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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
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i received a cease and desist letter from an ex-boyfriend.

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i received a cease and desist letter from an ex-boyfriend. could a lawyer create a response that better protects me?

i basically received orders to stop contacting him and his family and his coworkers and offices (never have contacted any of these other parties, never would) and the none of my employees or agents may attempt to contact or contact and nor may i for any reason attemtp to contact or contact David by any mode of communication...
anyway, i have ocd -- the cycle is hooked into calling his devices.
recovery is happening but it's not instantaneous. nor is has it uphelp 100% perfection in recovery.
it's actually guaranteed to be a process that improves through mistakes, cognitive therapy is about triggering me intentionally with doctors and building a tolerance to the anxieties hard wired in me. translation -- no pill can fix it. no amount of hatred or comprehension of the law is going to the zero tolerance directions of his letter. can i order him to take measures of his own within reason -- like blocking his own numbers? what else can i do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 1 year ago.

Brandon M. :

Hello there.

Brandon M. :

Thank you for your question. You will probably be surprised to learn this, but a cease and desist letter generally has no legal force or effect whatsoever. It's nothing more than a letter saying "stop it, and I really mean it for real." It uses scary legalese and, naturally, it is intimidating to get a letter of that nature, but the demands in a cease and desist letter are generally not enforceable by any court or law enforcement agency.

Brandon M. :

Normally, it makes sense to honor a cease and desist letter anyway-- after all, if someone doesn't want you to contact them, then it's usually best to respect those wishes if possible.

Brandon M. :

Also, if you have someone who is stalking you or engaged in a pattern of criminal intimidation or harassment, a cease and desist letter can help to prove that the perpetrator knew that the continued stalking or harassing was unwanted. But cease and desist letters are generally worth nothing more than the paper they're written on, so no response is needed. Why respond at all?

Brandon M. :

I understand that it might feel like this person has exerted power over you, but I emphasize again that cease and desist letters are generally nothing more than a demand with no legal force and effect. I could send you a "cease and desist" letter demanding that you immediately cease and desist brushing your teeth or wearing deodorant, but you would probably ignore my demands because they are ridiculous.

Brandon M. :

You would probably not feel like you needed to respond if I ordered you to cease and desist chewing your food. Typically, any other cease and desist letter wouldn't be any different. He has made his wishes known to you, and essentially told you that he doesn't want to discuss it any further. If he doesn't take measures of his own within reason, then that's really his problem and not yours.

Brandon M. :

Let me know if further clarification is needed, and please feel free to leave a positive rating once you are completely finished. It does not cost anything extra to do so, and it is the only way I may be compensated. Thanks.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

please review this letter.


i understand it's not legally official - but it has an "if" "then" structure which makes me think i need to get a mental health attorney to balance out the zero-tolerance thing. like shouldn't my ex observe that i have ocd and block his own number and block his email??



i'm also interested in angling back at him so that HE pauses prior to escalating things. for one he's emotionally and psychologically antagonized me for months. he's bullied me and intimidated me to the point of me isolating in my apartment and not leaving for weeks. he's mistaken the entire situation believing that i'm obsessed with him -- literally untrue -- i have ocd. i basically freeze if there is uncertainty around me... the more and more uncertainty - the more i start checking everything - EVERYTHING. ocd gets to ramped up point where its involuntary. and the panic is very scary. i've been 100% transparent with david about my disorder and in fact, i told him to please block my calls and emails to remove a layer of anxiety (remember -- it cripples me, to create more checking and calling). we both felt this would be smart - we both have a very very critical need to be completely under the radar. strangely, three days into not speaking and separating he just unblocked everything. i wrote and called no response from him. --- THAT IS THE TRIGGER. so the ridiculous question "why aren't you blocking" -- can you believe it? -- it went on for 7 weeks. that's how bizarre ocd is. of course it's ridiculous, but from the ocd mindstate, the fear is that you're going to look like an idiot or mess something up -- so you urgently want to make sure everyone is clear from your impossibly horrible (perception of disaster) OCD behavior! david started acting emotionally strange too. it's a disaster . anyway below is the letter. by the way, i'm sorry to not proofread. understand it has to do with this desire not to get stuck in the rut of over analysis. have confidence i can grapple with complicated concepts -- i have an IQ that is super genius level (157) and graduated from harvard with high honors. but unfortunately, i also have insanely complicated mental disorders. i am very very kind person but completely terrified of mistakes and damage made by me -- imagined. hypothetical. etc.



Dear Ms. ____,


We have been retained by Mr. XXXXX to intercede on his behalf. Please direct all further communication to this office by way of email to XXXXX@XXXXXX.XXX. If you have a lawyer please have them contact me immediately.


