Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Domestic Violence

A co-worker’s alleged inappropriate behavior toward another co-worker was not enough to sustain an injunction against stalking, according to the case Klenk v. Ransom, 1D18-2774 (Fla. 1st DCA May 13, 2019). As the court held, “Although behavior such as that alleged here can be valid grounds for employment action, it does not rise to the level of conduct justifying a stalking injunction.”

The alleged victim testified to several incidents at work which made her feel the alleged stalker was sexually harassing her. Specifically, she alleged “that he frequently made sexually-oriented comments about her body and clothing; and asked her to help him with errands outside of work, provide him with transportation, or meet for lunch. She once caught him looking at messages on her phone when she was out of her office.” The alleged victim reported her alleged harasser at work which ultimately resulted in him being fired.

The trial court entered an injunction against him and he appealed. The appellate court reversed, holding “We have examined the evidence carefully, and even giving credence to Appellee's testimony, which we do, we cannot conclude that the alleged incidents rise to the level of justifying an injunction against stalking. To justify this kind of injunction, the conduct must be bad enough to produce substantial emotional distress in a reasonable person. § 784.048(1)(a), Fla. Stat.; It is not enough to be ‘weirded out’ or uncomfortable. Allegations such as these ‘[fall] short of the exacting standards to justify a stalking injunction and the collateral consequences that flow from it.’” Therefore the injunction was reversed.

If you are in need of an injunction for protection against domestic violence, seek the assistance and counsel of a Florida domestic violence lawyer. Through a consultation, you can learn the strengths and weaknesses of your petition and how to address them.