Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Domestic Violence
Florida domestic violence hearings present an opportunity for an alleged victim and and alleged abuser to present their respective proof to the court supporting their respective positions. When competent, substantial evidence is unrebutted, a court is within its authority to enter the injunction based on those allegations, as held in the case Taylor v. Price, 4D18-2835 (Fla. 4th DCA May 22, 2019).
The parties to this case are married, and the wife sought a petition for injunction against domestic violence. She alleged her husband tried to force himself on her and in the process he scratched her breast and left a wound that took days to heal. She let the court know she had a photo of the wound, but would prefer that the court accept her testimony in lieu of her showing the photo. The court informed the wife she failed to meet her burden to obtain an injunction and when the wife asked the court if she could then show the photo, the court declined stating it was taking her at her word as to the injury she sustained.
The trial court then denied the wife’s petition without making any findings and instead only generally stating there was insufficient evidence presented to support an injunction. The wife appealed, and the trial court’s decision was reversed. The appellate court based its reversal on its holding in another case that stated, “[W]here the testimony on the pivotal issues of fact is not contradicted or impeached in any respect, and no conflicting evidence is introduced, these statements of fact cannot be wholly disregarded or arbitrarily rejected. Rather, the testimony should be accepted as proof of the issue for which it is tendered, even though given by an interested party.” The appellate court further held “Because the only evidence presented was that of the wife, which was uncontroverted, and because the court did not make findings of fact concerning the credibility of the wife, the court was required to accept the wife’s testimony and grant the petition for injunction.”
If you need assistance seeking an injunction against domestic violence or defending against one, contact a Miami domestic violence attorney. A consultation may help you decide the best way to move forward.