Is it illegal or harassing to send court documents to a friend from an unrelated case?

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Is it illegal or harassing to send court documents to a friend from an unrelated case?

My ex-wife lives with her live-in boyfriend who is going through a divorce and custody battle. I have full custody of all 3 of my children and just recently my judge suspended my ex-wife’s rights to my kids. In a strange way I became friends with my ex’s boyfriend’s soon-to-be ex-wife and wanted to warn her about my ex-wife and how she has child abuse allegations against her involving her own kids. The boyfriend threatened to sue me for harassment if I gave his ex any of the court papers. I would like to help her protect her kids from my ex. Is it illegal to send her what I have?

Asked on November 27, 2011 under Family Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Actual court documents--i.e. anything filed with the court--will be public documents unless they have been sealed. You should therefore be able to send copies to a person, since there is no liability for  providing public documents. Make sure that the documents you intend to send are public ones (you can check with the court)--but consider also that even if you can legally do this, 1) any actions you take will be scrutinized in your divorce and custody battle (e.g. looking like you are trying to "poison" people against your ex-wife or otherwise doing things to damage, anger, wound, etc. her will not help your case); and 2) you may be sued by the boyfriend and have to go to the expense and trouble of defending yourself--which can be a major cost and distraction if he's sufficiently angered to make up allegations. It is not likely worthwhile to do this.


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