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When can you charge someone with harassment and/or slander?

Defamation Law Discussion Forum

When can you charge someone with harassment and/or slander?

Postby scirwode » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:36 pm

My husband and I have custody of his 2 boys, who the maternal grandmother still gets visitation every other weekend. Needless to say, she is CRAZY. Anyway, she constantly trash talks us to the boys (ages 8 and 3) and talks about me to my own family. I blocked her email b/c anything she had to say was rude and degrading, which caused lots of stress. She has started texting, regarding the boys, but still bad mouthing me. I am pregnant and really do not like having to deal with the stress that she comes with. I know I probably can not get a no contact order, since she has to have contact with the boys (which we are soon to be going back to court for), but I was wondering if I had enough on her for harassment or just slander? I have saved all text messages and emails.
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When can you charge someone with harassment and/or slander?

Postby jarl » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:42 pm

My husband and I have custody of his 2 boys, who the maternal grandmother still gets visitation every other weekend. Needless to say, she is CRAZY. Anyway, she constantly trash talks us to the boys (ages 8 and 3) and talks about me to my own family. I blocked her email b/c anything she had to say was rude and degrading, which caused lots of stress. She has started texting, regarding the boys, but still bad mouthing me. I am pregnant and really do not like having to deal with the stress that she comes with. I know I probably can not get a no contact order, since she has to have contact with the boys (which we are soon to be going back to court for), but I was wondering if I had enough on her for harassment or just slander? I have saved all text messages and emails.
You can contact the police and or go to court to change her visitation (eliminate).
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When can you charge someone with harassment and/or slander?

Postby winfrid12 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:54 pm

The texts and emails could get her a talking to. Most police warn the perp first then once they have had an official caution if they continue then you can ask for a protection order.
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When can you charge someone with harassment and/or slander?

Postby tanishia » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:57 pm

no chance at slander. it was only between the few of you. now, if she went on tv and said all those bad things about you, then it's slander.

you probably have a harassment cause. if she won't leave you alone after you told her not to bother you, then it's harassment.
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When can you charge someone with harassment and/or slander?

Postby tanishia » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:11 pm

you have enough on her to show the police she's been harrassing you, and if she does it again after the police talk to her, you can get a restraining order -- and if she does it again after the restraining order is in place, she will be arrested.

"my husband has already got her with a harassment warning for pulling up drunk - at our church - and cussing him. Obviously that didn't get through to her." --

wow, that's really sad. if i were you, i'd be contacting the police right NOW, to get the ball in motion -- you may not even have to wait to get a restraining order, since she's already been warned...and then, i'd bring all her harrassment history with me to the court hearing, and hopefully get her visitation ELIMINATED -- she isn't the parent, so her rights are very shaky...they can snatch that visitation from her in a second. i wish you luck.
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When can you charge someone with harassment and/or slander?

Postby crom » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:17 pm

Text messages and emails never constitute slander. Slander is spoken. Libel is written.

Slander is a malicious lie told by someone who knows they are telling a malicious lie published verbally for the purpose of ruining someone's reputation and that DOES damage or ruin that person's reputation.

Smack talking, particularly smack talking within a family unit, does not rise to the level of defamation.

It is also not illegal to have and to express a negative opinion about someone else.

The reason your husband was able to "get her" with a harassment warning was because she engaged in the conduct in a public setting and in front of people who are not related to any of you.

The only venue for this is in family court.
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