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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.


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