Contact Me for a Free Consultation (941) 257-5003


Criminal law -- Firearms -- Risk protection order -- Law enforcement officer

Posted by John P. Rutkowski | Sep 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

Appeal of Risk Protection Order (RPO) entered against appellant pursuant to section 790.401 based on appellant's homicidal ideation and overt desire to shoot a fellow law enforcement officer. Although it is possible that appellant's hostile words amounted to no more than hyperbole and hollow threats, record reasonably justified finding that appellant was at risk for committing a violent crime of passion and posed a significant danger where appellant had made specific threats with the wherewithal to carry them out, and hostile words were preceded by a loss of self-control, open aggression and property damage within police facility. A lack of evidence of a serious or reoccurring mental illness is not dispositive and does not preclude a RPO. Due process, Sequestration of witness. The Trial court did not abuse its discretion by applying section 90.616 to appellant's expert neuropsychologist and requiring him to remain outside courtroom prior to testifying. The Trial court's imposition of time limits on hearing was not an abuse of discretion or a denial of due process where trial court was not presented with a definitive motion for continuance on which to rule. Constitutionality of statute. There is nothing inherently vague about the terms “significant danger,” “relevant evidence,” and “mental illness” as used in RPO statute and the Court rejects argument that RPO statute is impermissibly broad and vague because it is “untethered to any central idea, subject, or danger” as argument is belied by legislature's own explanation for the law. The RPO statute does not violate substantive due process where statute requires a hearing within fourteen days of petition being filed, incorporates an added due process safeguard by requiring proponents to meet the heightened “clear and convincing” burden of proof standard, limits duration of the RPO to twelve months, and contains mechanism whereby a respondent can request early termination of the RPO.

Read Entire Opinion Here:

About the Author

John P. Rutkowski

Mr. Rutkowski has been practicing law for the past twenty-five years. Prior to going to law school Mr. Rutkowski served as a deputy sheriff before retiring to attend law school. Upon graduating law school Mr. Rutkowski served as a prosecutor in Florida before going in to private practice and representing clients in three states.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact us

John P. Rutkowski, Attorney at Law, firm represents clients in the area of driving under the influence, boating under the influence, Criminal & Civil Traffic Offenses. Contact me today for a free telephone consultation.