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MShore, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 25285
Experience:  Negotiate, Draft, and Review many complex commercial agreements each year.
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I have recieved harassing emails, private facebook messages,

Customer Question

I have recieved harassing emails, private facebook messages, text messages and voicemails on my cell phone, and harassing calls on my landline phone all from the same individual over the course of the past 2 1/2 months. What, if anything, can be done about this?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Daniel Solutions replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for allowing us to assist you with this problem.

Do you know the name/location of the person who is actually doing the harassment?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The name of the person has appeared on private facebook messages and on the caller ID on my landline telephone as Cathy Coffey, and this matches the name of the individual who has traded messages with me previously accusing me of impersonating her and harassing her (which I have never done). The voice on the voicemails on my cell phone matches that of the individual on my landline phone identified by the caller ID as Cathy Coffey and the number that appears is the same as the one that appears with the text messages. Therefore, I have concluded that they all are from the same individual. Furthermore, the emails that I receive all arrive with the identifying address of "Cathy Coffey" >[email protected]< . To my knowledge, Cathy Coffey resides in Petoskey, MI. However, the phone number that appears on my caller ID has never been able to receive calls when I have attempted to contact her in hopes of settling this situation myself.
Expert:  Daniel Solutions replied 6 years ago.
You need to request form the court and submit form CC 377 - Petition for Personal Protection Order Against Stalking (Non Domestic).

This is what you need to do:

1. Fill out the form CC 377 using the instructions on the forms.
2. File the Petition and Order form with the county clerk.
Take the forms to the circuit court clerk in the county where you are seeking the order. Bring 3 sets of statements from witnesses and supporting documents if you have any. The circuit court clerk will finish filling out the form, will attach your written statements and supporting documents to the proper copies, and will return copies of both forms to you. Do not lose these copies.

What you should have when you leave the clerk's office:
Green, Blue, Pink, and Yellow copies of CC 375 or CC 377

3. Get the order signed.
Ask the circuit court clerk for instructions to the judge's office. Go to the judge's office as soon as possible. Leave the green copy of the petition form (with attachments) and all copies of the order form with the judge's staff. Ask when to come back for the signed order.
What you should have when you leave the judge's office:
Blue, Pink, and Yellow copies of CC 377 and 1 set of attachments for yourself.
Do not lose these copies and the attached materials; you will need them later.

4. Pick up the signed order from the judge.
If the judge's office does not send the order to the circuit court clerk, go back to the judge's office on the day and time you were told to pick up the signed order.

If the judge will not sign the order without a hearing, he or she must state the reasons in writing at that time. Ask for a copy of these written reasons. If you are told you can request a hearing and want to schedule one, return to the circuit court clerk to do so

5. Return to the circuit court clerk.
Unless the order form was already sent to the clerk by the judge's office, return to the clerk's office with:
Blue and Yellow copies of CC 375 or CC 377
The circuit court clerk will stamp the order, keep the original and green copy and return 4 copies to you. The clerk will send a true copy of the order to the law enforcement agency. If you want to take the order to the law enforcement agency also, the clerk will make a true copy for you.

6. Serve the petition and signed order on the respondent.
What you need for service:
Blue copies of CC 377 - for respondent
Yellow copies CC 377 - for proof of service

The respondent must be served (notified) as soon as possible: 1) by registered mail return receipt requested, with restricted delivery to the respondent; or 2) in person. You may serve the respondent by first class mail only if you get permission from the judge.

After the respondent has been served, fill out the Proofs of Service on the back of the yellow copies of both the petition and order forms and on the back of the goldenrod copy of the order form and attach the receipt of service to the yellow copies, if one. All copies must be notarized.
Return to the county clerk with the yellow copies CC 377

7. Call the police or sheriff to be sure they received the order and entered it onto LEIN.
The circuit court clerk will send the green copy of your order to the law enforcement agency
stated in the order even if you take a copy to them yourself. A few days after the order was signed, call the police or sheriff department named in the order to be sure they have a record of the order and that it has been entered onto LEIN. If they don't have the order, call the circuit court clerk and ask where it is. The order is enforceable as soon as it is signed by the judge.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
what if the individual who is harassing me and I reside in different jurisdictions? She lives in Petoskey (which is Emmet County) and I reside in Tuscola County. Also, what if I have been deleting all of the offensive messages as they arrive on advice of my mental health professionals? Would sworn affidavits from my children stating that they have seen or heard these messages be sufficient evidence for the court? Also, would the court need to know that I have recently suffered a mental breakdown and subsequently made a suicide attempt due to the severe emotional distress that this harassment has caused me?
Expert:  Daniel Solutions replied 6 years ago.
You would file in your County.
Deleting may be good for your mental health but not good for law enforcement. Contact your service provider to see if you can revive deleted copies of the messages and start saving any new contact.
If your children are adults affidavit would be some proof but not as good as the actual evidence.
You do not have to disclose the breakdown and suicide attempt but if asked at some point you would need to disclose
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Extremely new development! Minutes ago I was threatened with legal action by the third party involved in this situation because of the contact my children have had with her in their attempts to try to settle things. Personally I have had very limited contact with her (only a handful of emails most of which were sent nearly 2 months ago). However, my daughter (17 years old) has been texting with her off and on for the last couple of months relaying information about what is going on and recently has attempted talking on the telephone. My youngest son (12 years old) has also texted some and sent a few messages via facebook. THis individual suddenly cut off contact with my children without explanation so they attempted to find out why in addition to attempting to settle this harassment situation - which I did not ask them to settle or encourage them to get involved in, but Ms. Coffey often mentioned them in her messages. Anyway, can my children or I be sued successfully for harassment by this third party or by Ms. Coffey because of my children's contact with the third party?
Expert:  Daniel Solutions replied 6 years ago.
This is a new question and Justanswer requires a new thread for new questions.

The simple answer is that yes you can be sued but there is not way to say if it would be a successful suit without full access to what has been happening between this woman, your children and you.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
This really isn't very helpful. I understand that this is a very complicated situation, but other than telling me that I should get a restraining order - which will do little to no good at all - and that I can be sued, you haven't helped me at all. I still don't have any sufficient answers as to how to stop this cyber harassment or any real information as to how successful a suit would be against ME when almost all the contact was between this woman and my children! You also never addressed the issue of whether or not minor children can be sued or if I can be sued because of THEIR actions. I realized that I didn't ask these questions specifically, but I assumed a licensed attorney would address these issues automatically.
Expert:  MShore replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for the post, I am happy to assist you by answering your questions. It appears the other Expert has been opted out, to answer your questions:

1)It is unlikely a harassment claim against your children would be sustained based on the facts you have described as I assume the children have now been advised to cease and desist with any future communications with the woman. Also, just so that you understand, because they are minors, you would be deemed liable for your children's actions when the children are involved or involve themselves in an action which has its genesis in a situation you were involved in and not the children.

2) To stop the cyber harassment, you mentioned that a restraining order would do no good. If this is the case, then you should proceed straight to a suit against the party stalking you for harassment. If you have not already done so and have the means to do so, consider retaining an attorney to send the party harassing you a cease and desist letter advising the person that the actions are tortious and should they continue you will have no choice but to file a civil claim wherein you will not only claim compensatory damages,but punitive damages and attorney's fees as well.Please let me know if you have any follow up questions.