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I was served a temporay restraining order, in which I need ...

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I was served a temporay...
I was served a temporay restraining order, in which I need to go back to court on 4/17 to pleed my case. In this order my ex roomate falsly accused me of stealing, disabling the garage door, turning up the heat to 90 and civil harassment. The harassment was due to me asking for my deposit back from her, in which I have 2 voicemails from her stating she would give them back. Would some of this be concidered defamation? Would you recommend a lawyer in CA?
Submitted: 9 years ago.Category: Legal
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4/1/2008
Lawyer: Attorney & Mediator, Lawyer replied 9 years ago
Attorney & Mediator
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1) Defamation results when someone makes false statements of facts to a third party which results in a harm to you. Truth and stating an opinion are defenses to a defamation cause of action.

Therefore, it would only be a defamation cause of action if you can prove that your reputation has been harmed as a result of the lies they said. This action would take place after the conclusion of your case regarding the restraining order.

In the alternative you can sustain an abuse of process claim if you prevail in getting the restraining order dismissed.

2) Harassment occurs when there is a repeated pattern of conduct which is intended to annoy and serves no legitimate purpose. Since you are asking for your deposit back you can argue that this was a legitimate purpose as she was attempting to evade her obligation to resolve the issue of the deposit.

3) A lawyer (personal injury) is recommended. You will need to search for an attorney in your local jurisdiction to properly represent you in personal injury cases (for the potential abuse of process, defamation and defense of the civil restraining order).

4) It will be her burden to prove that you did all those things she alleges before the court will sustain a permanent order. It will be your responsibility (or your lawyer) to persuade the court that she has failed to meet her burden.

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Customer reply replied 9 years ago
Can I in turn file a restraining order against her if I can show cause? She has called my work, and left messages for me in which I still have on my cell phone.

Can I bring my cell phone to court with the messages stating that she would pay me back as evidence?

What would you consider my reputation was harmed? I am not sure what you mean by Truth and stating an opinion are defenses to a defamation cause of action.
Lawyer: Attorney & Mediator, Lawyer replied 9 years ago
Thank you for your reply.

1) In California you can file for a restraining order under harassment if you can prove the following:

The Code of Civil Procedure law on Civil Harassment Orders (Section 527.6) defines harassment as:

  • unlawful violence;
  • a credible threat of violence; or
  • a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person that seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses the person, and that serves no legitimate purpose.

The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and must actually cause substantial emotional distress to the plaintiff.

If you can establish one of these events, then you can also file for a restraining order against her.

2) Yes, cell phone messages, emails, text messages or anything which will support your case is admissible. Since she left the messages, emails and/or text messages, there is no need to get her consent.

3) A defamation of character case of action, requires proof that she made a false statement (a lie) to hurt you before you can sue. If you sue, she will bear the burden to prove that she told the truth or that she did not make a statement of fact, but only an opinion.

An attack to your reputation means that you are being retaliated against by what she has said. For example, an employer may fire you because if they believe her.

Please accept my answer for the work I have provided you and to close this window. Thank you for using Just Answer.

Legal Disclaimer: The information given by me is for informational/research/educational use only and you are paying me only for such information. The information contained herewith is not legal advice and by rendering such information there is no formation of an attorney-client relationship. I also do not claim to be licensed to practice in the state where this information is being provided. I strive to provide quality information, but I make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked herein and it’s associated sites. As law is always changing, you are advised to speak with the appropriate legal counsel for accurate information. Thank you.

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