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Peter Griesch
Peter Griesch,
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 324
Experience:  Tax Counsel at AIG, Inc.
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F. I am a professor of philosophy at the University of

Customer Question

Hi Jim, My name is***** am a professor of philosophy at the University of Tennessee. I am being sent emails to my school inbox from a madman who has been threatening to "expose" me and then lists a number of things he plans to do (e.g., call my department chair and create a website to "expose" me). Though all of his claims are lies, I am worried about his psychological disposition because twenty years ago, this person threatened to kill my litter sister. Any advice would be helpful. The person lives in California. Thanks, Mark
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Peter Griesch replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your inquiry. You can apply for a "no contact" order with the court in your jurisdiction (county). A no contact order is an order of protection that prohibits all forms of communication from the defendant to the plaintiff -- no telephone calls, mail, fax, pager messages, e-mail, or messages sent through third persons. Once in place, if the person does contact you, you may have him arrested.

The process involves filing a form at the courthouse. There will be a hearing, and you'll need to present any emails and phone records you have as support for the order. A judge will decide if the order should be issued.

This person will have a right to be present at the hearing. If does appear, he could present a defense why he should be able to contact you. These types of orders are typical in domestic disputes, but I see no reason why he would need to contact you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi,Thanks for the reply. The problem is that I have no idea where this person resides.
But if I did, do I file in my county and the perpetrator's county?
Thanks, Mark
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I am a DIFFERENT CONTRIBUTOR as I do not know why a tax expert would answer a criminal law question.
First of all, this could be deemed criminal harassment and also extortion and your first step is turning all of the email correspondence over to your local police department for a criminal investigation. You would contact the police where the perpetrator resides.
Second, you would need to file a suit for harassment in the county where the perpetrator resides, so the court has personal jurisdiction over him. As part of your harassment suit you would ask the court to issue a restraining order against him based on your experience and the current nature of the emails. Then if he violates that order he can be arrested and jailed for contempt of court as well.
If you do not know where he resides, you need to try to do some research, especially with online social networking sites, as you can likely find out. If not, then you report it to your local police. Once you ascertain where he resides, you file your civil suit where he resides so you make sure you have the personal jurisdiction over him.
You need to take both actions, not just one of them.
Expert:  Peter Griesch replied 1 year ago.

I am certified in both tax and criminal law. Thanks. In the future, try being a tad more professional.

Expert:  Peter Griesch replied 1 year ago.


I apologize for this back and forth, but the advice above is so bad I feel I need to comment. First, nothing you've said indicates extortion. Extortion is the act of obtaining money or other property from a person by threats or force. I did some research for you, and Tennessee has cyberstalking laws, meaning his threats via email could constitute a crime. You could go to the police. I still advise, for your protection, seeking a no contact order. A police investigation will take time, and in the interim, this person could be a threat to you.

Why you would start a civil suit, let alone in CA, I have no idea. That will take many years to resolve, and might result in a small monetary recovery. That doesn't seem to be your concern at all. Moreover, by continuing to threaten you via email, Tenn would have jurisdiction over him. Unless you wish to make dozens of trips to CA, which you'll pay for, and hire an attorney in CA, I see no logical reason to commence a civil suit.

A Tenn court will have jurisdiction to impose a no contact order. Moreover, Tenn will have jurisdiction to prosecute the person; however, to do so, the state attorney must be willing to jump through hoops to have him extradited to Tenn. It's a lot of work and effort, and this isn't a major case for them. They may not be willing to engage in that endeavor.

A court would, however, impose a no contact order.

Good luck. I hope things work out.