Legal Help from a Saint Lucie Injunction Lawyer
On February 20, 2023 the Indian River County Circuit Court dismissed an Injunction issued against KMLCLaw client, A.S., a twenty-three year old female and recent college graduate. The injunction was issued only seventeen (17) days before it was stricken by the Court.
H.K. filed a Petition for Injunction on February 3rd 2023, and the Court issued its five (5) page Order that same day. The Court Order was issued “ex parte,” meaning without benefit of hearing A.S.’s version of the events.
The Court’s Order prohibited A.S. from having any and all contact with H.K., either directly or indirectly, in person or through 3rd parties, whether by telephone, text message, email, fax, social media or any other means. She was prohibited from going within five hundred feet (500’) of H.K.’s residence or place of employment, as well as going within one hundred feet (100’) of his vehicle, whether or not the vehicle was occupied.
The Court order forbade A.S. from possessing a firearm, and required her to surrender any and all firearms she possessed!
Why did the Court issue the Order? Because H.K., who previously had a relationship with A.S., complained in his application for the Injunction, that A.S. was ‘text messaging’ him too often. He claimed he was being “stalked.”
A.S. promptly retained Kirschner & McEnery Law, Chartered, LLC to represent her in the Injunction proceeding. Saint Lucie criminal lawyer Jay Kirschner, Esq., represented A.S. at the adversary hearing held on February 16th, 2023. At the hearing’s conclusion, the Court required lawyers for both parties to submit law memos within forty-eight (48) hours, addressing issues raised by Kirschner prior to and during the hearing.
Just two (2) hours after the Trial Court received the law memos, it entered its Final Judgment Dismissing the Order it had issued just seventeen (17) days earlier—H.K.’s attempt to manipulate, control and harass A.S. after their relationship ended, failed miserably.
Unfortunately for us all, injunctive relief can be (and oftentimes is) abused by bad-faith players in the justice system, just as H.K. did here. Working promptly with the experienced trial counsel, an aggrieved citizen can halt these most egregious abuses, which naturally tend to occur whenever the Court hears only one (1) side of a story. A few words about injunctions:
INJUNCTIONS IN FLORIDA:
An Injunction is a Court Order requiring a citizen to either perform some act or acts, or to refrain from engaging in specified behaviors.
Typically injunctions will not be issued by a Court absent basic human, democratic and Constitutional rights, which lawyers often refer to as “due process of law”— meaning both parties to a dispute have an opportunity to present their side of the issue to a Court.
Injunctions however, sometimes may be issued ex parte, meaning they are issued by a Court after listening to only one person’s version of events. These kinds of Injunctions are intended to provide emergency relief to someone who reasonably fears for their own, or someone else’s health and safety, and in the face of direct and imminent harm.
An ex parte Injunction may result in a person losing possession of their home, their property, and even their children for a temporary period of time, or even permanently. If the Respondent is determined to have violated any of the terms of the Injunction, they not only may be subject to being found in Contempt of Court, but may even be subject to criminal prosecution! A Court may impose all of those ‘remedies’ based solely upon the filing of an affidavit [sworn statement], without even granting the aggrieved person an opportunity to tell their side of the story to the tribunal.
Although there are limited circumstances justifying a Court issuing an Injunction, and arguably even for ex parte Injunctive Relief, such an Injunction can have severe impacts and dire consequences upon the person against whom the Injunction is issued.
In this case, if A.S. had sent even a single text message to H.K. after the Temporary Injunction was issued and before it was dismissed, she would be in violation of its terms, and could have landed her in a jail cell.
Because ex parte Injunctions can result in severe damage and injustice, they are subject to certain safeguards, the most important being there must be an evidentiary hearing that occurs no later than fifteen (15) days after the Respondent is served a copy of the Injunction, in order to allow the Court to take testimony and evidence from both parties, rather than just the party seeking the Injunction.
Although there exists a rational basis for courts to issue Injunctions in certain extreme and dangerous situations—the Florida legislature in 2012 created a statute which permits a Court to issue ex parte injunctions based solely upon what the law describes as “stalking” and “cyberstalking” behaviors; Phrased alternatively, the Petitioner may obtain an Injunction merely by communicating with someone. (Please see: §784.0485, Fla. Stat).
Stalking and Cyberstalking includes harassing behavior causing substantial emotional distress; credible threats placing the Petitioner in fear for his or her safety, and electronically communicating with someone and causing them substantial emotional distress.
Unlike Florida’s domestic violence statute, which permits a Court to issue an ex parte Injunction to be issued when physical violence has occurred or appears to be certain to occur imminently, the “cyberstalking” statute may result in an Injunction being issued by the Court based solely upon written words communicated to a 3rd person.
Contact a Saint Lucie Injunction Lawyer
This statute is rife for abuse, and if you are served with an Injunction, we suggest you contact a Saint Lucie injunction lawyer at Kirschner & McEnery Law, Chartered, without delay at at (772) 489-8501.