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Florida Supreme Court Ruling: Stand Your Ground not Automatic in Civil Suits

September 29th, 2017 by Jake Stofan
A Florida Supreme Court ruling has opened the door for civil suits against people immune from criminal prosecution based on Stand Your Ground.
The NRA says it opens the doors for criminals to take legal action against victims.
A Tampa bar fight in 2008 between two men ended with one of them suffering permanent eye damage.
The second claimed and was grated protection under stand your ground
The injured man filed a civil suit. An appeals court threw it out, but the Supreme Court, in its ruling, said civil suits can go forward, even if immunity was granted in criminal cases.
“What the courts did was kind of clarify that and say that the immunity doesn’t automatically carry over into civil court, that’s a separate issue that civil courts are going to have to deal with,” said Legal Analyst Felix Vega III.
The NRA says the Supreme Court Ruling puts people’s right to defend themselves at risk.
“It takes us back to the days when families of a deceased criminal sue the victim because she shot the criminal who was trying to rape her,” said Marion Hammer, President of the Unified Sportsmen of Florida.
Legal Experts acknowledge there are instances where a civil case could be beneficial.
“This would allow them to go into civil court and possibly pursue it a second time as a civil remedy much like they did in the OJ Simpson case,” said Vega.
The ruling all but guarantees the Legislature will have to take another look at the Stand Your Ground law when it meets in January.
“The legislature needs to fix it and tell the Florida Supreme Court that the Legislature makes the laws, the Supreme Court enforces them,” said Hammer.
If a civil case is brought against a person who claimed Stand Your Ground, and they are found immune in civil court, the person filing the suit could be responsible for any defense costs.
The Stand Your Ground Law was enacted in 2005.
It became controversial when it was used as the defense in the death of Trayvon Martin.

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