My Car Was Keyed, Can I get an Injunction?

A recent First District Court of Appeals case dealt with the question of whether having your car keyed is sufficient evidence to get an injunction against the perpetrator. In Williams v. Gonder, Williams was accused of keying Gonder’s car after a confrontation that occurred at 3:00 a.m. one morning. There was also allegations that William’s keyed Gonder’s car again a few months later. Gonder filed a petition for injunction for repeat violence and the trial court in Leon County granted the injunction. The appellate court reversed the trial court’s ruling and held that the injunction was granted in error.

The appellate court held that Florida Statute, Section 784.046(2), creates a cause of action for an injunction for protection in cases of repeat violence. “Violence” means “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, or false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death, by a person against any other person.” Repeat violence means “two incidents of violence or stalking committed by the respondent, one of which must have been within 6 months of the filing of the petition, which are directed against the petitioner or the petitioner's immediate family member.

The appellate court found that neither of the alleged acts of violence satisfied the statute. In fact, the appellate court stated that the only “violence” either of the alleged acts could have come remotely close to satisfying is the “any other criminal offense”, which still would fail because the acts did not result in “physical injury or death.” The appellate court stated that there wasn’t even competent that the second act occurred. Acts of repeat violence and domestic violence are serious actions that should be addressed. If you feel that you are a victim of violence, contact your expert family law attorney to discuss the options available to you. Despite this ruling that keying someone’s car does not constitute evidence sufficient for an injunction, we always advise against keying anyone’s car.

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