Service Information Sheet   PDF

Repeat Violence is two acts of violence or stalking on two separate occasions, one of which must have been within the past 6 months committed by a person against another person. These types of Injunctions are usually appropriate for neighbor-against-neighbor, coworker-against-coworker, or other types of relationships that are of a non-domestic or non-dating nature.

Document Description Format
Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Repeat Violence (F.L. Form 12.980(f))   PDF
Notice of Related Cases (F.L. Form 12.900(h))   PDF
Petitioner's Waiver or Non-Waiver of Return Hearing   PDF
Sheriff's Information Sheet   PDF
Supplemental Information Regarding Parties   PDF
Supplemental Affidavit in Support of Petition for Injunction for Protection (F.L. Form 12.980(g))   PDF
If Applicable:
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Affidavit (F. L. Form 12.902(d))   PDF
Out-of-State Service Information Sheet   PDF

Any one of the following criteria must be met: (1) You must have reported the incident to law enforcement and be cooperating in any criminal proceedings or (2) The Respondent must have been sentenced to prison and the term expired or is due to expire within 90 days, and any one incident of the following: (1) sexual battery (2) a lewd or lascivious act, committed upon or in the presence of a person younger than 16 (3) luring or enticing a child (4) sexual performance by a child or (5) any other forcible felony wherein a sexual act is committed or attempted.

Document Description Format
Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Sexual Violence (F.L. Form 12.980(q)   PDF
Clerk's Sexual Violence Information Sheet   PDF
Notice of Related Cases (F.L. Form 12.900(h))   PDF
Petitioner's Waiver or Non-Waiver of Return Hearing   PDF
Sheriff's Information Sheet   PDF
Supplemental Information Regarding Parties   PDF
Supplemental Affidavit in Support of Petition for Injunction for Protection (F.L. Form 12.980(g))   PDF
If Applicable:
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Affidavit (F. L. Form 12.902(d))   PDF
Out-of-State Service Information Sheet   PDF

Stalking Violence is defined by someone who is purposely following or harassing you repeatedly over a period of time for no legitimate purpose, causing you emotional stress. If in doing so, he/she threatens your life or threatens to harm you, with the intent to cause you reasonable fear for your safety, then the act becomes aggravated.

Document Description Format
Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Stalking (F.L. Form 12.980(t)   PDF
Notice of Related Cases (F.L. Form 12.900(h))   PDF
Petitioner's Waiver or Non-Waiver of Return Hearing   PDF
Sheriff's Information Sheet   PDF
Supplemental Information Regarding Parties   PDF
Supplemental Affidavit in Support of Petition for Injunction for Protection (F.L. Form 12.980(g))   PDF
If Applicable:
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Affidavit (F. L. Form 12.902(d))   PDF
Out-of-State Service Information Sheet   PDF
Document Description Format
Administrative Order 2012-53 Implementation of procedures relating to violations of Injunctions for Protection against violence and stalking PDF
Administrative Order 2014-15 Amendment to implement procedures relating to violations of Injunctions for Protection against violence and stalking PDF
Affidavit in Support of Violation of Injunction   PDF
Attachment A: Petition in Support of Violation of Injunction Order   PDF
Attachment B: Order on Violation in Support of Violation of Injunction   PDF
Attachment C: Service Information for Injunctions for Protection Against Violence or Stalking   PDF
Attachment D: Order to Show Cause and Scheduling Criminal Contempt Arraignment   PDF
Attachment E: Order to Show Cause and Order of Arrest for Violation of Injunction Against Violence or Stalking   PDF
General Motion   PDF
General Notice of Hearing   PDF
Motion for Extension of Injunction for Protection (F.L. Form 12.980(i))   PDF
Motion to Dismiss (CTCIV140Ab)   PDF
Motion for Civil Contempt/Enforcement of Final Judgment of Injunction-Child Support and/or Visitation   PDF
Motion for Modification of Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence (Child support/custody/visitation related)   PDF
Motion for Modification of Injunction for Protection (F.L. Form 12.980(j)) (non-child support/custody/visitation related)   PDF
Petitioner's Request for Confidential Filing of Address (F.L. Form 12.980(h))   PDF

Additional forms are available at any one of the Pinellas County Clerk's Office locations, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., excluding County holidays. You may get the forms in person when you go to file a petition, or you may print them out from this page.

Important: Because of the complexities of the forms that are required in order to seek a Restraining Order, it could take up to 45 minutes to complete all requirements. Since all paperwork must be submitted to the Court for review by 4:00 p.m., it is necessary for petitioners to submit completed paperwork to the Clerk's office no later than 3:40 p.m. to ensure same day review by the Court. Paperwork filed on business days after 4:00 p.m. will be provided to the Court for review the following day.

Please Note: For faster and more efficient service, all paperwork being mailed should be sent to the Civil Court Records address.

For more information call (727) 464-7000.

Civil Court Records
315 Court Street, Room 170
Clearwater, FL 33756

Pinellas County Justice Center
14250 49th Street North 
Clearwater, FL 33762 

St. Petersburg Branch
545 First Avenue North, Room 101
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Name Change Information

This process is used when an individual or a family wants to ask the court to change their name. If a name change is to be done because of a dissolution of marriage or an adoption, the name change can be done as part of that case if a final judgment has not been entered. See Florida Statute 68.07 for legal authority for Name Change.

All name change petitions, except where a former name is being restored, must include a copy of the petitioner's electronic fingerprints taken by a law enforcement agency or FDLE approved private vendor.

Requirements for Filing:

Other forms may be required depending on type of name change  

The following agencies (vendors) provide finger-printing service:

The vendor should be contacted by phone to determine if they are participating in the Name Change electronic fingerprinting process, what fees are required, office hours, location, etc.

Pinellas Originating Agency Identifier (ORI) must be provided to fingerprinting vendor when fingerprints are sent electronically. If not provided, FDLE will not return Criminal History Records Check to the Pinellas Clerk of the Court.

Pinellas ORI - FL924030Z

Pro Se Forms:

Family Law Form 12.982 can be used to request the court change a name. The form(s) must be completed and filed at the Clerk's Office, in the county where the person requesting the change lives. There are several versions of this form depending on whether the individual is an adult or minor child, or whether the change is for minor children or a family.

Form packets can be Downloaded for free or purchased from the Clerk's office at the following locations:

The Self Help Centers located in Clearwater and St. Petersburg:

Clearwater Self Help Center
315 Court Street, Room 114
Clearwater, FL 33756
Phone: (727) 464-5150 / Fax: (727) 453-3423

North County Branch Self Help Center
29582 U.S. 19 North
Clearwater, FL 33761
Phone: (727) 464-5150 / Fax: (727) 453-3423
Open Tuesdays only

St. Petersburg Self Help Center
545 First Avenue N. Room 103
St Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: (727) 582-7941 / Fax: (727) 582-7945

Pinellas County Clerk of Court Offices:

Civil Court Records
315 Court Street, Room 170
Clearwater, FL 33756
(727) 464-7000

North County Branch
29582 U.S. 19 North
Clearwater, FL 33761
(727) 464-7000

St. Petersburg Branch
545 First Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 464-7000

Persons with disabilities requiring reasonable accommodations to use the services provided should call (727) 464-4062 (TDD or Voice). Call 24 hours prior to coming to the courthouse.

To amend the birth certificate with Department of Health/Vital Statistics, a fee payable to Vital Statistics is required and an amendment form must be forwarded to the Department of Health after the out-of-state order is domesticated. See Instructions for Amending a Birth Certificate and Application for Amendment to Florida Birth Record