Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Domestic Violence

In a tale about two warring neighbors, an issue arose in a Florida appellate case after a trial court granted an injunction restraining one of the neighbors from coming within 500 feet of the other neighbor. The problem, of course, was that this order restricted the neighbor from living in his own house since it was within the 500-foot parameter laid out by the court’s order.

In the case Givens v. Holmes, 241 So.3d 232 (Fla. 2d DCA 2018), Mr. Givens appealed the trial court’s order on the basis that his home was 90 feet from Mr. Holmes’ residence. Therefore, the restraining order requiring him to stay more than 500 feet away from his home interfered with Mr. Givens’ property rights and effectively stripped his property from him.

The appellate court reversed the trial court’s order, holding, “In granting a final judgment for protection against stalking, the trial court may "[r]estrain[ ] the respondent from committing any act of stalking" and order "such other relief as the court deems necessary for the protection of a victim of stalking." § 784.0485(6)(a)(1), (6)(a)(4), Fla. Stat. (2016). "An injunctive order should never be broader than is necessary to secure the injured party, without injustice to the adversary, relief warranted by the circumstances of the particular case. The order should be adequately particularized, especially where some activities may be permissible and proper." The appellate court reasoned the restrictions placed on Mr. Givens were broader than necessary to secure Mr. Holmes. Therefore, the trial court was instructed “to more narrowly tailor the buffer-zone provision to prevent harassment of Mr. Holmes.”

If you need help obtaining a Florida restraining order or defending against one, contact a Miami domestic violence lawyer. Through a consultation, you can learn about the best way to proceed in light of the specific circumstances of your case.