My ex-boyfriend is harassing me through text messages. He hasn't threaten to harm me but I've blocked his number and he's just downloaded apps to keep texting from another number saying things like "we're not done" or saying no when I say to leave me alone. Even saying "we'll see" when I say that we aren't getting back together. I live in Michigan and he lives in Alabama now but he refuses to stop and has even told me that he won't. It's causing me a lot of stress and I was wondering if there was any legal action I could take to force him to stop.
2 Answers from Attorneys
You can file a PPO or a personal protection order against him. Also, make sure you document all of these incidents and keep them as a record. Make a police report of these incidents to see if stalking charges can be filed against him.
As the first attorney informed you, a Personal Protection Order may help you. His advice to document all events is very important. If emails are sent to you, keep them (do not delete them); likewise with texts, phone call attempts, Facebook or Twitter messages, etc: Keep them all. If you have an iPhone or iPad and the attempted contact can be seen on those devices, you can capture a screen shot image of what is displayed by simultaneously pressing the Home button on the front/bottom and the On/Off button on the top-right corner. (If you see the screen flash white you did it right.) Otherwise, try printing them to paper or printing them into PDF files that you can keep and control. Anything he can somehow delete is vulnerable so preserve evidence. You need this history of information for a PPO so you can show a pattern of harassment, as well as the efforts he is making to get around your walls of protection. To learn more about PPOs, go to our office web site (www.prosecutingattorney.info) and click on the "PPO" button. You'll see several pages explaining the process, as well as the court forms that you can print off and fill out. You file PPO papers in ANY Michigan circuit court clerk's office (not necessarily the county where you live); and if you want to keep your address or contact info private, do not include it on the forms by attach a letter explaining that. You may want to check with the circuit court clerk's office in the county you are choosing the file in to find out if they have any other "local forms" you need to fill out. There is not fee to file for a PPO. But you will likely have to pay a process server in Alabama to find him and serve him. A PPO is valid when it is issued, but penalizing the defendant for violating it normally requires him to have been served with the papers before that event, so the sooner the better. The prosecuting attorney's office victim services unit may be able to look over your papers before you file them to give you suggestions to add information (if necessary). But the PA office does not represent you at this stage.
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