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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27111
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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My daughter-in-law has received along with her husband multiple

Customer Question

My daughter-in-law has received along with her husband multiple threatening texts &iPhone calls from her father. In fact the Gwinnett Police were dispatched to their home last night. How do I initiate a restraining order against this individual ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 years ago.
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If the contents of the texts and phone calls your daughter in law has received are threatening and she is fearful for her safety, she can get a restraining order through either the criminal or the civil courts. The procedures are different but the orders do the same thing. Once served with either order, her father would be required to have no further contact with her and his failure to abide by the order would result in his arrest and prosecution.
Which route she should take depends on what she thinks is best given all of the circumstances. To get a criminal order, she would have to go to the police and report his threats as a crime. The harassment and threats are criminal offenses. She would have to tell the police she was fearful for her safety and that she wants to press charges against her father. She actually may have done this already and if so, the DA will issue an order in her favor as part of the case.
Her father will become the defendant in a criminal case and while the case is pending and after his conviction for some time to be determined by the court, she will have an order in place that will keep him from bothering her.
If she didn't want to get charges pressed when the police arrived last night and is not interested in going after her father criminally but only wants a protective order,
The other way is to go to the civil courts order, she can get an emergency ex-parte temporary order through civil court without giving him notice. I believe you are in Georgia, but if not, let me know. You can read an overview of how this is done in Georgia here:
Once her father is served with a civil order, she would be protected under a temporary order. But about a week or so later they would both be expected to attend a court hearing to make the temporary order permanent.
At such a hearing your daughter would be expected to show evidence, which would demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that she needs a permanent order against her father. Her testimony, the texts and any recorded phone calls, for example, along with any other evidence or witnesses could establish that. Her father can then present evidence to show he is no threat to her. The judge decides after all the evidence is in whether to make the order permanent or not.