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I am a single mother, and have a former friend who is causing problems in my life. Do I have a case for anti-harassment?

Seattle, WA |

This person has sent me text messages saying I'm evil, and discussing how she is attacking my character to others. She has the neighbors reporting my location to her, and thn she sends this information to my boss, via text (dates /times people drop me off at home, and locations of where I'm having dinner with my family). She is also attacking my character to others at my children's school and providing intimate details about my personal life. In addition, I have another persons sworn testimony stating she has given this person false details about me and cell phone records to show dates and times of these many conversations. What can I do to get her to stop?
I have already said I would call the police, and I have sent emails asking her to stop and nothing seems to work.

Attorney Answers 5

  1. First, hire an attorney to send a Cease and Desist letter. It may have better affect on her than your own personal emails, as it would signal your serious intent to take legal action other than your "threat" to do so. If that does not work, discuss with the lawyer the bringing of a suit for defamation, and intentional and/or negligent inflictions of emotional distress , since her conduct evidences a continued course of harassment.

  2. A agree with my colleague. Also, document everything. Take photos and video. Protect yourself and then have an attorney craft a cease and desist letter. If it continues, and you suffer tangible economic harm, contact a personal injury attorney who handles defamation cases. Good luck.

    The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney until we sign a retainer agreement.

  3. I suggest you take all of the evidence that you may have concerning this person to an attorney and pay for a consultation and request the attorney to send a cease and desist letter to this person, threatening legal action if they do not leave you alone. If you are in any way threatened by this person, file a police report on each and every incident.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.

  4. Have a local lawyer send a cease and desist letter.

  5. It's important that you seek advice from a qualified attorney licensed to practice in Washington state. In addition to the cease and desist order the other attorneys have recommended, you should also consider obtaining a civil anti-harassment order. To get an antiharrassment order, you must show that the person has acted without legitimate or lawful purpose in a way that shows a continuity of purpose; and has directed action to you by saying or doing things that have seriously alarmed, annoyed or harassed you AND these were the kind of things that would cause a reasonable person substantial emotional distress and have actually caused you substantial emotional distress. You will need to pay a fee to the court and fill out the appropriate paperwork. You can obtain the assistance of an attorney, or you can contact the court and work through the process yourself. If she does continue to harass you, then violations of the order would potentially result in criminal charges. I would agree that you should make a detailed log of each incident as it occurrs (as well as writing down the history of past occurrences - plus print outs of all emails, photos of offending text messages, etc.). I hope this helps. Good luck to you!

    Legal Disclaimer: Ms. Straub is licensed to practice law in Washington State. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship and is not confidential. The response is in the form of consumer legal education and and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question.

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