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In re Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases- Report 2019-08

Supreme Court of Florida

January 16, 2020

IN RE: STANDARD JURY INSTRUCTIONS IN CRIMINAL CASES- REPORT 2019-08.

         NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF FILED, DETERMINED.

          Original Proceeding - Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases

          Judge F. Rand Wallis, Chair, Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases, Daytona Beach, Florida; and Bart Schneider, Staff Liaison, Office of the State Courts Administrator, Tallahassee, Florida, for Petitioner

          PER CURIAM.

         The Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases (Committee) has submitted proposed changes to the standard jury instructions and asks that the Court authorize the amended standard instructions for publication and use. We have jurisdiction. See art. V, § 2(a), Fla. Const.

         The Committee proposes amending standard criminal jury instructions 8.6 (Stalking), 8.7(a) (Aggravated Stalking), 8.7(b) (Aggravated Stalking (Injunction Entered)), 8.7(c) (Aggravated Stalking (Victim under 16 years of age)), and 8.7(d) (Aggravated Stalking (Defendant previously sentenced for sex offense and was prohibited from contacting victim)). The Committee filed its report after publishing the proposals in The Florida Bar News. No comments were received by the Committee.

         Having considered the Committee's report, we amend the standard jury instructions as proposed by the Committee and authorize them for publication and use. All of the instructions are updated to include the amended definition for "cyberstalk" based upon chapter 2019-167, section 31, Laws of Florida, which amended section 784.048(1)(d), Florida Statutes (2019). In addition, instruction 8.7(b) is amended to move the citation to Seese v. State, 955 So.2d 1145 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007), from the comment section to above the definition for "maliciously." Finally, in instruction 8.7(d), the citation to Seese and the definition for "maliciously" are added.

         The amended criminal jury instructions, as set forth in the appendix to this opinion, are hereby authorized for publication and use.[1] New language is indicated by underlining, and deleted language is indicated by struck-through type. We caution all interested parties that any comments associated with the instructions reflect only the opinion of the Committee and are not necessarily indicative of the views of this Court as to their correctness or applicability. In authorizing the publication and use of these instructions, we express no opinion on their correctness and remind all interested parties that this authorization forecloses neither requesting additional or alternative instructions nor contesting the legal correctness of the instructions. The instructions as set forth in the appendix shall become effective when this opinion becomes final.

         It is so ordered.

          CANADY, C.J., and POLSTON, LABARGA, LAWSON, and MUÑIZ, JJ., concur.

         APPENDIX

         8.6 STALKING

         § 784.048(2), Fla. Stat.

         To prove the crime of Stalking, the State must prove the following element beyond a reasonable doubt:

         (Defendant) willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly [followed] [harassed] [or] [cyberstalked] (victim).

         Definitions.

         § 784.048(1)(a), Fla. Stat.

         "Harass" means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.

         § 784.048(1)(b), Fla. Stat.

         "Course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, which evidences a continuity of purpose. The term does not include constitutionally protected activity such as picketing or other organized protests.

         Patterson v. State, 512 So.2d 1109 (Fla. 1st DCA 1987).

         "Willfully" means knowingly, intentionally and purposely.

         Give if applicable.

         § 784.048(1)(d), Fla. Stat.

         "Cyberstalk" means [to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, ] [or] [to access or attempt to access the online accounts or Internet-connected home electronic systems of another person without that person's permission, ] causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.

         Lesser Included Offenses

STALKING - 784.048(2)

CATEGORY ONE

CATEGORY TWO

FLA. STAT.

INS. NO.

None

Attempt

777.04(1)

5.1

         Comment

         This instruction was approved in 1995 [657 So.2d 1152] and amended in 2007 [953 So.2d 495], and 2013 [131 So.3d 755], and 2020.

         8.7(a) AGGRAVATED STALKING

         § 784.048(3), Fla. Stat.

         To prove the crime of Aggravated Stalking, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1. (Defendant) willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly [followed] [harassed] [or] [cyberstalked] (victim); and
2. (Defendant) made a credible threat to (victim).

         Definitions.

         § 784.048(1)(a), Fla. Stat.

         "Harass" means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that ...


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