What can be done to stopverbal harassment?

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What can be done to stopverbal harassment?

I am dealing with my partners ex-wife. She is a jealous person and is trying to interfere and break up our relationship. Her latest tactic has been the most extreme. She involved her child in the middle, having her tell a made-up story, which is creating a lot of tension between the families. It is not going to stop since this has been and an on-going issue for 2 years. I am fed up and didn’t know if there was any legal thing I can do to show her I am not taking this. I consider what she is doing verbal harassment, am I wrong? Is there anything I can do?

Asked on January 1, 2011 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If she's mean, annoying, irritating, etc., there's nothing you can do about this, unfortunately--there is no law against someone doing or being these things. On the other hand:

1) If she says to anyone else--i.e. any person other than yourself--false factual statements about you (e.g. she says that you stole; that you hit a child or partner; that you have drug or alcohal problem), she may be committing defamation, which is something she could be sued over. Opinions, though, don't count: so she could legally say, "I think J. Doe is an awful person," and that's "fine" under the law.  But if she says "J. Doe cheats on her taxes," that could be defamation.

2) If she makes threats, that would be a form of harassment for which she could potentially face criminal as well as civil liability--threats are not allowed/


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