Can I sue emotional damages after a custody battle?

Custodial parent withheld child, and also
threaten to physically harm me and/or my car.
Even attempted to hire someone to damage
my car. Stole my cell phone and used
evidence in my phone against me to the GAL,
which hurt my case.

Asked on March 8, 2016 under Personal Injury, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can't sue for emotional damages from the custodial parent trying to withhold your child: that's because a parent has the right to try to get and keep custody and since he or she has the right to use the legal process to do this and to not give up custody, there is no liability for doing this.
However, threats of harm, threats of property damage, and hiring someone to damage your car are torts, or wrongs (they are also crimes) and you may be able to sue them emotional damage caused by their using illegal/wrongful means against you: they don't have a right to do that, and so could be liable for the emotional harm they intentionally caused.
You could also sue them for theft; and you could potentialy report the threats and theft to the police, since they were crimes.


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