Here is an email we received from a reader about her Manatee County Florida Court Experiences. Since it deals with Stalking and Restraining Orders, we are publishing it.
I was granted a order of protection against domestic violence in Manatee County Fl back in June 2010. This was extended to a lifetime order a few months later. My ex stalked be for 18 months, he was served with an arraignment date and never showed up to court. The court date was rescheduled six time and he never showed up. He continued to stalk me and no one in Fl helped. For nine months I was told (and this appeared on the court site) that he had a WRIT (war rent). Later I learned that the court had dropped the ball and never delivered the necessary paperwork to the sheriff. As he continued to stalk me I continued to file violations with the court. The only thing that resultedfrom this was that he obtained my confidential phone number from court records. Then he called me from a pay as you go phone and blocking his number. He called me over a thousand times with in three days. The police in Fl or the court did nothing to help me. I got the phone records on my own with the help of the local police in my home town. The police in my state helped me get the phone records to the state attorney in FL. Finally almost two years later he is charged (not with stalking) with contempt. The only reason he is found and served is that he is in jail on a UN related charge. He is released form jail and shows up for court, he sees me at court and walks up to me and says hello I love you . He gets arrested and the trial is rescheduled, finally he gets charged. In the months of June and July I file 20 complaints (with photos of his number on my phone) , The court rolls all his charges together and he receives ( after 18 months of stalking) 12 months probation and an additional 6 months probation and 5 days in jail.
The probation is backwards,, the first 12 months he has to fill out paper work one time a month, the second six months he has to report weekly and have drug and Alochol testing. He has never provided the court with a correct address. He still reports the wrong address to his PO and they do nothing. The judge I had has Janette Dunningham and she had the nerve to ask me when I said that he was calling my friends " how do you know it was him" Clearly this judge spent no time looking over myhundred es of pages of complaints. Had she done this she would have known it was him, I had witnesses and voice recordings. So he stalks me for 18 months, never shows up in court, makes me live in fear for all most two years. All he gets is 5 days in jail and backwards probation. best of all he plead guilty but got adjudication .Fl law is a joke and this is why women that leave abusive men end up dead!! And remember FL is the state taht set Casey Anthony free. I have no faith in FL courts. This same judge had my divorce case and he never has shown up in court for that case either.. yet no charges no contempt no failure to appear. The assistant DA David Davidson has been helpful, but he is the only one I can say that about. If you are a criminal and you get Judge Dunningham, you are lucky. If you are a victiam and you get her ask for another judge, be your own advocate do your own home work, do not expect the state of FL to do their job! gather your own evidence, they will do nothing for you!