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Can my daughter's paternal grandmother hire a P.I. to place me under surveillance for prostitution because she wants 2 adopt?

Atlanta, GA |

My daughter was removed by CPS due to physical abuse (corporal punishment). She was temporarily placed with her grandmother, who hates my guts, until I finish my case plan. I've completed all the requirements to the plan and am due to get unsupervised visitation and then my daughter is back in my custody. Her grandmother has been trying to adopt her so she has came to court for the longest accusing me of being a prostitute. Yes I do occasionally escort and have in the past but my case plan doesn't pertain to this subject. She hired a decoy to call me and set up a date. I went to the hotel and received money from him. No sexual act took place but I made him get naked and we had a conversation but I left b/c I was spooked. She took this recording to court yesterday. Invasion of privacy?

Is this a form of Stalking in Georgia? Can I have her arrested? Can I sue her for damages? She has hired a private attorney who filed a Motion to Intervene. What do I do?

Attorney Answers 4


Most likely, yes. Contact a local attorney to discuss how Georgia law would apply.

This response is given solely as a general response to the question and does not create an attorney / client relationship between the questioner and responder.

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In my jurisdictions private investigators are licensed and are in fact a perfectly legitimate tool used by attorneys in all types of cases. My office handles no family law, custody or other such cases. But, as long as the investigators are licensed and professional and do not cross any lines, the courts routinely allow evidence that their work uncovers.

Your post raises legal issues confirming that you truly can not afford not to retain an attorney to review.

Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be given by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, thoroughly familiar with the area of the law in which your concern lies. This creates no attorney-client relationship.

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What you are going to need to do is hire an attorney specializing in DFCS cases who has some experience with criminal law. While placing you under surveillance for the purpose of harassing an intimidating you would be stalking, when the motivation is to advance a legal case, it would probably not meet the legal definition. However, I am interested to know how the Judge took this, as someone going to these lengths to hire a man willing to do these things could make DFCS look bad for placing the child with such a person to begin with. And having your own lawyer to tell you to avoid these situations and focus on the grandmother's own activities could go a long way to helping you get your child back.

The above information is general in nature. In order to obtain more specific and legal advice upon which to base your important decisions, please contact our office directly for a free phone or in person consultation. Robert M. Gardner, Jr. Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP 53 W. Candler St. Or 718 Oak St. Winder, Ga. 30680 Gainesville, Georgia (770) 307-4899 (770) 538-0555 serving metro Atlanta and all of Northeast Georgia Bankruptcy, Divorce, Personal Injury, Worker’s Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Adoption, Civil and Criminal Litigation

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As a general rule, the use of licensed private investigators is not stalking. Stalking requires an intent to harass and intimidate. Here the intent is not to harass, but to gain evidence for use in court. Therefore, you cannot have her arrested. Moreover, it is not an invasion of privacy to record your own activities with someone else without their knowledge. These are not private activities, but a shared encounter with a stranger. If the P.I. had placed a recording device in the bathroom and recorded activities in their at a time when only you were in the bathroom, that is a private activity and subject to the laws against invasions of privacy. This is not the situation that you have described.

If you are on here asking these questions, I assume that you are not represented by an attorney in the CPS case. You need to get an attorney to protect your interest. DFCS may use this recent activity against you. If they do, you will not be getting your child back anytime soon and may end up with a caseplan designed to terminate your parental rights.

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