Emotions may run high between partners or spouses during or in the aftermath of a divorce. The temptation to lash out at one another using Facebook or Twitter should be avoided. Unfortunately, statistics demonstrate that incidents of cyberstalking are on the increase nationwide. Cyberstalking is a technology-based attack on an individual for reasons of revenge, anger or control and it consitutes a serious threat to anyone’s peace of mind.
Cyberstalking is a third degree felony under Florida Law. F.S. 784.048 defines it cyberstalking as follows: to engage in a course of conduct, to communicate or cause to be communicated, using 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.
Methods of cyberstalking include using social media, email, or text messages to make false accusations and insult or threaten. Perpetrators sometimes monitor on line activities, gather personal information from third parties on the internet, or make up false FaceBook pages, all in an effort to intimidate the victim. Reported incidents include harrassers who hack into a victim’s computer using passwords they picked up during the relationship then track on-line activities from a remote computer. They may order unwanted goods and services for the victim or even pretend to be victimized themselves.
In Florida, an individual who is the victim of cyberstalking or the parent of a victim, may seek an injunction for protection by filing a sworn petition in the circuit court. The court will hold a hearing on the petition within 15 days to hear the evidence. Gathering the appropriate evidence is critical to developing the case.
If you believe you are the victim of cyberstalking, you need legal advice. We may be able to assist you in obtaining an injunction for protection. Call us to arrange a consultation at 257-1222.
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