Stand Your Ground Immunity May Bar Civil Suit Against George Zimmerman
Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law may offer civil immunity to George Zimmerman from any civil lawsuit brought by Trayvon Martin’s family.
Many people have speculated that Trayvon Martin’s family will bring a civil lawsuit against Zimmerman following the end of the criminal case. In civil cases there is a lower burden of proof that is not as difficult to prove as in a criminal case. The damages sought are usually monetary damages. However, Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law specifically provides civil immunity to anyone who uses deadly force if he has a reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily injury. See Title XLVI Crimes Section 776.012.
The “Stand Your Ground” immunity would most certainly be raised as a defense in any civil lawsuit. However, if Zimmerman is successful in obtaining “Stand Your Ground” immunity then not only would George Zimmerman win the civil lawsuit but Martin’s family would have to pay Zimmerman for his reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, loss of income, and all expenses incurred in defending the case. See Section 776.032.