Monday, May 20, 2013

Stand Your Ground Law Abused Again

I think our legislators in Florida need to review the Stand Your Ground Law. I doubt they were thinking of HOA drama when they passed the bill, but we are about to have another Trayvon Martin issue.

I represent a client in a voluntary HOA. They refused to admit they were voluntary until I stepped in to represent the client. Another homeowner is friends with my client and accompanied her to the mediation (these are elderly and/or disabled people and a co-pilot was needed for the drive). We thought all was worked out, but evidently the HOA has some hot heads in the community.

The client and her friend were followed by the HOA president and two board members. When they arrived home this man began a verbal altercation with the friend. Later that day the HOA president sees the friend and her husband headed for their evening bike ride to the common areas and not only locks them out of the common areas, but pulls a gun on them when they asked him if he was going to unlock the gate. Using his cell phone to tape the incident, he announced "I fear for my life" and pulls out the gun.

If this guy feared for his life by two disabled people, both smaller than him, then why did he go to their home earlier? Why did he follow them when he saw them on their bikes? Why didn't he leave after locking the gate?

Yes, the law has no duty to retreat, but I don't think it was intended for you to stalk people either.

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