The headline “Law fails to keep pace with technology” grabbed my attention.
Sue Carlton, a Tampa Bay Times columnist, wrote earlier this month about victims of domestic, dating, or repeat violence (each action is defined separately in Florida law) and stalking.
Summary: She explained that a victim cannot seek protection when there are “no workers deputized as court clerks … available to take her sworn statement about what happened to her.” This could be after courthouse hours or when she, the victim, cannot get to a place–courthouse or certified DV (domestic violence) shelter–during the times when deputized staff are available. I say “she” because 85% of violence victims are women.
Carlton, backed up by Hillsborough Court Clerk Pat Frank, would like Florida to allow victims to be able to initiate petitions online for temporary injunctions against domestic, repeat and dating violence, and stalking without having to be in the physical presence of a court clerk or notary public.
Carlton’s column raises valid questions on how and where victims may seek protective injunctions. Continue reading