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How can I stop someone from making false accusations towards me and my family?

Hoboken, NJ |

My crazy ex husband accuses me by sending false statements to DYES ( child services ) just to create problems . Also with false statements he got a temporary restraining order against me . How can he get that without any proof ? It's been very bothersome with DYES coming to my home so frequently . They never find anything and advise me to get a restraining order against him but I'm not afraid of him physically . I don't know how to stop him from creating so many false cases against me .

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

What he is doing can be considered harassment. That can be the basis for a FRO. He could not get a FRO without proof and without a hearing that you either attended or were notified to attend. DYFS is a tough outfit.

Posted

Important disclaimer: I am licensed to practice law in Oregon, not New Jersey and so can't give advice on New Jersey law. That means that this must be just a general discussion of principles. If you have specific questions, you should consult with an attorney in private.

That said:

The law doesn't really have any way of stopping someone from saying things. The best it can do is to hold that person accountable for the direct consequences of their actions, including statements. For example, if someone makes untrue statements about you that cause you a specific harm, you can sue them for defamation. But you have to be able to show a real, cognizable - that is, reducible to a dollar figure - harm that you suffered, as a direct result of the statement. Here, because the children's services people haven't taken any action against you, it seems that you haven't suffered any harm (mere emotional harm an annoyance does not count), so you couldn't sue for that.

Furthermore, calls to child services agencies are generally confidential. So you'd have a hard time proving that your ex-husband made the calls, no matter how sure you may be of it personally.

As you say, in general, restraining orders are only available against people who pose a threat to your physical safety. You can't file for such an order against someone just because they're annoying you.

Furthermore, there is a mad paradox that makes restraining orders, in my opinion, almost useless most of the time: You obtain a restraining order when you believe that someone intends to do you serious harm. The order makes it illegal for that person to come into contact with you, so that they will not be able to harm you. But it is already illegal for the person to do you harm at all. If they really mean to do so, then the threat of legal sanctions clearly does not deter them, because they are already set on violating the law. All a restraining order can do is to allow a truly violent person to be arrested a few minutes earlier into the commission of a crime - or send a message of social disapproval. In my experience, this is what most people who file for restraining orders really want: For a judge to shake their finger at the other person and say "You've been very bad!" But this almost never happens - and is not a legitimate use of the court's time.

Ultimately, my best guess is that you can't do anything within the legal system about this. The law doesn't have a solution for every problem in life or for every wrong that someone can do to you; it can't be an arbiter of all personal conflicts, and it can't make crazy people less crazy. The only thing that really helps with such people is appearing not to care about what they're doing - this usually makes them get bored and stop, or find something else to fixate on.

Please read the following notice: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br> Jay Bodzin, Northwest Law Office, 2075 SW First Avenue, Suite 2J, Portland, OR 97201 | Telephone: 503-227-0965 | Facsimile: 503-345-0926 | Email: jay@northwestlawoffice.com | Online: www.northwestlawoffice.com

Jordan A Stern

Jordan A Stern

Posted

I'm oversimplifying, but in New Jersey a victim of domestic violence can obtain a final restraining order for a past annoyance and fear of future annoyance.

Jay Bodzin

Jay Bodzin

Posted

Hence my disclaimer. Trust the attorneys who practice in your own state.

Posted

Although it is not difficult to get a TRO, the FRO requires more. Be sure to defend this, preferably with an attorney. I agree the false complaints against you are harassment.

Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advise and you should not rely on it, due to the fact that we have never met, I have not been aprised of the facts in you case nor have I reviewed any documents.

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