A three-judge panel in the First District Court of Appeal has ruled that one single spank does not qualify as domestic violence, and unanimously quashed an injunction for protection against domestic violence issued against a man identified only as G.C.
Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence
The injunction for protection was issued by a lower court based upon accusations from the ex-wife of G.C. that he spanked their 14-year-old daughter once on the buttocks with his hand. The father had stated he spanked his daughter because she had been acting defiant and disrespectful – while the teen believed she was merely being sarcastic.
In making their decision, the court stated, “common law recognize[s] a parent’s right to discipline his or her child in a ‘reasonable manner’… a parent’s right to administer reasonable and non-excessive corporal punishment to discipline their children is legislatively recognized.”
Moreover, the court opined that since the law in Florida regarding domestic violence does not expressly exclude this common law defense, it is available to quash a injunction against domestic violence – and when the defense was applied in this particular case, the court ultimately concluded that “under established Florida law this single spank constituted reasonable and non-excessive parental corporal discipline and, as a matter of law, was not domestic violence.”
Under Florida law, domestic violence is generally any type of assault or adverse intentional action that results in an injury to any other member of the family or household – in this case it was between a father and daughter, but a more commonly occurs between a husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend.
Emotionally charged domestic violence accusations not only split families but also lead to a host of other severe consequences. Because of the seriousness surrounding domestic violence allegations, if you are a victim trying to get a restraining order or even the accused trying to protect your rights, it is important to contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer in your area.