Florida Stalking Injunctions
Can You Get a Restraining Order for Harassment?
Stalking is when someone intentionally, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses or cyberstalks you. To get an injunction for stalking, you have to do the following:
- Allege and prove at least two separate instances of stalking.
- “Stalking” means willful, malicious, and repeated following, harassing, or cyberstalking.
- “Harass” means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose. In general, contact is “legitimate” when there is a reason for the contact other than to harass the victim. Also, when the court determines whether “substantial emotional distress” has been established, it must use a reasonable person standard – not a subjective one. In other words, even if you felt substantially emotionally distressed, it would not be enough if a “reasonable person” would not have felt substantially emotionally distressed by the action.
- “Cyberstalking” is a series of events that communicate words or images through e-mail or other electronic means and causes you substantial emotional distress.
Sending unwanted flowers or non-threatening letters or cards are not sufficient to constitute stalking. Destroying property or harming family pets are examples of what probably would qualify.
To obtain or fight a stalking injunction, there are several steps you need to take.
Learn more about this statute here.