To get a repeat violence injunction in Florida, the petitioner is required to demonstrate to the court that there have been two separate incidents of violence or stalking directed at the petitioner or a member of the petitioner’s immediate family – one of which must have occurred within the past 6 months of the filing of the petition.
“Violence” is defined as “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, or false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death, by a person against any other person.” § 784.046(1)(a), Fla. Stat. (2018).
Shouting and obscene hand gestures, without an overt act that places the petitioner in fear, is not considered the type of violence required to get an injunction. Even a representation that the respondent owns a gun and is not afraid of using it is insufficient to support an injunction without an overt act indicating an ability to carry out the threat or justifying a belief that violence is imminent. Additionally, sending unwanted flowers or no-threatening letters or cards are not sufficient to constitute stalking.
Each alleged incident of violence must be supported by competent, substantial evidence. Testimony from one person can be found to be competent, substantial evidence. This is a determination that is made by the Judge after hearing all the evidence presented.
Multiple acts arising from a single incident are not considered repeat violence where the acts are not separated by time or distance. However, as little as five minutes between two incidents has been found to be enough to get an injunction for repeat violence. Levy v. Jacobs, 69 So.3d 403 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011).
Usually, this type of injunction is filed on the neighbor in neighbor cases, co-worker against another co-worker, friend on a friend or other relationships that are not domestic or dating related.
Learn more about this statute here.
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