Protests have rocked Central Florida and the Orlando area night after night since May 28, 2020. Thousands have gathered to show outrage over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died pinned under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, clashes between Orlando police. While the vast majority of protestors are peaceful, the Orlando authorities report that vandalism and looting are happening after dark.
Police officers and sheriff's deputies are out in full force, working shift after shift. If you are an Orlando area resident, you may be concerned about how the protests may affect family and court services.
Law enforcement resources are stretched right now, particularly in the evening, when a small number of protestors may engage in vandalism and looting. Police are also trying to protect property in the area. If you need to help from the police, you may face slightly longer response times.
Several of the protests in Orlando have culminated at the courthouse. If you need to access services at the courthouse, you may want to call to ensure that all roads are open, and all services are available. If you have a hearing or court appearance scheduled, be sure to call to ensure the court hasn't needed to delay or reschedule.
If you need emergency court services, be sure to consult with your attorney. They can work with the court to ensure that you get the services or hearing you need promptly.
Many of us also want to get out there on the streets, offering support and solidarity to peaceful protestors. If you are in the middle of a custody dispute or determination, consider how this might affect your case. In Central Florida, most judges will take the time to learn as much as possible about each party involved in a custody case. As a result, an arrest, even if it's unrelated to your children's care, can affect the family court's decision.
While most protestors are peaceful, police have arrested many in the evenings after curfew. While many of those arrested were engaged in looting or vandalizing, some weren't. If you want to participate in protests, do so safely, leave before curfew, and go at the first hint that any protestors may engage in looting, vandalism, or throwing things at the police.
Aside from legal issues, the turmoil in our country right now affects so many families. Sometimes children can feel anxious about what they don't understand, particularly if they hear things that adults say. Take time to talk to your children about any of their concerns right now. The Child Mind Institute has many resources for talking to your children about racism, anxiety about the pandemic, and divorce.
If you are concerned that the Orlando-area protests will affect your family court proceeding, be sure to consult your attorney. If you need help navigating this stressful time, we're here to help. Contact us. At Veliz Katz Law, our primary concern is helping you get the support and the legal services you need.