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Domestic Violence Attorney's fees & Sanctions Filing Meritless Claim

Posted by John P. 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 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.


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