You need to stop all communication with Mr. XXXXX, and all attempts to communicate with him including his family, co-workers, friends and associates need to cease immediately by you or through any third parties on your behalf,. Any further attempts by you, your assistant, any employees, or agents will be deemed to be a harassing action and we will be forced to pursue a Restraining Order without further notice to you.


You have no reason to be communicating with Mr. _________, his family, co-workers, friends and associates at this time and any further communication by way of email, telephone, text messaging, Instant Messaging, in person or through third parties will result in this firm seeking an immediate Restraining Order against you.


Should we have to seek judicial intervention and this matter becomes a public record it will affect you in the following ways:



  • You will have a PERMANENT RESTRAINING ORDER (is this true???) on all court records for your obsessive/compulsive behavior which will turn up in any pre-employment background search.

  • Your current and future employers, including Deutsch, Inc. and Apple, Inc. will be able to review the Application for a Restraining Order as part of your public record.


Ms. ___e in the interest of everyone’s privacy, this matter can and should end here. There is no need for this to escalate. If you cease all further communication attempts with Mr. G____ we will consider this matter closed.



Should you need to speak with me, please call my office at 310/6XXX.


Needless to say, nothing contained herein is intended nor should be construed as in any way waiving, or prejudicing any rights or remedies our client may have in this matter.


Sincerely Yours,


P



PS - By the way -- the lawyer did quite a scary thing that suggests his complete lack of mental disorder awareness. I couldn't believe this but the lawyer said -- do you want to ruin everyone's lives, because you're going to if ever even think about contacting david again. i said -- I simply do not understand why you're speaking to me this way. I'd like to speak to David. Is there any way I may communicate with him. I don't believe this letter arose for irrational reasons as we spoke last night and agreed to PAUSE all 3rd party intervention.



This is his response:



LAUGHTER. Are you serious? Seriously? Listen. David Glickman never wants to talk to you again. And by never I mean never ever ever ever not til hell freezes over. Not even if he was in his death bed, not even if his body turned over in his grave -- not even then --- not even for a second. not even a momentary lapse of judgement -- would david ever even consider the idea of contacting you again . UNDERSTAND???



I was so confused and shaken i said thank you for the clarity and hung up the phone.



I emailed david that night -- i was worried. i got a scathing phone call from the lawyer the next day about how he was trying to figure out how to keep my employers out of it --



is this legal? intimidation of a mentally ill person suffering from a disorder of anxiety and doubt?

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 1 year ago.
Hi again. I would like to be blunt, but to do so in a way that is constructive. I am not looking at this judgmentally, but I think that this situation needs a frank analysis, and I'm just hoping that you might be receptive to that sort of delivery. May I be straightforward?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
of course! straightforward is the only thing I want - please don't avoid awkward analysis. bring it on. thanks for asking first.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I am always a bit weary about how my tone is interpreted in this format since we don't have the benefit of hearing each other's voices or seeing facial expressions.

First, please allow me to address your specific questions, and then react to your last communication over all. Also, please forgive me if I missed a specific question, since my primary focus is addressing the main concern.

You asked "shouldn't my ex observe that i have ocd and block his own number and block his email??" He probably should if the goal is to limit your opportunities to contact him.

The letter stated "YOU WILL HAVE A PERMANENT RESTRAINING ORDER" and you asked if this statement was true. If someone tells you to cease all contact with them and if you fail to comply with that request, it is possible that the person may request that a court order you to have no contact with that person. If the circumstances warrant and the evidence supports such an order, a court does have discretion to make such an order.

Finally, you asked if it is legal to intimidate a mentally ill person suffering from a disorder of anxiety and doubt. There is no blanket prohibition on intimidating a mentally ill person suffering from a disorder of anxiety and doubt.


I will state at this juncture that I understand OCD. It is a neurological condition that rarely mimics how it is depicted in the popular culture (the "clean freak" is a common stereotype).

The concern that I have, and that you should have as well, is that "David" has hired an attorney to tell you, in no uncertain terms, that he wants to have no contact with you ever again, but you have refused to respect that request. You received the letter telling you he wanted no contact, you then called the attorney who again reiterated that he wanted no contact, and you made contact again anyway. There is ordinarily no moral or legal right to contact someone who does not wish to be contacted. There are people who, for whatever reason, elect to intrude upon the lives of others against the wish of the person intruded upon, and for those people there are restraining orders. I understand that the disorder affects you in this way, and I understand that there are triggers that lead you engage in these behaviors, but that is your problem and not his. To use an extreme example, it would be like a murderer blaming his victim for triggering the unlawful killing--the murderer says "she made me do it--she knew that I lose self-control when she sings 'Frosty the Snowman'." If you are continuing a course of conduct that intrudes upon a person's right to be left alone, you are the perpetrator and they are the victim. The murder victim would have been well-advised to not sing Frosty the Snowman and David would probably be well-advised to block your communications to the extent possible, but the legal obligation is not on the victim.

