The Requirements of a Florida Domestic Violence Injunction, Including a Reasonable Belief of Being ‘in Imminent Danger of Domestic Violence’

If someone in your life decides to go to court and seek a domestic violence injunction against you, you have many options. Depending on the circumstances, you might think that the easiest and best option is just to ignore it. That is, in the vast majority of circumstances, the worst plan of action you can have. Simply ignoring the case, refusing to litigate, and allowing the injunction to be entered can have massive detrimental effects on your life.Having a current domestic violence injunction against you can cause many problems. It generally will prevent you from possessing any firearms and possessing any ammunition. You can’t get a concealed weapon license if you have a current domestic violence injunction against you. The injunction may also negatively affect where you live, may cause you to be excluded from consideration for certain jobs (or even fired from the job you currently have), and may negatively affect your timesharing with your children. That’s why it’s almost never a good idea to turn your back on these cases. Instead, retain the services of a skilled South Florida domestic violence attorney and contest your case.

A recent case from near Clearwater serves as an example of how the process works and how a successful defense works. K.D., the wife, filed a request in circuit court asking for an injunction for protection against domestic violence against her husband, J.D. While the wife initially won and received the injunction from the trial court judge, the husband was ultimately successful on appeal. He achieved ultimate success because Florida has several things that a person seeking a domestic violence injunction must show, and the case K.D. made did not meet all of those requirements imposed by Florida law.

The wife alleged that the husband drank to excess and was prone to temper outbursts. She asserted two occasions on which he grabbed her so hard he bruised her arms. One of those was in 1998, and the other was in 2011.

In the week before the injunction request, the wife alleged four incidents. One involved the husband revving his truck and “peeling” out of the parking lot of the wife’s clothing boutique, the second and third incidents involved circumstances in which the husband unexpectedly showed up at places where the wife was, and the fourth incident involved a verbal argument in which the husband insulted the wife and pointed his finger in her face from just a few inches away.

The problem with the wife’s case was that she had no instances of threatened or actual violence. The 1998 and 2011 incidents were too old to qualify. The four very recent incidents did not demonstrate either actual violence or any sort of “threat of violence” that the court needs to issue an injunction. Simply calling your wife a liar and a narcissist and sarcastically declaring her to be the “mother of the year,” in addition to pointing a finger in her face (as J.D. did) is, without anything more, simply not proof of actual domestic violence or a threat of domestic violence.

J.D.’s most physical act was attempting to “pick” the bathroom door lock with a coat hanger after K.D. had locked herself in the bathroom. Several years earlier, another appeals court in Florida had ruled that a wife was not entitled to a domestic violence injunction, even though, in that case, the husband actually kicked down the bathroom door after the wife locked herself in. In both situations, the wives were not hurt in these arguments, and the husbands did not threaten to do harm. The wives’ evidence was legally insufficient to prove that a reasonable person would believe “she was in imminent danger of domestic violence,” which is what the law requires.

Whether you need, or need to oppose, an injunction for protection against domestic violence, call upon the skilled South Florida domestic violence attorneys at Sandy T. Fox, P.A. Our attorneys have been providing clients with the zealous representation they need to get the results they deserve. Contact our attorneys online or by calling (800) 596-0579 to schedule your confidential consultation.

More blog posts:

Getting a Florida Injunction for Protection Overturned on Appeal, Even After the Injunction Has Expired, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, May 23, 2018

Facing a Domestic Violence Case Far from Your Florida Home? Don’t Ignore It; Take Strong Action to Protect Yourself, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, March 6, 2018