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As a followup to stalking / harassement, after a police report is filed, it is my understanding that the remedy for such a matter is a restraining order.

  • Is there any reason that the aggressor would not be considered for a restraining order?
  • Is there "best practice" for filing a restraining order?
  • Are there alternative remedies to restraining order?

UPDATE / CLARIFICATION

Victims indicates feeling threatened by the stalker as the suspect is unmasked, does not maintain distance, and seeks to step in the path of the walking victim, forcing the victim to alter direction to maintain distance.

In my opinion, the intentional invasion of personal space during the COVID pandemic is no different than brandishing a firearm as more people will be felled by the pandemic in 2020 & 2021 than firearms.

REQUEST

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2 Answers 2

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You should probably look for a local lawyer and ask for a consultation. You do not have to hire the attorney, just discuss the situation and see what is advised. Alternatively, ask an officer handling your case as to next possible steps to take.

Whether or not you can get a restraining order, you should definitely look into options for personal self-defense. While I would never advise someone who is uncomfortable with handling fire arms to get one, if you decide to go this route, Florida is not a difficult state to procure one and if you do so, do take a fire arms safety and shooting course (As a former FL citizen, I had a co-work tell me the story about the time was filling out paperwork for his first gun he bought at the Sheriff's office, the deputy processing the form read it over and said, "Okay, I see you're getting the gun for home defense. Just so you know, if you are ever in a situation where you do have to defend yourself with a gun, ALWAYS shoot to kill. It's less paperwork for us." I found it a surprising tell of where the law sits on the matter of use of deadly force. You also have Stand your ground self-defense). Otherwise I would recomend looking into martial arts or self-defense courses so you can get yourself out of a physical altercation.

Remember, a restraining order makes it a crime for your ex to approach you within a certain distance. It does not put a force field around you should he try to hurt you. And you can't be certain a cop or another person will get there in time to help you.

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  • It is not a surprise to receive signals that LE seeks to minimize paper work. Thank you for the guidance: good advice in the last paragraph
    – gatorback
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 1:34
  • @gatorback: I just found it amusing as to where the officers concerns lie and how casual he was about it. That said, I know enough about gun safety that if you must shoot, always shoot to kill. And despite advising where to aim for being incorrect, Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War is a good example of why you shoot to kill... cause they might shoot their gun back at you.
    – hszmv
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 11:47
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This page gives an overview of the legal parts of restraining orders. Your petition has to fall into one of four categories (see the included statutes). For example, "domestic violence" is where you have "reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim between individuals 'who are spouses, former spouses, or persons related by blood or marriage who are residing or have resided together as a family, or individuals who are residing together or have resided together as if family, or individuals who have a child in common'", but "repeated violence" is "'two acts of violence or stalking' on two separate occasions, one of which must be within the past 6 months". Let's say this falls into the "repeated violence" category. The associated form gives a bit of guidance. You would want to consult Fla. Stat. §784.046 and especially §784.048, which explains what it means to "harass" or "stalk". To wit:

“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.

A person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of stalking, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

The statute doesn't define stalking, but it seems that "harassing" is potentially applicable. The court then must judge the defendant's course of conduct to decide if it is directed at a person and causes substantial emotional distress for no legitimate purpose. Since you are asking the court to limit the rights of another person, you have to establish that the person's course of conduct is in fact prohibited by law, so it you don't do that, the petition is unlikely to be granted.

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