How to handle being harrased by a Witness

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How to handle being harrased by a Witness

I am a Pro Se plaintiff in a civil suit for Defamation. I have a witness that I need to use for hearsay purposes. I have included her name and information in my pre-trial worksheet and interrogatories, but have yet to subpoena her. Since finding out through the other side that I included her, she has been harassing me by using third party text apps. I asked her not to contact me again, in which she then sent a anonymous text to my place of work, telling them I was going to bring them into my case, and then sent a letter by mail to my home. The envelope has no return address on it, and she did not sign her name. However, she talks about the case and being involved. I need to include these documents as evidence for my defamation case, but am not sure how I can do that since she is trying to be smart and not use her name or number, even though it is obvious it is her. How do I handle this situation? Should I contact the police about her harassment, and can I still subpoena her after? These documents are vital to my case.

Jen

Asked on June 8, 2018 under Personal Injury, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can contact the police about the harassment. If her pattern of behavior meets the criteria for your state's harassment statute(s), which it may well, then you can file a police report and look to press charges.
You can subpoena her testimony and/or documents from her. She will have to appear and testify and will be legally required to produce any named or identified documents. Bear in mind, however, that she is clearly a hostile witness, so you can't control or necessarily predict what she will say in a deposition or on the witness stand, and will have difficulty ensuring that she provides all documents (unless you have some independent source of information to know what documents exist and what they say). Also, someone you subpoena for documents does not have to guess at what you want: if you can't identify the documents well, you may not get them. If she or her documents are vital to your case, you may have a very weak or fragile case.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can contact the police about the harassment. If her pattern of behavior meets the criteria for your state's harassment statute(s), which it may well, then you can file a police report and look to press charges.
You can subpoena her testimony and/or documents from her. She will have to appear and testify and will be legally required to produce any named or identified documents. Bear in mind, however, that she is clearly a hostile witness, so you can't control or necessarily predict what she will say in a deposition or on the witness stand, and will have difficulty ensuring that she provides all documents (unless you have some independent source of information to know what documents exist and what they say). Also, someone you subpoena for documents does not have to guess at what you want: if you can't identify the documents well, you may not get them. If she or her documents are vital to your case, you may have a very weak or fragile case.


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