According to Florida law, both case law and statutory law, a victim must provide competent, substantial evidence that he or she is in imminent danger (see a list of 10 factors below) of becoming a victim of domestic violence in order for a domestic violence restraining order to be issued:
Florida Statute 741.30 (6)(a) states:
(6)(a) Upon notice and hearing, when it appears to the court that the petitioner is either the victim of domestic violence as defined by s. 741.28 or has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, the court may grant such relief as the court deems proper.
And, according to Robinson v. Robinson – District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fifth District. 257 So.3d 1187:
A domestic violence injunction must be supported by competent substantial evidence. Zapiola v. Kordecki, 210 So.3d 249, 250 (Fla. 2d DCA 2017) (citing Leaphart v. James, 185 So.3d 683, 685 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016) ). And, “[w]hen evaluating whether competent, substantial evidence supports a trial court’s ruling, ‘[l]egal sufficiency … as opposed to evidentiary weight, is the appropriate concern of an appellate tribunal.’ ” 1189 Brilhart v. Brilhart ex rel. S.L.B., 116 So.3d 617, 619 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013) (quoting Tibbs v. State, 397 So.2d 1120, 1123 (Fla. 1981) ). “[T]he question of whether the evidence is legally sufficient to justify imposing an injunction is a question of law that we review de novo.” Pickett v. Copeland, 236 So.3d 1142, 1144 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018) (citing Wills v. Jones, 213 So.3d 982, 984 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016) ).
10 Factors a Court Must Evaluate To Determine Imminent Danger
(b) In determining whether a petitioner has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, the court shall consider and evaluate all relevant factors alleged in the petition, including, but not limited to:
- The history between the petitioner and the respondent, including threats, harassment, stalking, and physical abuse.
- Whether the respondent has attempted to harm the petitioner or family members or individuals closely associated with the petitioner.
- Whether the respondent has threatened to conceal, kidnap, or harm the petitioner’s child or children.
- Whether the respondent has intentionally injured or killed a family pet.
- Whether the respondent has used, or has threatened to use, against the petitioner any weapons such as guns or knives.
- Whether the respondent has physically restrained the petitioner from leaving the home or calling law enforcement.
- Whether the respondent has a criminal history involving violence or the threat of violence.
- The existence of a verifiable order of protection issued previously or from another jurisdiction.
- Whether the respondent has destroyed personal property, including, but not limited to, telephones or other communications equipment, clothing, or other items belonging to the petitioner.
- Whether the respondent engaged in any other behavior or conduct that leads the petitioner to have reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.
In making its determination under this paragraph, the court is not limited to those factors enumerated in subparagraphs 1.–10.
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