final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, No.
16-13656 Ariana Fajardo Orshan, Judge.
Cristobal D. Padron & Assoc., P.A. and Cristobal D.
Padron, for appellant.
Orielyn Diaz Rodriguez, in proper person.
ROTHENBERG, LOGUE and LUCK, JJ.
Iraelio Alcolea Leal and wife Orielyn Diaz Rodriguez have
been married for five years and have a child together, but by
June 2016 the marriage had fallen apart. Diaz petitioned for
a domestic violence injunction based on an incident on June
3. The trial court, after an evidentiary hearing, granted the
petition and entered the "final judgment of injunction
for protection against domestic violence with minor
child(ren)." Leal appeals the final injunction because,
he contends, it was not supported by competent substantial
evidence. We disagree, and affirm.
trial court may grant an injunction where "the
petitioner is either the victim of domestic violence . . . or
has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent
danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence."
§ 741.30(6)(a), Fla. Stat. (2016). "Domestic
violence" is "any assault, aggravated assault,
battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery,
stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false
imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical
injury or death of one family or household member by another
family or household member." Id. §
741.28(2). Domestic violence, in sum, "requires some
showing of violence or a threat of violence." Young
v Smith, 901 So.2d 372, 373 (Fla. 2d DCA 2005). General
harassment, general relationship problems, and uncivil
behavior are not enough. Id.; Randolph v.
Rich, 58 So.3d 290, 292 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011).
determining whether a petitioner has reasonable cause to
believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim
of domestic violence, the court shall consider and evaluate,
" among other factors, "[t]he history between the
petitioner and the respondent, including threats, harassment,
stalking, physical abuse"; "[w]hether the
respondent has attempted to harm the petitioner or family
members or individuals closely associated with the
petitioner"; "whether the respondent has physically
restrained the petitioner from leaving the home"; and
"whether the respondent has destroyed personal
property" belonging to the petitioner. Id.
§ 741.30(6)(b)(1)-(10). That is, the trial court must
consider "the current allegations, the parties'
behavior within the relationship, and the history of the
relationship as a whole." Gill v. Gill, 50
So.3d 772, 774 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010).
Diaz (the wife) and Leal (the husband) had been having
problems for the last two years. When they were still living
together, Leal would not let Diaz work, have friends, or have
a relationship with her family. Leal would control Diaz's
time and money. When Leal finally let Diaz work, he would
accuse her of being somewhere else if she were five minutes
late. When Leal would get upset with Diaz, he would
"turn violent" and try to take her immigration
paperwork. Diaz testified that the last time Leal hit her was
in 2015. When Diaz finally ended the relationship for good in
August 2015, Leal threatened to leave her without her car,
license plate, and money.
the separation, Diaz and Leal would speak by telephone about
their son but Leal would make offensive comments. Diaz then
stopped talking to Leal by telephone and would only
communicate via text message but Leal still would make the
relationship came to a boil on June 3, 2016. On that day,
Diaz met Leal in the parking lot of her apartment building to
exchange their son. She held a backpack with their son's
aerosol machine. Leal came toward her using offensive
expressions and ordering their son to take the backpack. Diaz
asked Leal to take the backpack instead as it was very heavy.
Leal continued to use offensive language so Diaz put the bag
down and turned to leave. Leal ran up to Diaz and said
"f**kin'A, I'm going to destroy your life, you
don't know who I am, my name is Iraelio Alcolea Leal with
a capital I. Your mother and your father are going to cry.
And you are safe because you are the mother of my son, if not
I will destroy your life."
this evidence, we conclude, as the trial court did, that Diaz
established reasonable cause to believe she was in imminent
danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence. Leal
angrily came at Diaz on June 3, 2016, used profanity, asked
her if she knew who he was, and told her that he would
destroy her life and make her parents cry. The fact that Leal
would make Diaz's parents cry indicated that this was
more than an uncivil fight or relationship squabble about the
separation or child-sharing arrangement. Rather, Leal's
make-your-parents-cry statement was a threat that what he
would do to destroy Diaz would be so bad as to make her
parents upset to the point of tears. Together, the physical
act of approaching Diaz from his car, cursing at her, telling
her he was going to "destroy" her life and make her
parents cry, demonstrate a threat by Leal to be violent
belief, moreover, that Leal threatened her with violence was
objectively reasonable. See Randolph, 58 So.3d at
292 ("[T]he law requires that the party seeking the
injunction must present sufficient evidence to establish the
objective reasonableness of his or her fear the danger of
violence is 'imminent.'"). Considering the
factors in section 741.30(6)(b), as the court must, Leal had
turned violent against Diaz before, and as recently as 2015.
Leal controlled Diaz's relationships with family and
friends. Leal restricted Diaz from leaving their home. Leal
tried to take away Diaz's immigration paperwork, and
threated to take away her car, license and money. And
Leal's confrontation with Diaz was in front of their
child, in the parking lot of Diaz's apartment building.
Given these facts, Leal's assurance that "you are
safe" because Diaz was the mother of his son did not
make Diaz's belief any ...