The three type of injunctions or restraining orders we primarily deal with as family law attorneys are injunctions for repeat violence, injunctions for domestic violence, and injunctions for dating violence. These injunctions were recently expanded to address and encompass “cyberstalking.”
Cyberstalking has been defined by the Second District Court of Appeals to include “engaging in a course of conduct to communicate, or cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail, or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.” This definition specifically addresses email, but can also be interpreted broadly enough to include actions through social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
If cyberstalking has occurred between family members, as defined in the statute authorizing domestic violence injunctions, only one instance of cyberstalking needs to be proven to obtain a domestic violence injunction. However, if the cyberstalking occurs between non-family members and a domestic violence injunction is not available, there must be multiple incidences of cyberstalking or other prohibited behaviors to qualify for a repeat violence injunction.