Legal Question in Criminal Law in Iowa

I have an ex-husband who has publicly ripped me up on social media and used the website to solicit help from others in our town to track me down. He has called my place of employment, left things on my car and had people follow me. Clearily I'm being harassed but can't seem to get law enforcement on board because I have not been physically harmed. Would there be any benefit to hiring a lawyer at this point or is it dead in the water until it gets more serious, God forbid. I'm at a loss to know what to do or if there is anything I can do. Get him for defamation of character maybe??? Thoughts??

Asked on 7/08/13, 7:38 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Todd Miler Miler Law Firm
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You may want to go directly to your county attorney's office and ask to speak to an attorney or their victim services coordinator. They could get a police officer to follow up.

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7/09/13, 5:28 am
Robert Luedeman solo practitioner
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I agree with brother Miler. Harassment does not depend on a physical assault. Here is the relevant code section.

708.7 HARASSMENT.

1. a. A person commits harassment when, with intent to

intimidate, annoy, or alarm another person, the person does any of

the following:

(1) Communicates with another by telephone, telegraph, writing,

or via electronic communication without legitimate purpose and in a

manner likely to cause the other person annoyance or harm.

(2) Places a simulated explosive or simulated incendiary device

in or near a building, vehicle, airplane, railroad engine or railroad

car, or boat occupied by another person.

(3) Orders merchandise or services in the name of another, or to

be delivered to another, without the other person's knowledge or

consent.

(4) Reports or causes to be reported false information to a law

enforcement authority implicating another in some criminal activity,

knowing that the information is false, or reports the alleged

occurrence of a criminal act, knowing the act did not occur.

b. A person commits harassment when the person, purposefully

and without legitimate purpose, has personal contact with another

person, with the intent to threaten, intimidate, or alarm that other

person. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise

requires, "personal contact" means an encounter in which two or

more people are in visual or physical proximity to each other.

"Personal contact" does not require a physical touching or oral

communication, although it may include these types of contacts.

2. a. A person commits harassment in the first degree when

the person commits harassment involving a threat to commit a forcible

felony, or commits harassment and has previously been convicted of

harassment three or more times under this section or any similar

statute during the preceding ten years.

b. Harassment in the first degree is an aggravated

misdemeanor.

3. a. A person commits harassment in the second degree when

the person commits harassment involving a threat to commit bodily

injury, or commits harassment and has previously been convicted of

harassment two times under this section or any similar statute during

the preceding ten years.

b. Harassment in the second degree is a serious misdemeanor.

4. a. Any other act of harassment is harassment in the third

degree.

b. Harassment in the third degree is a simple misdemeanor.

5. For purposes of determining whether or not the person should

register as a sex offender pursuant to the provisions of chapter

692A, the fact finder shall make a determination as provided in

section 692A.126.

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7/09/13, 5:41 am

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