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Abusive/Argumentative/Harassing Probation Officer What can I do?

Swanton, OH |

I am on probation for 5 years. My PO is making my life a living hell. He makes no secret that he hates me, refers to me as a spoiled housewife, says I do not work enough because I think I am too good to work, never returns calls, when I email him, he tells me not to email him-I am not allowed to email him? is verbally abusive in that he tells me repeatedly I am a criminal & felon and because I haven't shared this situation with friends and family that I am lying and cheating, turns everything around that I say, creates conflict where there is none, tells me folks like me in the system are a joke and I should be in jail? What can I do? Can an attorney buffer the situation, I cannot take anymore it's effecting me mentally and our family life-I have little kids, I am becoming paranoid.

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Attorney answers 3


Unfortunately this type of scenario comes up often. Generally there is not much one can do to "force" a change of probation officer, at least in my experience. You have to rise to the occasion and be strong, yet respectful and deferential. However, what you can try to do is ask for a probation supervisor, explain your concerns, and ask for a new probation officer. If you do get a supervisor's ear though, I strongly suggest that you tone down your frustration and anger so as to not alienate him/her right from the start. You need to keep the goal in sight. Be as polite and respectful in presenting your position, and indicate that you want to do well but that you and your PO may have a personality conflict that is impeding your progress, etc. The other option, and the one you should first approach, is that if you had a lawyer, contact him/her for assistance. Good luck

Craig S Orent

Craig S Orent


I forgot one other option, probably one to be saved for last, which is to ask to go before the judge who sentenced you to request a change in PO. But never forget the doctrine of unintended/unexpected consequences.


Not too much you can do here. You could go to a supervisor or the Judge, but if that doesn't work out, your P.O. will be even more "abusive."


An attorney may be able to help. If you are not compiling with your probation officer, you could be set for a probation violation hearing. You would want an attorney to represent you at any probation violation hearing.

An attorney could also ask a judge to reassign you to a different probation officer, but in my experiences judges rarely agree to do that because they do not want to give a defendant the power to select a probation officer.

The best thing to do is to comply with all terms of probation, finish everything as quickly as possible, pay all fines as soon as possible, and then ask an attorney to file a motion to terminate your probation early. There's no guarantees, but it's worth a shot.

The less you complete on probation, the more it will look like you are the problem and your probation officer's complaints about you are accurate.

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