Right to Get Guns Back Once Temporary Anti-Stalking Injunction Is Dismissed
From Wolfe v. Newton, decided yesterday by the Florida Court of Appeal (Judge Matthew Lucas, joined by Judges Craig Villanti and Robert Morris):
Lisa Newton and Mr. Wolfe lived on the same street in Tampa. Apparently, Mr. Wolfe became concerned with the manner in which Ms. Newton was keeping her dog and using an adjoining lot. Ms. Newton, in turn, became concerned with the manner in which Mr. Wolfe was monitoring her and her property. On March 17, 2020, Ms. Newton filed a petition for injunction for protection against stalking in the Hillsborough County Circuit Court, alleging that Mr. Wolfe had driven and walked around her house on a few occasions over the past year and recorded her on his mobile phone.
After reviewing Ms. Newton’s petition, a circuit judge [Frances M. Perrone] entered an ex parte temporary injunction for protection against stalking against Mr. Wolfe. In addition to ordering Mr. Wolfe to have no contact with or come within 500 feet of Ms. Newton, her home, or her place of employment, the ex parte injunction required Mr. Wolfe to surrender all of his firearms and ammunition to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Wolfe complied with the terms of the ex parte injunction and attended the return hearing that was set for March 25, 2020.
At the conclusion of that hearing, the circuit court entered two orders [denying and dismissing the petition]…. Both orders stated “[t]he [c]ourt does not find evidence of stalking as defined by Florida Statute section 784.048 and interpreted by the appellate courts.”
So no finding of stalking, no injunction, no decision that Wolfe had done anything back. Wolfe therefore asked for his guns back, given that “the court had both denied and dismissed the petition that had given rise to the ex parte temporary injunction against him.”
“Mr. Wolfe informs us that he was unable to obtain a date at that time, but six days later, on March 31, the court sua sponte set a hearing on his motion for June 4, 2020.” But then, on June 3, the judge’s assistant informed Wolfe that the judge wouldn’t rule o
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