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Ask Jim Reilly Your Own Question
Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly, Crim Defense Atty
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1805
Experience:  CA Atty since 1976, primarily criminal law. 150+ jury trials.
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I am being harassed and stalked by someone in another state.

Customer Question

I am being harassed and stalked by someone in another state. He has not made any overt threats of bodily harm, but sent emails to my friends regarding his "hatred" of my husband and his unending "love" for me. What kind of recourse do I have?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Samuel II replied 8 years ago.



you would need to notify this person in writing by certified mail to not have any contact with you, as a first step. then with a copy of the letter and a post office receipt showing the notice to not contact was received, if you are contacted again, you can file for a restraining order - and then if you are contacted again, go after him for violation of the order as well as criminal harassment/stalking charges.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Relist: I prefer a second opinion.
Expert:  Ellen replied 8 years ago.

Thank you for your request of a second opinion. The answer that the prior expert gave appears to be complete and correct.

Thank you,

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Are these people that are replying really lawyers? I'm a law STUDENT and I know that when I ask a professor a question of law, they reply with a rule of law.. not some b.s. about writing a strongly worded letter.
Expert:  Samuel II replied 8 years ago.



yes. i am a bona fide attorney and the answer is true and correct. one cannot know they are annoying another until they are first put on notice of the same. harassment is a continuing course of conduct that is annoying or otherwise threatening. if you do not begin with the letter, then the prosecutor cannot have a case because the defendant will say "i didnt know i was annoying. i was never told it was annoying or threatening"

so the strongly-worded letter is the first step. report the harassment to your local police and they will tell you the same thing. if you do not want to accept this answer then dont. but i assure you it is accurate. good luck

Expert:  Jim Reilly replied 8 years ago.
I wouldn't normally respond to a question that has already been answered by two experts, but am doing so to point out that Samuel's original response gave you exactly what you asked for ... a statement of the recourse available to you under the circumstances you described.

At some point down the road, you might need more specific advice, such as how to file for a restraining order or how to file criminal charges. However, until you take the initial step of putting this person on notice, the rest of it won't mean much. And, if the suggested letter stops the contact, you won't need the rest.

Contrary to the impression you apparently have received from being a law student, being an lawyer often involves giving practical advice that isn't necessarily based upon a specific rule of law. That doesn't make it b.s., something you will perhaps understand better once you have finished law school, passed the bar exam and achieved some real world attorney experience.

I too am "really a lawyer". You can find my bona fides on the California State Bar website at:

I will post this as "need info" rather than as an "answer", but you should accept Samuel's original answer, as it was a sound and complete answer to your question.

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