Neighbor Harassment Laws and Statutes in Florida

Written by lindsay nixon
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Neighbor Harassment Laws and Statutes in Florida
An order of protection is commonly referred to as a restraining order. (gavel image by Cora Reed from Fotolia.com)

Under Florida law, the term harassment includes any act of aggression or intimidation, or repeated unwanted contact. Florida law also recognises that individuals can be harassed by anyone, including family members, coworkers and neighbours. If you are a victim of harassment by a neighbour in Florida, you can obtain an order of protection against your neighbour through a Petition for an Injunction for Protection Against Repeat Violence to stop the harassment.

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Legal Requirements

To be eligible to obtain an order of protection against your neighbour, your neighbour must have committed two or more acts of violence against you or a member of your family, such as a spouse or child, one of which occurred within the last six months. Additionally, the acts of violence do not need to be against the same family member and parents can obtain orders of protection on behalf of their minor children.

Florida law defines a violent act as any act that includes assault, battery, stalking, kidnapping, sexual assault, false imprisonment or any other crime that causes a physical injury.

Petition for an Injunction for Protection Against Repeat Violence

To obtain an order of protection against a harassing neighbour in Florida, you must complete and file a Petition for an Injunction for protection Against Repeat Violence with the court clerk. The petition form is available online or you can get a copy of the form directly from the court clerk. Once the form is completed, it must be notarised and then filed. Unlike most court documents, there is no filing fee for a petition for an Injunction for Protection Against Repeat Violence. Once the petition has been filed, the clerk will give it to the judge who will hold a brief hearing where you will have the opportunity to explain the circumstances and why you are seeking a restraining order against your neighbour. A temporary restraining order will then be issued and a police officer or other law enforcement worker will serve it on your neighbour.

Restraining Orders

After a temporary restraining order is issued, the court will hold a hearing where both parties, you and your neighbour, will go before the court and present your case. The court will then make a determination whether a permanent Order of Protection should be granted. The length and terms of the Order of Protection are determined by the judge.

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