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Domestic Violence Attorney's fees & Sanctions Filing Meritless Claim

Posted by John Rutkowski | Jan 11, 2018 | 0 Comments

Petitioner filed a petition for injunction for protection against repeat and dating violence under section 784.046, Florida Statutes, against Respondent, and received a temporary injunction.

After the circuit court extended the injunction protection until further order, Respondent moved for attorney's fees and sanctions under section 57.105, Florida Statutes, claiming that Petitioner perjured herself in her petitions.

Petitioner later voluntarily dismissed her action. The trial court then denied Respondent's motion for attorney's fees, holding that section 784.046 contains no provisions authorizing an award of section 57.105 attorney's fees on any basis.

Respondent appealed, and the First District reversed the trial court's ruling, holding that an award of section 57.105 attorney's fees is not prohibited in an action under 784.046 and certifying direct conflict with case law that disallowed attorney fees.

The Supreme Court of Florida held section 57.105 awarding attorney fees may be applied to repeat, dating, and sexual violence injunction proceedings under section 784.046.

About the Author

John Rutkowski

Mr. Rutkowski has been practicing law for the past twenty-three years. Prior to practicing law Mr. Rutkowski served twelve years as a deputy sheriff, retiring to attend law school. Starting his law-enforcement career as a patrol deputy which included two years on the DUI squad; Mr. Rutkowski moved up the ranks becoming a corporal in the field training program which give him the responsibility for training new recruits.


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