2023 Florida Statutes< Back to Statute Search
Title XLVI CRIMES
Chapter 825 ABUSE, NEGLECT, AND EXPLOITATION OF ELDERLY PERSONS AND DISABLED ADULTS
SECTION 1036Violation of an injunction for protection against exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
825.1036 Violation of an injunction for protection against exploitation of a vulnerable adult.—
(1) In the event of a violation of an injunction for protection against exploitation of a vulnerable adult when the person who violated such injunction has not been arrested, the petitioner may contact the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred. The clerk of the circuit court shall assist the petitioner in the preparation of an affidavit in support of the violation or direct the petitioner to the office operated by the court within the circuit which has been designated by the chief judge of the judicial circuit as the central intake point for injunction violations and where the petitioner can receive assistance in the preparation of the affidavit in support of the violation. As used in this section, and in addition to the definitions provided in this chapter, exploitation of a vulnerable adult includes a person 65 years of age or older who is or may be subject to exploitation as described in s. 817.5695.
(2) The affidavit shall be immediately forwarded by the clerk of the circuit court or the office assisting the petitioner to the state attorney of the circuit and to the court or judge as the chief judge of the circuit determines to be the recipient of affidavits of violation. If the affidavit alleges that a crime has been committed, the clerk of the circuit court or the office assisting the petitioner shall also forward a copy of the affidavit to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation. Within 20 days after receipt of the affidavit, the local law enforcement agency shall complete its investigation and forward the affidavit and a report containing the agency’s findings to the state attorney. The state attorney shall determine within 30 business days whether its office will proceed to file criminal charges, prepare a motion for an order to show cause as to why the respondent should not be held in criminal contempt, prepare both as alternative findings, or file notice that the case remains under investigation or is pending subject to another action.
(3) If, based on its familiarity with the case, the court has knowledge that the vulnerable adult is in immediate danger if the court fails to act before the decision of the state attorney to prosecute, it should immediately issue an order of appointment of the state attorney to file a motion for an order to show cause as to why the respondent should not be held in contempt. If the court does not issue an order of appointment of the state attorney, it shall immediately notify the state attorney that the court is proceeding to enforce the violation through a ruling of criminal contempt.
(4)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a person who willfully violates an injunction for protection against exploitation of a vulnerable adult commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. A person may violate such injunction by:
1. Refusing to vacate the dwelling shared with the vulnerable adult;
2. Going to or being within 500 feet of the vulnerable adult’s residence;
3. Exploiting or unduly influencing the vulnerable adult;
4. Committing any other violation of the injunction through an intentional unlawful threat, word, or act to do violence to the vulnerable adult;
5. Telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the vulnerable adult directly or indirectly, unless the injunction specifically allows indirect contact through a third party;
6. Knowingly and intentionally coming within 100 feet of the vulnerable adult’s motor vehicle, regardless of whether that vehicle is occupied; or
7. Defacing or destroying the vulnerable adult’s personal property.
(b) A person who has two or more prior convictions for violation of an injunction or foreign protection order against the same victim, and who subsequently commits a violation of any injunction or foreign protection order against the same victim, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “conviction” means a determination of guilt which is the result of a plea or a trial, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld or a plea of nolo contendere is entered.
(5) A vulnerable adult who suffers an injury or loss as a result of a violation of an injunction for protection against exploitation of a vulnerable adult may be awarded economic damages and attorney fees and costs for enforcement of such injunction.
(6) A financial institution holding assets or having issued a line of credit ordered to be frozen under s. 825.1035 is not considered a party to the action and is not liable for damages or penalty by reason of any action or inaction made in accordance with s. 825.1035. No private cause of action may be brought against a financial institution for any action or inaction made pursuant to an injunction or any other court order entered pursuant to s. 825.1035, unless such action was a knowing and intentional violation of the injunction.
History.—s. 3, ch. 2018-100; s. 4, ch. 2023-133.