David's attorney scolded you, and his lack of compassion clearly demonstrates that he doesn't understand your disorder, but his reaction is exactly what most attorney's reactions probably would have been if they didn't understand the neurology of your condition.

The fact that you have OCD and/or other mental illnesses and the fact that David has not taken steps to thwart your communications are legal red herrings. If you make any further communications in spite of the fact that you have received a cease and desist letter and in spite of his attorney's oral admonition, they will probably seek a restraining order against you. If they are awarded a restraining order and if you violate the order, you may be criminally prosecuted. The penalties for criminal prosecution may involve fines and jail time.

I understand that you are fighting this battle with yourself, but you must obey the law or face the consequences. If my son was in this situation, I would take away his telephone and internet access and literally lock him in his room because it would be better than the alternative. I'm not sure what measures you would need to take to ensure that you not engage in further contact, but I do have one additional recommendation--get a local attorney to contact David's attorney and assure him that you are under control and will have no further contact. Nobody wants to request a restraining order, and if David and his attorney feel that the matter is resolved without a restraining order then they will likely not seek one. Getting an attorney involved will ensure that you are protected from this point, will allow you to safely make any future communications in the event that doing so is for some reason necessary, and will assure David and his attorney that you recognize the legal situation that you are currently in. I hope that this is received well. Thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes - this was fantastic. I appreciate it.


 


The reason that I wanted to contact him was because David and I are bizarrely enmeshed in ways that are more complicated than the letter he sent. For example, the mental health attorney that provided me a consultation and my two therapists -- they have the entire correspondence since day one -- they believe that I should angle back and serve him a cease and desist.


 


And I just don't want to spend that money and keep out flinching each other. But I do need an acknowledgment that zero tolerance over the next year of recovery -- that's not ok to serve to me in a letter. It corners me.


 


I just don't know what to do about it, because the lawyer literally believes I'm mentally retarded. It's extremely frustrating. Mind you, David is one of the most powerful mobile communications figures and humanitarians in Los Angeles. So I believe I'm literally getting man-handled. I'm pretty smart about getting additional perspectives... David was at one point calling my phone 10 times a day from anonymous phones sometimes lieaving messages that seemed like he needed help -- leaving me no number to call him. It's complicated.... Anyway, if you have any last thoughts, pass them on. I love the depth of your response. The tact. The firm caution to pass on. I will take the advice and follow it.

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 1 year ago.


I think that I covered everything that I felt should be said, unless you had another specific question. I realize that attorneys can be expensive, but I really do think that you would benefit by having your own attorney help you with this particular matter if that is a financial possibility. Otherwise, just do what you need to do to keep yourself from either encountering or succumbing to your triggers.

I am very glad that you found my answer to be useful. Thank you for that positive feedback.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am going to ask one more question - can I counter his cease and desist with one to him as well?


 


For instance, I have resist 10-12 uniknown missed calls (the only one that calls like that is David G.) - It triggers me, and in fact, it hi-jacks my day. However, I am afraid of escalating things.


 


The reason why I want to contact David is because to be honest with you, David was part of my recovery up to 20 hours prior to the Cease and Desist. And the reason why the Cease an Desist was generated (I think) is that I was freaking out and saying I WANTED to approach him with third party (therapist) and make him formally acknowledge his awareness of how OCD behaves.


 


I know it's weird and enmeshed and must stop - but I just hate the idea of spending money and dancing around the legal arching and angling of this scary -- truly scary -- lawyer. I was threatening to David and he;s a powerful man, and was hopping on a plane to Europe believing (sort of sort of not) that I might have a therapist call his family's home/or email his email address. Thus, the cease and desist.


 


However, the way the lawyer's speaking to me -- well, that's a completely different level of ZERO TOLERANCE and the reason why I literally have been pacing around for 14 days.


 


Any thoughts. I will secure a local attorney - does this lawyer have to be a mental health attornney. Yes I will add a tip to this! Sorry fo r all the questions.

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 1 year ago.
Hi again.

You could hypothetically send him a cease and desist letter, but it would be a mistake to send it to him directly. Any such letter should be delivered via his attorney only.

That said, I would only send one even under those circumstances with the assistance of legal counsel. Such a "response" letter would ordinarily provide no benefit to your case, so if it is to be done, please have an attorney draft and send the letter.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12237
Experience: Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
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Brandon M.
Brandon M.
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