Monday, September 9, 2013

Florida Law and the New Stalking/Harassment Injunctions

In October of 2012 the Florida Legislature passed a law that would allow victims of harassment and stalking to file an injunction with the Court in the corresponding jurisdiction where the offense has occurred. The current injunctions that individuals may apply for  including stalking/harassment are: Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Violence and Repeat Violence. At least one of the incidences of violence must have occurred 6 months prior to the filing of the petition. 

The person who files the injunction is called the petitioner.  The person who receives notice of the injunction is the respondent.  If the judge grants the petition it is usually a temporary order.  Usually the respondent is served within 15 days of the filing of the petition where at that time a permanent injunction hearing will be heard before a Judge in that Circuit. 

Stalking another human being can be just as dangerous as physical violence.  Many years ago in Florida, stalking was not illegal.  But a case out of Largo, Florida which was featured on LMN Movie Network brought the dangers of stalking to the forefront where eventually the law was changed.  Even though stalking became illegal, injunctions were not available until recently.  If you believe you are a victim of stalking go to your jurisdiction's Clerk of Court Website and search for injunctions.  read the applicable statutes and determine whether it applies to your situation.  If you believe you are in danger, apply.  Talk to your local law enforcement or local domestic abuse shelters or advocates to get more information.

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