Need Assistance with A Temporary Injunction in Pinellas County?
We Can Help!
If you have received or been served with a Temporary Injunction based on a Petition for Stalking, contact The Denson Firm to begin your defense and move to throw out the injunction or limit its effect. Florida has specific requirements for obtaining a stalking injunction, and we can attend court with you and defend you against the allegations in the petition.
Florida Statute § 784.048 defines stalking as when a person “willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person and makes a credible threat to that person.”
“Harass” means “to engage in the course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.” A “credible threat” is defined as a “verbal or nonverbal threat … which places the person who is the target of the threat in reasonable fear for his or her safety or the safety of his or her family members or individuals closely associated with the person, and which is made with the apparent ability to carry out the threat to cause harm.”
Stalking under § 784.048 requires that there must be at least two incidents. It must be a repeated pattern of behavior. One isolated incident cannot be used to obtain a stalking injunction.
How to Get a Stalking Injunction
The process starts when a person files a Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Stalking at the Clerk’s office. Nearly anyone can file for an injunction and make any type of allegation they would like. I often tell clients, “You can’t stop crazy people from making crazy allegations.” You will likely disagree with the allegations being made against you. That is why the court will schedule a hearing to allow you to be heard.
Unlike domestic violence injunctions, there does not need to be a relationship between the parties. We often see these injunctions filed when neighborhood disputes get out of hand.
After this initial filing, the court will review the petition and decide whether to enter a temporary injunction. It may, or may not, grant the relief requested on a temporary basis until both sides can be heard. The court will then set a hearing on the petition so you can respond to the allegations. The injunction return hearing provides you an opportunity to argue against the injunction. By hiring a lawyer, we can develop a legal strategy to attack the allegations and build a defense. We can prepare a cross-examination of your accuser and prepare you for testifying if needed.
Once the court has considered all evidence and heard the argument, the judge will make a legal determination whether to enter a final injunction or deny the petition. If the judge denies the petition, the case is over, and you are not restricted in any way. (But be sure to listen to the judge, who will likely give you some instruction on avoiding the other party.) If the court grants the petition, you will be enjoined from certain conduct.
Typically, a final stalking injunction will:
- Prohibit you from contacting the other party, including in-person, phone, electronic communication, and through third parties;
- Prohibit you from being present, or within 500 feet of, the other party’s home, work, school, or any places he or she regularly visits;
- Prohibit you from being within 100 feet of the other party’s vehicle;
- Mandatory surrender of firearms and ammunition
- Any additional terms and conditions that the court deems appropriate under the circumstances.
Having an injunction granted against you can have serious consequences. If you are served with a temporary injunction and have a hearing scheduled, call The Denson Firm right away. We can assist you by preparing a defense and coming to court with you to object to the petition.