Fla. Court: 1 Spank Isn't Domestic Violence

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - September 16, 2011 -

An appeals court says a single spank doesn't qualify as domestic violence.

A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal on
Friday quashed an injunction for protection against domestic
violence.

It cited common law and a 2002 Florida Supreme Court ruling that
says reasonable or non-excessive corporal punishment can be used as a defense against child abuse charges.

Circuit Judge Karen Gievers of Tallahassee had issued the injunction against a father identified in the ruling only as "G.C."

He had been accused by his former wife of spanking their
14-year-old daughter once on the buttocks with his hand.

The father said the teen had been disrespectful and defiant. The
girl said she was only being sarcastic.


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  • by Another GC Daughter on Sep 21, 2011 at 08:15 AM
    I'm really glad that the Associated Press got only the Defendant's (G.C.) side of the story. His words were reported to a T. My sister's, however, were not. Not once did she say that "she was only being sarcastic." People are assuming things based on a partially reported story. You don't know what goes on behind closed doors, and neither does the Associated Press.
  • by what? on Sep 17, 2011 at 03:12 AM
    what I dont get is that this man is arrested for ONE SPANK and my ex husband has beat my son with bruises all over his back and legs (ALL OVER) and NO ONE did a thing! DCF did not even interview him!!! The whole system needs to be fixed.
    • reply
      by me on Sep 17, 2011 at 04:02 PM in reply to what?
      Take photos, get medical report, file charges for assault & battery.
  • by Boone Location: Carrabelle on Sep 17, 2011 at 02:36 AM
    1 spank is not abuse. BUT, isn't 14 a little old to be spanking?
    • reply
      by DD on Sep 17, 2011 at 02:19 PM in reply to Boone
      I thought that exact thing when I read that. Spanking once the kid is in the double digits is a little too old.
      • reply
        by me on Sep 17, 2011 at 04:18 PM in reply to DD
        Me too, double digit spanking seems to be about treating a young adult as a child rather than helping them learn how to make mature decisions & dealing with the consequences. Sometimes they are incapable of seeing the bigger picture but beating your point of view into them only means they'll do what you say while you're able to intimidate them.
  • by vc Location: ga on Sep 16, 2011 at 06:44 PM
    i'm glad i live in georgia, where the simple minded people are, but and however, "tallahassee" ya'll are already there "stupidville."
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Sep 17, 2011 at 03:18 AM in reply to vc
      WINNER!!! "Pointless comment on the string" Award.
  • by Noname on Sep 16, 2011 at 05:50 PM
    I think this dicision is spot-on. One spank definitely should not constitute any kind of abuse. It will be interesting what law enforcement and the State Attorney's office will charge this man with now. I know of a person in jail that the criminal justice system is trying to pin a sexual battery charge on because of one spank. I swear I believe that arrests being made these days are all about the money. The heck with law enforcement really investigating something. Most of them go by their beliefs and not evidence, and the State Attorney allows this.
  • by Commonsense Location: Tallahassee on Sep 16, 2011 at 04:51 PM
    Of course its not domestic battery; did we really need a judge to tell us this? I bet the cop she called to the house told her that that night. I hope she (the mom) has to pay court costs for this incident, and not the tax payers. Maybe if more parents were willing to do what dad did here, we wouldn't have all these near-do-well out of control kids around here. It does NOT take a village, it takes responsible parents.
  • by joe Location: quincy on Sep 16, 2011 at 04:41 PM
    just 10 years ago when my daughter was 13, she ran off and messed around with a 17 year old in gadsden county. i called the law and when she showed up around 5am, the deputy told me to tear her tail up. I did. nuff said
  • by Anonymous on Sep 16, 2011 at 04:38 PM
    "The girl said she was only being sarcastic." Oh really! She's "only being sarcastic" to her parents, how noble of her! HOGWASH! t's o.k for her to be sarcastic with people her age but adults are off limits. The problem with today's youth is they see no distiction between themselves and adult authority and no one stands up to these hormonal brats/beasts. One spank! From me there would have been more than one and I would dare her to call DCF unless she was prepared to leave my home permanently. Children who sass and use sarcasm toward their parents don't deserve to live in the same home with their parents.
  • by me Location: here on Sep 16, 2011 at 03:59 PM
    In my house spanking is used as last resort to take control of misbehaving kids. As a tool to get their attention it is very effective, but I always warn them first to give them time to self correct. My kids rules are based around freedom, responsibilty & consequences hopefully it is something they will carry with them & not need to learn the hard way. BTW my eldest son told me at 7 yo that he didn't like getting smacked & this has helped create a more articulate, confident & socially responsible young man. At some point kids need to learn that overwhelming force is not the only or indeed the best solution for handling problems (particularily when dealing with frustration or anger).
  • by whatever on Sep 16, 2011 at 03:47 PM
    It's too bad after the judges handed down their decision, they didn;t turn around and charge the mother with contempt of court for bringing such a stupid lawsuit and wasting God knows how much money in order to try and get back at her ex-husband. Ridiculous.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Sep 17, 2011 at 03:17 AM in reply to whatever
      I love this comment. It is SO true and I said the same thing when I first read the article!
    • reply
      by Mike on Sep 17, 2011 at 02:28 PM in reply to whatever
      Mommy needs a spanking......
      • reply
        by me on Sep 17, 2011 at 04:22 PM in reply to Mike
        Mike is on the money
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