Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Children who are cyberbullied in Florida: Consider a Stalking Injunction.

In Florida there are options for victims of Domestic Violence, Repeat Violence, Sexual Violence and Stalking.  Just recently the Florida legislature passed a law where a person who is stalked under the law can file a stalking injunction. If the victim is a minor then the parent will fill out the forms on behalf of the child.  If the perpetrator is a minor then the minor's name must be put in the complaint and served on the parent or guardian.  The Judge may grant a temporary Order and set a date for a permanent injunction hearing where both the Plaintiff and Respondent will appear before the judge to hear arguments.  If the injunction is granted and the Respondent violates the order he or she can be charged with aggravated stalking. This depends on the facts and circumstances.  But it is imperative to get the injunction.  If Rebecca Ann Sedwick had gone to court and asked for an injunction the possibilities were strong that the Judge would have granted it.  The girls may or may not have continued their harassment and stalking but if they had, the chance of an aggravated stalking would have been easier to charge and file.  And there is no need for a credible threat. 

Here is the law:
784.048 Stalking; definitions; penalties.

4.   A person who, after an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence pursuant to s. 784.046, or an injunction for protection against domestic violence pursuant to s. 741.30, or after any other court-imposed prohibition of conduct toward the subject person or that person’s property, knowingly, willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

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