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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12620
Experience:  Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
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I ended a toxic relationship and the party involved is harrassing

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I ended a toxic relationship and the party involved is harrassing my family, threated to send sordid email to my colleagues at my work address (government), my friends and family who live at many places across the country using my social media sites. The phone calls, texts, email, etc even include a statement that this can stop in exchange for money. What are my options.

Brandon M. :

Hello there.

Brandon M. :

Thank you for your question. You mentioned that you sought advice from the Sheriff's department. What was their take?

Brandon M. :

Hi, are you able to see this and respond?

Customer:

They advised me to call the person and tell them to stop all calls, email, and texts, Then if this didn't work I could file a harrassment complaint.

Brandon M. :

Ok, thank you for that information.

Brandon M. :

I should start by saying that because the nuances of every situation are different, this information should not be construed as complete or advice without consulting in person with legal counsel. That said, some of the things that you described could definitely constitute criminal harassment and/or stalking. I appreciate that law enforcement didn't turn you away outright because these things can be very resource consuming and difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt (the standard they need to meet in order to successfully prosecute). My only disappointment is that they didn't express interest in the statement that this can stop for money. Any time you say the equivalent of "give me money, or else..." it usually amounts to extortion.

Brandon M. :

Are you familiar with, or have you looked into getting a restraining order?

Customer:

I asked the person what it would take to stop them from taking action, she wanted money. In a later text, she then stated she should not have said that and wanted to talk. I returned the call but the conversation ended with, I'm still sending it out. The Sheriff informed me that I made an offer which became a business type deal, is this still considered extortion? All I was trying to do was to reason with the person to not post/send this type of communication out.

Customer:

I did not know a restraining order was an option.

Brandon M. :

Well, it generally is an option. In Maryland, there are two different types. One type is called a "Peace Order". The other is called a "Protective Order." Is the harasser a family member, or someone who resided with you?

Customer:

No, she is a former mistress and lives in New Mexico.

Brandon M. :

Thank you. I ask these question so I know which type of restraining order to discuss with you. Do you have a child together?

Customer:

No child. It was an affair that ended, I thought we ended it mutually on good terms. Then the calls, text, email began and threats to contact individuals, friends, groups from my wife's Facebook site. She stated she wanted to destroy me.

Brandon M. :

Ok, so she has never resided with you, she is not related to you by blood, adoption or marriage, and you do not have a child together. Correct? If that is the case, let's discuss "Peace Orders".

Customer:

Correct. What is a Peace Order? Where do I get it?

Brandon M. :

A Maryland Peace Order is basically a restraining order that prohibits the restrained party from visiting, telephoning, contacting, visiting etc. based on their history of harassment, stalking, threats, etc.

Brandon M. :

This link will take you to the form: http://www.courts.state.md.us/district/forms/peace/dcpo001.pdf

Brandon M. :
A petition for a peace order may be filed only in District Court. To locate a court, visit the Judiciary website at www.mdcourts.gov or look under the government pages of your phone book.
Customer:

Will this apply if the person living in New Mexico? What is the process for obtaining such an order?

Brandon M. :
A peace order by the state of Maryland can be made against someone who is not physically in the state of Maryland; although there are jurisdictional issues that may arise, those issues become very hypothetical very quickly... if you pursue a Peace Order, I would encourage you to take it one step at a time and address any problems as they arise and consult with an attorney if you need help with any specifics.

Peace Orders have to be filed within 30 days of the last act described within the petition and, as I mentioned, it must be filed in District Court. Those are the basic filing requirements. I'll direct you to this pamphlet for a basic description of the process, and you are welcome to ask me for more information: http://www.courts.state.md.us/courtforms/joint/ccdcdvpo001br.pdf
Brandon M. :

Has all of this made sense?

Customer:

What does a peace order do? It provides me with an option that was unknown to me and could be the solution I am seeking. Lastly, is it still considered extortion if I was the one who asked the person "what would it take for you to stop?" Per the Sheriff, I made a business offer.

Brandon M. :

It can oftentimes be difficult for law enforcement to prove that a communication or action was done with malice or an intent to harass. The purpose of a Peace Order can be to make it so that the person can't have any contact whatsoever. If the person violates the order, it is an automatic criminal offense.

Customer:

Are you able to recommend an attorney in the Dunkirk or Huntingtown, MD? What type - field of practice should this attorney have?

Brandon M. :

Was there anything else?

Brandon M. :

Was all of this helpful?

Customer:

Are you able to recommend an attorney in the Dunkirk or Huntingtown, MD? What type - field of practice should this attorney have?


Brandon M. :

Hi, are you able to see this?

Customer:

no

Brandon M. :

Ok, if you can see this, please say "yes".

Customer:

yes

Brandon M. :

Ok, great. Please allow me to re-type my answer to your last question. I'm not sure why it didn't post.

Brandon M. :

I can't make a referral to a specific attorney, but I can refer you to the Calvert County Bar Association. : (NNN) NNN-NNNN or(NNN) NNN-NNNN An attorney who handles general civil litigation could help. Also, most family law attorneys (even though you aren't family) should be able to assist.

Brandon M. :

Do those telephone numbers appear on your screen?

Customer:

thank you very much. we will pursue your recommendaations. your service was very helpful.

Brandon M. :

Great. I wish you the best of luck.

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