Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Domestic Violence 

An injunction or restraining order is one tool the law provides to those seeking protection from domestic violence. Stalking is one act of violence that can be the basis for seeking protection. As one appellate case illustrates, the standard for obtaining an injunction against stalking is clear under Florida law. 

In the case Carter v. Malken, 207 So.3d 891 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017), the appellate court examined a trial court’s decision to enter a final judgment of injunction based on an allegation of stalking. The petitioner sought a restraining order against his sister’s boyfriend, alleging the boyfriend broke into his house (which previously belonged to his late mother) on one date, that he threatened him on another date and that he called him on other occasions. 

The evidence from the trial court showed the boyfriend went to the house with police to retrieve personal items and he was unaware the house belonged to the petitioner. Police reports showed on the date the petitioner alleged the boyfriend threatened him, no mention was made in the reports about the boyfriend. Last, testimony indicated the alleged calls happened when the petitioner’s sister pocket dialed him and the boyfriend was speaking in the background.

Citing the fact that a stalking injunction requires proof of two incidents of stalking (defined as a malicious and unwanted pattern of contact meant to harass) to support a restraining order, the appellate court overturned the lower court’s judgment, stating the three incidents alleged did not satisfy the stalking definition or requirements for an injunction. 

If you are seeking a restraining order in Miami, or one is being sought against you, this case shows why it is important that you speak with a Miami family lawyer to assist you in preparing your case.