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Lawmoe
Lawmoe, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lawyer with 19 years of litigation experience in state and federal court systems.
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I am being harassed on a facebook/newgroup type web site.

Customer Question

I am being harassed on a facebook/newgroup type web site. Can I press charges or get a no contact order if I know who this person is? They are not in my state, they have not emailed me directly but they post nasty messages on the boards that are about me or for me to see. When I get upset and react to the constant provoking then she gos and tells everyone that she is the one being stalked and harassed. I called the police and they said they can not police the Internet and that since she is in another state and hasn't directly threatened me that they cant do anything. So do I have no options to press charges or get a no contact order for this person? Or do I just have to leave the message boards for her to leave me alone? I have checked out the cyberstalking laws in my state and she fits all of them, even threats to contact my husband and his friends on facebook. But she has not used my name, she posts these things on her profile pages. Thanks
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lawmoe replied 4 years ago.

You have a multitude of problems.

 

First, knowing who the person may be and proving it when an online user ID is used would be difficult.

 

Second, you can avoid the contact by not participating in that particular newsgroup. If it is an issue with your facebook, you can change your security to deny that person access. You cannot control what that person may say to other people or what that person posts to their own facebook page or on the pages of someone other than you.

 

WIthout a threat or some direct form of communication - (phone calls, letters, personal visits, text messages emails) - that substantially interfere with your safety, security or privacy, there is little that can be done.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Its causing me a great deal of stress..she posts really nasty things about me and then today she said that SHE went to the sheriff's office and court house in her state...Im very upset because she can take and twist it to make her look like the victim, I do have print screens of some of her nonsense. Im concerned that she is going to use the law to harass me now that I have left the newgroups....say it is me when it is she...The police officer told me that because its online and that its across states that she wont be able to do anything either as long as I have not threatened her or contacted her directly...everything I posted was also on my profile page...my account is closed now but I still worry she is going to harass me...so basically there is nothing I can do...even if I know who it is and have the print screens of her saying things? Because I supposed it would be hard to PROVE it was she using that screen name...although its clearly her pictures and her information??? And as long as she didnt use my name directly I would have to prove that she was saying them about me...even though they were clearly meant for me??? Im just so frustrated...she said she had a program that captured my ISP address and that I can run but not hide!!

Expert:  Lawmoe replied 4 years ago.

Again there is very little that she can do to you or vice versa. Each person voluntarily avails themselves to the newsgroup. If they do not wish further communication, they may leave the newsgroup. If there is a problem with postings that violate the terms of service of the newsgroup, a complaint should be made to the web site host of that newsgroup so they make take action consistent with their internal company policies.

 

You cannot prevent a person from saying things about you to others on the internet any more than you can prevent a person from talking to people about you. If the statements made rise to the level of defamation, it may be actionable. Even then, however, in most cases, you must show tangible damages, which seems unlikely

 

If there is direct contact that it is unwanted, like a phone call, emails or text messages, or there is a threat of potential physical harm made, it may become a legal matter where you may seek a civil harassment restraining order or criminal charges.

 

Lawmoe, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2415
Experience: Lawyer with 19 years of litigation experience in state and federal court systems.
Lawmoe and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Lawmoe replied 4 years ago.
Good luck to you and I am sorry for your troubles.

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Lawyer with 19 years of litigation experience in state and federal court systems.