When you move into a neighborhood, condominium or other community, you have an expectation and right to live there peaceably. Neighbors may disagree on occasion but if a person’s behavior is repeatedly outrageous and directed at you for no valid reason, you can and should obtain an injunction to stop these actions.
In the state of Florida if a neighbor or anyone is stalking you, you have a cause of action to file an injunction against them. With regard to a neighbor, stalking behaviors often include:
• Yelling or screaming
• Calling the police and lying about the other neighbor
• Grabbing a pet
• Otherwise behaving in an outrageous or obnoxious manner
Under the law, the behavior must be willful, malicious and repeated to qualify as stalking for the purposes of obtaining an injunction. Onetime arguments or similar events do not qualify as stalking.
Obtaining an Injunction
When a neighbor engages in a course of conduct directed at you with the goal of causing emotional distress for no legitimate purpose, contact a criminal defense attorney to assist you in obtaining an injunction. A successful injunction will assure that the neighbor has no further physical or verbal contact with you and bar them from trespassing on your property.
The injunction process begins when your attorney prepares and files a petition for an injunction. A judge reviews the petition and can grant a temporary injunction. This means that the neighbor cannot have any contact with you until a hearing has been held. If the injunction is violated, the neighbor can be arrested.
Usually, within two weeks after the temporary injunction has been granted, a hearing is held to determine if a more permanent injunction will be issued. These injunctions can be for:
• 6 months
• 1 Year
• 5 Years
Board certified criminal defense attorney Ben Stechschulte successfully prosecuted neighbor stalking cases during his service as a prosecutor in Hillsborough County. His deep understanding of stalking laws and the injunction process allows him to best represent his clients in these matters. If you are harassed by a neighbor and wish to file an injunction contact our office today.