What constitutesextortion?

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What constitutesextortion?

In my divorce decree, my ex-husband is responsible for the utilities of our previously shared apartment. The utilities are in my name and have not been paid yet and are in collections. Instead of taking him to court over this I would rather email him and say that if he doesn’t pay by a certain date that I will report him for fraud to WA state for collecting unemployment and going to school full-time without filling out the correct paperwork. Can I do this?

Asked on June 28, 2011 under Criminal Law, Nevada

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't do this. People are not allowed to use the criminal justice system or other government regulatory systems as a way to gain leverage or advantage in private, civil disputes. It would therefore be improper to do as you suggest. You could state that if he does not pay the money due you by some reasonable date, you will consider him in default and breach of his obligations and take all appropriate legal actions to enforce your rights--since that is simply truthfully saying that you will use whatever legal means are available to you. But specifically threatening to report him to the authorities unless he gives you what you want is not something you are allowed to do, unfortunately.


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