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  1. #1
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    Jan 2009
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    Default Harassment by Text Message

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: KY


    My ex and I have been arguing via text messaging over silly stuff. In an email she said she didn't care and ask that I don't message her anymore. I replied saying I agreed and we left it at that. There has not been any contact since then. She is now trying to put a restraining order on me for harassment...but there is no harassment as she engaged in the arguments and never said to stop or that I was harassing her. Does she really have a case since there has been no threatening,violence or harassment? I have NEVR gone around her place nor have repeatedly text or call her everyday. It was one argument over textn and email agreeing to quit trying to be friends. Someone has now logged into an online account she has "myspace" and posted nasty comments about her. Now I'm getting blamed for that and they are trying to say defamation of character. I'm in the IT field so I know they would have to get some serious proof to prove it was me. Does she really have a case and how will this effect my employment since we work in the same building but different floors and different departments? Will I have to go to a hearing or will the law actually be reasonable and be say wow...this is pathetic on both our parts? What will she have to do to make this a legit case as sheriff called me saying stuff to me about paying the price for hacking but I'm wondering how they can do that without proof?? I have never been in trouble like this and my record only has a speeding ticket from like 7-8 years ago. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Harassment by Text Message

    Quote Quoting djpat82
    View Post
    My question involves criminal law for the state of: KY


    My ex and I have been arguing via text messaging over silly stuff. In an email she said she didn't care and ask that I don't message her anymore. I replied saying I agreed and we left it at that. There has not been any contact since then. She is now trying to put a restraining order on me for harassment...but there is no harassment as she engaged in the arguments and never said to stop or that I was harassing her. Does she really have a case since there has been no threatening,violence or harassment? I have NEVR gone around her place nor have repeatedly text or call her everyday. It was one argument over textn and email agreeing to quit trying to be friends. Someone has now logged into an online account she has "myspace" and posted nasty comments about her. Now I'm getting blamed for that and they are trying to say defamation of character. I'm in the IT field so I know they would have to get some serious proof to prove it was me. Does she really have a case and how will this effect my employment since we work in the same building but different floors and different departments? Will I have to go to a hearing or will the law actually be reasonable and be say wow...this is pathetic on both our parts? What will she have to do to make this a legit case as sheriff called me saying stuff to me about paying the price for hacking but I'm wondering how they can do that without proof?? I have never been in trouble like this and my record only has a speeding ticket from like 7-8 years ago. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    First, technically, a message doesn't HAVE to be threatening, nor does the message sender need to be notified that their messages are unwanted for them to meet statutory requirements for a harassment charge. With that said, the "real life" application is typically that there must either be SO many messages that a reasonable person would consider them disruptive...OR...some element of one or more messages that contain some form of language that would make a reasonable person fear that you had something naughty in mind for them. On the "plus" side for you, if this was a two way conversation, your records showing her continuing to respond to the messages can bolster your defense that this was mutual activity.

    Second, remember that the burden that must be met for either a restraining order or an arrest is only "probable cause" - meaning, in an overly simplified way, that they only need to reasonably believe that something happened and that there is more circumstance to believe that the accused did it than there is circumstance to believe that they didn't do it. In all, it's a relatively low standard to meet.

    For the restraining order, the truth is that it really depends on the judge. Most are willing to give a little leeway and rule in favor of being overly protective and issue the TEMP the order and then see what happens at the hearing (yes, you need to attend the hearing if you want to tell your side). For the actual order to be issued, some will want definitive and substantial proof that you pose so much threat that your freedom should be somewhat curtailed; while others (again) will "err" on the side of caution (remember, while a restraining order can function to limit some of your activities, it's intent is to only limit what shouldn't be happening anyway) and issue the order - especially if they believe that either the contact between parties will continue or escalate.

    As for the sheriff, if they have enough probable cause to get a judge to issue a warrant, they'll be able to arrest. However, as you know, such proof of "hacking" is relatively definitive one way or the other - they can either tie you to the activity in question or not. If you know they can't, then I wouldn't loose a lot of sleep over it; the comment may have only been the deputy's way of seeing how you'd react.

    Your best bet is to cease ANY and ALL forms of contact with her, and pretend like she doesn't exist.
    Catherine NeSmith
    Executive Director
    AARDVARC.org, Inc.
    http://www.aardvarc.org

    Fave Big Bang Theory site: Sheldon Cooper Fans

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