Articles Posted in In the news (Domestic Violence)

A Florida Congressman noted for his provocative rhetoric, particularly regarding his political opponents and women’s issues, scored a legal victory when his estranged wife chose to file a voluntary dismissal of her domestic violence injunction petition. Police officials previously announced that they would not pursue criminal charges against the Congressman for the incident, WESH-TV reported.

The dismissal likely brings to an end any potential legal troubles for Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando with regard to a recent dispute between the Congressman and his estranged wife. The Congressman and his wife of 24 years, Lolita Carson-Grayson, are separated and pursuing a divorce. The discord erupted when the Congressman returned home to pick up his mail, his medications and to visit the couple’s children. During the visit, the couple became embroiled in a verbal altercation. In her initial 911 call, the Congressman’s wife told a dispatcher that Grayson had not struck her but was threatening her.

The next day, she traveled to the emergency room at an Orlando-area hospital, claiming that Grayson pushed her against a door, bruising her. Grayson later countered his wife’s assertions in a statement to reporters. According to a Miami Herald report, the Congressman claimed that the encounter “simply isn’t the way she described it. She hit me and I retreated. That’s what happened.”
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A 35-year-old St. Augustine woman in the midst of heated divorce proceedings was recently arrested after she allegedly spray painted graffiti on the Duval County Courthouse in downtown Jacksonville. According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the woman was caught painting letters, broken hearts, and angry messages to a family court judge on a walkway and several pillars attached to the newly constructed building. She is reportedly going through a messy divorce and custody battle. According to court records, her former husband has accused the woman of domestic abuse and asked for a restraining order against her.

The woman was charged with criminal mischief in excess of $1,000 and interrupting a business or utilities in connection with the courthouse vandalism. The woman also allegedly painted graffiti at the corporate headquarters of a family business that is owned at least in part by her former husband. She reportedly spray painted messages to her former spouse and her child in addition to painting other graffiti on the business.

In the State of Florida, domestic violence includes aggravated battery, assault, or stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, sexual assault or battery, and a variety of other criminal offenses. A victim of domestic abuse may seek a protection order against an alleged abuser. To obtain a restraining order against an abuser, a victim must provide the court with specific facts regarding why a restraining order is necessary. After a domestic violence victim requests a restraining order, a hearing is held to determine whether the alleged victim’s request should be granted.

In some cases, a protection order may be granted where there is a reasonable fear that domestic violence will occur. A temporary restraining order may be issued until a hearing can be held if the court believes a petitioner is in immediate danger. Temporary protection orders generally last for 15 days, but may be extended at the discretion of the court. A temporary or other restraining order requires an alleged abuser to stay away from his or her victim, the victim’s home, workplace, and other specified locations. A protection order may also award temporary custody of a couple’s minor children to an alleged domestic violence victim. If you were the victim of domestic violence, you should contact a skilled family law lawyer to discuss your rights in more detail.
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A Broward County judge recently handed down a rather unusual bond court ruling to a Plantation man charged with domestic violence. At his initial appearance hearing, the 47-year-old defendant was ordered to buy his wife flowers and a birthday card, take her to dinner at Red Lobster, take her bowling, and attend marriage counseling.

The man was reportedly taken into custody after an argument with his wife escalated. The argument purportedly began because he failed to wish his spouse a happy birthday. According to the arrest affidavit, he pushed his wife onto a sofa, placed his hand on her neck, and threatened to punch her. Broward County Judge John “Jay” Hurley asked his wife if she was injured or afraid of her husband. After his wife responded she was not, the judge issued his order: the man was required to take his spouse on a date for her birthday.

According to Judge Hurley, he made the unique ruling because the incident was rather minor and the defendant had no prior arrest record. The judge also made clear he would not treat a more serious domestic violence case similarly. In this man’s case, his spouse did not appear to be in any danger despite the couple’s fight. Judge Hurley stated in this particular instance, his ruling was a better resolution than the alternatives of setting a bond or keeping the man in custody. Judge Hurley also ordered the couple to begin attending marriage counseling within one week.

In Florida, domestic violence can include assault, battery, stalking, aggravated assault, battery or stalking, sexual assault or battery, kidnapping, false imprisonment, and other criminal offenses. State law allows a victim of domestic violence to seek a restraining order against her or his alleged abuser. In order to obtain a protection order against an abuser, a victim must petition a court and provide specific facts regarding why a restraining order is merited. After that, the court will hold a hearing to determine whether a protection order is warranted.

A restraining order may also be granted where a petitioner has a reasonable fear that domestic violence will occur. If the court believes the petitioner is in immediate danger, based on the allegations in the petition, it may issue a temporary restraining order until a hearing can be held. Temporary orders generally last for 15 days, but are subject to an extension at the discretion of the court.

If a permanent protection order is granted, it will not expire. A petitioner must ask the court to modify or end a permanent restraining order. The petitioner must also demonstrate changed circumstances that warrant the modification or termination of the order. A temporary or permanent protection order requires an alleged abuser to stay away from the petitioner, the petitioner’s residence, place of employment, and other designated locations. It may also award a petitioner temporary custody of any minor children and require the abuser to give up their firearms and ammunition.
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On Sunday, September 25, 2011, ten days after being arraigned on two counts of misdemeanor battery/domestic violence against his wife and his wife’s Mother, Marcus Nathaniel Trotman shot his wife, her mother and himself in what police are calling a murder-suicide.

Prior to the incident, Trotman had been working as an audio engineer with popular South Florida Power 96 radio personality Lazaro Mendez (A.K.A. “D.J. Laz”). Shockingly, Sunrise police confirmed that the gun recovered from the scene-a Walther PPK .380 caliber handgun-was the same make and model as one reported missing by Mendez the evening of the shooting. However, police have yet to confirm whether the gun used by Trotman actually belonged to Mendez.

Mendez’ publicist issued a statement to the media saying he was “deeply shocked and saddened” by the shooting. According to police reports, Trotman and Mendez were friends. In fact, Trotman had been living with Mendez since Sunrise police arrested Trotman for battery on August 21, 2011 and a judge ordered him to stay away from his Wife and her Mother.