Stalking Injunction Respondent, John Richards asked for relief from an injunction against stalking pursuant to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.540. Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.540 provides the possibility of relief from an order, judgment, or decree where there has been a clerical mistake, mistake, inadvertence, excusable neglect, newly discovered evidence, or fraud. There are some very specific procedural requirements that must be observed for relief to be granted under the Rule.
Mr. Richards claimed in support of his motion that he was of low to average intelligence and had poor comprehension, did not understand what the injunction was, or understand the notice of evidentiary hearing so he did not attend the evidentiary hearing at which the injunction was entered against him. In support of his Motion to set aside the injunction Mr. Richards filed affidavits sworn to by both himself and his mother. The trial court summararily denied Mr. Richards Motion without conducting a hearing.
Stalking Injunction Set Aside
In Richards v. Crowder, the Fourth District Court of Appeals for the sate of Florida reversed the trial court’s denial of Mr. Richard’s Motion stating that the Motion was facially sufficient as Florida law recognizes that illness, psychological condition, lack of the ability to read, and lack of comprehension can all support a finding of excusable neglect that can lead to relief from a court judgment such that the trial court should have conducted an evidentiary hearing on the Motion rather than denying it outright. The trial court was instructed to hold an evidentiary hearing on Mr. Richards’ Motion.
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