Fla. `stalking' order dismissed - Broadcasting & Cable

Fla. `stalking' order dismissed

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The court order issued earlier this month under Florida's stalking law
enjoining WFLA-TV Tampa reporter Steve Andrews from approaching a drunk-driving
defendant ended Thursday following an evidentiary hearing before the same judge
who issued the order.

But, Andrews' news director Forrest Carr noted, even the temporary order had
done damage to Andrews' ability to do his job and set an unfortunate precedent
for the use of stalking statutes against journalists.

While orders intended to prevent stalking are frequently issued liberally by
judges wishing to preserve order and protect petitioners -- typically women
claiming to be living under threat -- media lawyers said the temporary
injunction here misused the stalking statute and threatened the practice of
journalism.

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