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Someone in your situation essentially has three remedies available to them. Let us discuss them all.STAND ALONE RESTRAINING ORDER
The first thing that one needs to be aware of is that an individual always has the option of requesting a restraining order, known as an Injunction for Protection Against Stalking/Cyberstalking
This may be requested for an instances of harassment. Harassment is when someone commits a series of acts over a period of time against you, which causes you to have substantial emotional distress, and the acts serve no legitimate purpose. Fla. Stat. § 784.048 et seq
If their complaints are baseless and they are beginning to seriously harass you, this may be an option. Such a restraining order request can be filed in Court. They would then be served, and the Judge makes a decision. If they are ordered restrained from you, then their continuous allegations will receive less and less consideration from the authorities. They may also be prosecuted for breaching the restraining order.SUIT FOR DAMAGES AND AN INJUNCTION
In a variation to the matter, one has the option of filing an actual lawsuit. To sue in state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract
," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state. Every cause of action has its own elements, and each element has to be satisfied for a cause of action to be successful in court.
Here, their actions may be the basis for defamation
and intentional infliction of emotional distress
Under Florida law, the elements of a defamation claim are: (a) the defendant published a false statement; (b) about the plaintiff; (c) to a third party; and (d) the falsity of the statement caused injury to the plaintiff. Border Collie Rescue v. Ryan, 418 F.Supp.2d 1330, 1348 (M.D.Fla. 2006).
To establish a cause of action for the intentional infliction of emotional distress, four elements must be proven: (a) deliberate or reckless infliction of mental suffering; (b) outrageous conduct; (c) the conduct must have caused the emotional distress; and (d) the distress must be severe. Dominguez v. Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, 438 So.2d 58 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1983), approved, 467 So.2d 281 (Fla. 1985).
An injunction may be requested, first temporarily, and then permanently, as part of the suit. Punitive damages
may also be available.CRIMINAL COMPLAINT
Finally, know that if they begin to trespass unto your land or actively threaten you, calling 9-1-1 should not be an issue, provided that the apprehension is reasonable that they may become violent. The authorities may then initiate a criminal investigation. ATTORNEY AND A 'CEASE AND DESIST LETTER' - THE SENSIBLE APPROACH TO AN INSENSIBLE NEIGHBOR
Very often, a letter threatening
a lawsuit unless they cease and desist may work the matter, even without the need to file litigation
. A letter coming from an attorney helps, because it carries more 'gravitas.'
May I recommend the FL Bar referral program - here
. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.IMPORTANT
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