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Category: Criminal Law
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I have the following situation: My ex-sister in law has

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I have the following situation:

My ex-sister in law has been mentally harassing me and my parents for the past year, ever since my brother and this woman have divorced. Following this divorce, the children of the couple (my niece and nephew), have been “split” – i.e., girl lives with sister-in-law and boy lives with my brother (who also lives with me at the same residence).

(the sister-in-law lives in Switzerland while I, with my brother and nephew, live in Illinois).

for the past year, my parents and i have been subjected to almost daily threats, constant email messages, voice messages, text messages which we have tried to block (though, regretfully, not with much success). she wants to have her son with her (despite earlier agreements through which she willingly gave up her son and of course, court proceedings which clearly “allocated” the children).

last month, she had arrived at our door, announced, (while the boy and his father were away on vacation), and threated to kill me and my parents, banged on the door, threatening to break the windows to come inside. (she almost broke the windows in the back of the house.) I called the police and a “domestic dispute” was issued against her. she was finally removed from my property (as she did not want to leave) and never came back (she left back for Switzerland). however, the emails and phone calls started again (we would have up to 50-100 calls a day).

I have documents (emails) showing the maddening messages, I have a police report and I have records of the numerous phone calls she makes.

what can I possibly do to stop this madness?

Thank you for your question.

You said that you obtained a "domestic dispute" from the police. Did you actually get a restraining order/order of protection against her?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

no. not yet.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i'm afraid this restraining order won't do too much, especially vis-a-vis the calls, the emails, etc. she even threatened she would go to my clients (i have a small business) to tell them about "how horrible i am" (i'm paraphrasing here).

Thank you for the further information.

That's too bad. If you had obtained an Order of Protection against her while she was within the jurisdiction of the US, you could then take this order to Switzerland and have it enforced against her immediately.

Unfortunately, the fact that she is in Switzerland prohibits you from being able to get a criminal order of protection against her from the police (which would be free for you). Thus, your current options are:

1. Because this woman has threatened to physically harm you and has actually damaged your property, this violates Swiss law. You may contact the Swiss police in the town where she lives and report the crime and ask for a restraining order there for further protection. You would be best served by contacting a Swiss licensed attorney (there are many American law firms with offices in Zurich or in Geneva with licensed Swiss attorneys) who can make contact with the police to report this on your behalf. It is much more likely that the Swiss police will take action if you use a local attorney to report the harassment than if you attempt to report the matter yourself (not to mention the probable language barrier problem).

2. Further, because she was here when she caused the physical damage and has apparently defamed you, you could sue her in a Illinois court and assert "long-arm" jurisdiction over her for trespass to your property, for assault based on the threats of physical violence, and for defamation for contacting your clients. You could request along with this lawsuit a civil restraining order (permanent injunction) barring her from contacting you and your parents by phone or from coming within a certain distance of you. Once you get a judgment from the courts in Illinois, you can take this judgment and ask the Swiss courts to enforce it for you. There are several treaties between Switzerland and the US wherein the courts will respect foreign judgments. Again, this would need to be handled by a Swiss attorney.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you for your response. this will be a costly affair for me. i am distraught as my parents and i are in the "middle" and have taken on a considerable amount of mental abuse.

Unfortunately, you are correct, it will likely be costly.

The law has not yet caught up with the fact that stalkers can reach around the world through phone and the internet and make our lives miserable while remaining outside the jurisdiction of local law enforcement. The only way to obtain protection is through the methods suggested above.

Please remember to rate my answer and do not hesitate to let me know if you have further questions on this matter.

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