Can we be held responsible for the actions of our grown adult daughter?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can we be held responsible for the actions of our grown adult daughter?

My husband and I received restraining order from someone we have NEVER heard of. It mentioned out adult independent daughter so we asked her who this person was. Apparently her and this person have been feuding for years. We have always told our kids to leave us out of their issues because we are older and just don’t want drama. These restraining orders claim we made a website slandering this person. Also claims we text, email, call harrass this person and their family. We have NEVER done anything to this person. If someone is claiming to be us then again its not us. This person claims she has asked my husband to stop harrassing her yet she states she’s never met him. She also claims to have sent us emails to stop. None of this is true. WE DON’T KNOW HER. Her issue is with our adult 40 daughter whom we are not responsible for. We have almost nothing to do with out daughter because of her drama. Once a month I collect rent from her for a mobile home she rents. We block her calls. We don’t want drama and have never been involved. I don’t want to break this restraining order by contacting this person to explain we have nothing to do with our daughter.
We are in our mid sixties and live pretty much secluded in a small mountain community and just want to be left alone.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Asked on October 3, 2016 under Criminal Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Legally, you are only liable for your adult daughter's acts IF you actively participated in them--helped her harass this person, for example--in which case you're not really being held liable for her acts: you're being held liable for your own.
Practically, if your daughter or an accomplice of your daughter is pretending to be you, you could have trouble IF they are doing a good job at that and are creating credible evidence that it was you.
If their attorney will not respond to you, hire a lawyer of your own--yes, it's an expense, but you don't want this to go further if you are being set up (such as by your daughter) to take the fall. Your lawyer is much less likely to be ignored than you are, and can marshall evidence and create a paper trail to show this was not you and that you have acted in a reasonable fashion in response to the allegations. You want to make it clear to the other side if possible, and if not (if they are being unreasonable) create evidence for possible later litigation that this was not you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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