Modification of Stalking Injunctions and Domestic Violence Injunctions
Yes. Stalking injunctions and domestic violence injunctions can be modified or dissolved under Florida law where there has been a substantial change in circumstances warranting the change. Where a party seeks to modify a stalking or domestic violence injunction and sufficient allegations are made in a motion to support the modification the court must then hold an evidentiary hearing to determine if the modification is justified, and if so, how the injunction will be changed.
Hence even a permanent injunction may not be permanent at all.
In Feldman v. Callins, the Fourth District Court of Appeals for the State of Florida reversed a trial court decision that dismissed a legally sufficient motion to dissolve or modify a stalking injunction. The Court ruled that the where a legally sufficient motion for modification has been filed a party must be given the opportunity to be heard on it.
If you need to talk to a lawyer about a stalking or domestic violence injunction or the modification or dissolution of one contact us to arrange a consultation.
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.
If you need to talk to a lawyer about a domestic violence or stalking injunction or a motion to set aside or obtain relief from an order, judgment, order or decree contact our office to schedule a consultation.