South Florida Woman’s Evidence of Stalking, Choking Was Enough to Warrant Protective Injunction She Sought

When you believe that you are threatened by your partner or former partner, the law and the courts may be a vital part of enhancing your safety. In order to make sure that you protect yourself, it is important to be sure that you are pursuing the proper type of injunction of protection. In one recent case originating in Palm Beach County, the Fourth District Court of Appeal revived a woman’s case seeking an injunction of protection against repeat violence. Contrary to the trial court’s decision, the woman did present a valid case because the woman’s evidence of stalking qualified as “violence.”

On October 9, 2015, K.A.’s request for an injunction of protection against repeat violence came before the trial court. K.A.’s evidence against J.E. at her injunction hearing in the trial court included an August 2015 incident when he called her 28 times in a row while outside her house, threatening not to leave until she talked to him, and an October incident when he drove to her work and used his car to trap her in her car, before yelling out that he intended to kill her. The trial judge initially concluded that K.A. was in court seeking the wrong kind of injunction. The evidence she’d presented did not establish that J.E. had committed multiple acts of violence, the judge told her. Later in the hearing, K.A.’s lawyer asked her additional questions, and she testified to two choking incidents that had taken place early in 2015.

Despite this additional testimony, the judge denied K.A.’s request but pointed out that she might be able to secure a different type of injunction. K.A. appealed, and she won. While it is always important to make sure that, when you need a protective injunction, the facts of your case will support the injunction you’re seeking, and going to court on the wrong type of injunction can be costly and possibly dangerous, K.A. did not do that in this case. Her evidence was enough to support a claim of repeat violence.

Section 784.046 of the Florida Statutes lays out the standard for obtaining an injunction against repeat violence. Subsection 2 states that you, as the victim, must have proof of at least two incidents of violence or stalking, and at least one of them must have occurred within the preceding six months. Covered types of violence include, among other things: “aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking or kidnapping.” Florida law also defines stalking, with Section 784.048 stating that it is “willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follow[ing], harass[ing], or cyberstalk[ing] another person.”

K.A.’s evidence met all of the required elements. She testified to two occasions of physical violence — the two choking incidents from the first quarter of 2015. She also had two valid incidents of stalking — the August and October events. Even without the early 2015 choking incidents, K.A. had enough proof for the injunction she sought. The law is clear that stalking is an acceptable form of violence in support of a repeat violence injunction, and J.E.’s behavior in August and October satisfied the law’s definition of stalking.

When you need an injunction of protection, you need to make sure that you get it right when it comes to presenting your case, in terms of both the facts and the law. The dedicated South Florida domestic violence attorneys at Sandy T. Fox, P.A. have the skills and experience you need to ensure that you put on your case properly and seek the protection you need. Contact our attorneys online or by calling (800) 596-0579 to schedule your confidential consultation.

More blog posts:

Florida Appeals Court Throwns Out Dating Violence Injunction Due to Lack of ‘Imminent Threat’ of Additional Violence, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, April 6, 2016

Shortage of Proof Leads to Reversal of Florida Woman’s Order of Protection, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, Feb. 18, 2016