Recent Domestic Violence (Protection Order) Cases (2021)
Domestic abuse and violence in Florida is an area of law that is evolving especially with the growth of social media. Some common issues here, which usually result in a restraining order being issued, relate to stalking (online or otherwise), dating violence, and threats or violence by a former spouse or ex-significant other. Below are the most recent domestic violence cases from the appellate courts related to these issues which were decided in 2021.
Domestic Violence Against Former Wife
Caddy v. Robinson – District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth District. June 30, 2021 – 323 So.3d 749
Headline: Trial court’s finding that the former wife was the victim of domestic violence by the former husband was supported by competent, substantial evidence.
Summary of Issue: Where a court finds that a petitioner is in fact the victim of domestic violence, it does not need to find that she is also in imminent fear in order to issue an injunction under the statute governing the issuance of injunctions for victims of domestic violence. Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 741.28(2), 741.30(1)(a).
DiTanna v. Edwards – District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth District. June 30, 2021 – 323 So.3d 194
Headline: Ex-boyfriend’s conduct in filing complaints with former partner’s employer and gym served a legitimate purpose, and thus, did not amount to stalking.
Summary of Issues: 1) Trial courts have broad discretion in granting injunctions for protection against domestic violence, and unless a clear abuse of discretion is demonstrated, appellate courts will not disturb a trial court’s decision.
2) Proof of recent stalking can be sufficient to establish the act of violence required for the issuance of a domestic violence injunction. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 741.30(1)(a).
3) Ex-boyfriend’s communications with former partner’s neighbors and friends amounted to more than annoyance or embarrassment and, thus, were sufficient to establish the element of distress necessary for stalking, for purposes of former partner’s petition for injunction for protection against domestic violence based on stalking; ex-boyfriend advised neighbor to stay away and keep her son away from former partner and contacted former partner’s friends to warn them of listening devices, suspected criminal conduct, and suspicions of misbehavior at former partner’s workplace, which would warrant a reasonable person to be put in substantial emotional distress over such conduct. Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 741.30, 784.048.
Imminent Dating Violence
Frost v. Wilson – District Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District. April 9, 2021 – 320 So.3d 820
Headline: Former girlfriend failed to demonstrate that former boyfriend’s online activity created objectively reasonable fear of imminent dating violence.
Summary of Issue: To determine whether reasonable cause exists for an injunction against dating violence, a trial court must consider the current allegations, the parties’ behavior within the relationship, and the history of the relationship as a whole. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 784.046(2)(b).
Whitfield v. Meeks – District Court of Appeal of Florida, First District. July 15, 2021 – 324 So.3d 565
Headline: Insufficient evidence supported the finding that the petitioner had a reasonable fear of imminent danger related to dating violence.
Summary of Issues: 1) To obtain an injunction against dating violence, a petitioner must prove with competent, substantial evidence that she has reasonable cause to believe that she is in imminent danger of another, future act of dating violence. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 784.046(2)(b).
2) In determining whether reasonable cause exists to believe that a petitioner for an injunction against dating violence is in imminent danger of another act of dating violence, the trial court must consider the current allegations, the parties’ behavior within the relationship, and the history of the relationship as a whole. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 784.046(2)(b).
As these recent cases show, domestic violence and abuse issues can be complex. When you’re ready, please fill out the form on our Contact Us page or give us a call at (954) 880-1302. We’ll listen to your case and explain your rights.
These recent domestic violence cases are for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Florida family law is complicated and is always changing. Therefore, we strongly recommend talking with an experienced family law attorney to learn your rights.