Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Domestic Violence

Injunctions for protection against domestic violence in Florida are civil restraining orders that are entered if evidence of certain acts have been established. In the case of an injunction against repeat violence, the Florida Statutes define repeat violence as two incidents of violence or stalking committed by the respondent, one of which must have been within 6 months of the filing of the petition, which are directed against the petitioner or the petitioner’s immediate family member (Fla. Stat. 784.046).

In the case Dailey v. Roth, 1D17-3449 Dailey v. Roth (Fla. 1st DCA 2019), we see a case in which the court established what does not count as repeat violence. In this case, the parties were said to have an “acrimonious” relationship. Mr. Dailey was engaged to Mr. Roth’s ex-wife. The only evidence presented as to violence appeared to be uncivil text messages exchanged between the two and a tense exchange at a little league baseball game. On this basis, a permanent injunction was entered against Mr. Roth and he appealed.

The appellate court reversed, holding “The evidence proved the men behaved badly, but it was insufficient to support the injunction.” As has been held in previous cases: "Mere shouting and obscene hand gestures, without an overt act that places the victim in fear, does not constitute the type of violence required for an injunction." (quoting Sorin v. Cole, 929 So. 2d 1092, 1094 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006)); cf. also Jones v. Jackson, 67 So. 3d 1203, 1205 ("It might occasionally be helpful if the circuit courts had the power to enter an order requiring adults to act like grownups. But a permanent injunction for protection against repeat violence cannot be used simply to compel civility and common decency.").”

Injunctions are not appropriate in every situation, but if you feel you may benefit from an injunction being entered and have grounds to pursue one, contact a Miami family law attorney to assist you. A consultation will help you understand the merits of your case.