When do you file an order of protection or file for defamation of charcter to protect your family?

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When do you file an order of protection or file for defamation of charcter to protect your family?

My son-in-law and daughter have been married for 3 years and they have 2 children. Their relationship with his parents has been very straineddue to his fathers anger problems and his mothers mental state and drinking. My son-in-law is in the military and when he is deployed his parents begin a barage of confrontational emails and phone calls. My son-in-law returned from deployment about a month ago. His mother began posting on Facebook that my daughter was an abuser. His mother accused my daughter of physical and mental abuse of her son and that she could possibly abuse her grandsons. When confronted by family friends of her accusations, she said that they could join her at her an abuse councelling group to learn more about those who do not realize they are being abused. She was very hostile in her response to them. About a year ago my son-in-law’s parents called them and in the conversation said that they were looking whether there was anyway to take the children. Not because they were concerned for their safety, but because they did not like my daughter. My son-in-law did try to speak to his father about the defamation and tried to resolve the conflicts between them. His father hung up on him. My son-in-law and daughter are very happy together and love their kids dearly. What can they do to protect themselves from these allegations and to protect their family from his parents?

Asked on August 20, 2010 under Personal Injury, North Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

What a horrible situation. What your son-in-law may have to decide is that enough is enough and that he has to take steps to protect his children from his parents.  He should speak with an attorney as to possibly getting a retraining order and filing harassment charges.  And he should discuss prosecuting should they violate the order.  Hitting them with a defamation suit may also be a possibility but opening up ones life to be dragged through the mud, well, that will not be fun.  It may be that he needs to cut off his ties completely with them if they continue to maliciously interfere with his family.  Why parents would put their children in the position of choosing between them and their nuclear family I do not know.  But it does have to stop.  Good luck.


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